Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Mrs. Nixon visited Rapid City following the 1972 Flood.
Mrs. Nixon visited Rapid City following the 1972 Flood.
Nixon Presidential Library photo
June 19, 2017

IN HISTORY: Mrs. Nixon Visits Rapid City Following Devastation of 1972 Flood

Nine days after the 1972 Rapid City and Black Hills Flood, First Lady Pat Nixon visited Rapid City to attend a memorial service, as originally reported by the New York Times. At the time of the memorial, 215 individuals were known to have perished from the natural disaster. Mrs. Nixon landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base before going straight to the memorial service which was held at Stevens High School.

Mrs. Nixon was not the only representative from President Nixon’s administration to visit Rapid City during the aftermath of the 1972 Flood. Shortly after the flood on June 10, Counsellor to the President Robert H. Finch flew to Rapid City to discuss disaster assistance with Mayor Don Barnett. During his visit, the Nixon White House also announced several federal and private assistance efforts to help the city recoup after the disaster.

Following the flood, a memorial was established in remembrance of the 238 victims who perished. The City of Rapid City acquired the land for Memorial Park following the 1972, where the flood memorial presently resides.

The names of those who lost their lives in the 1972 Rapid City and Black Hills Flood can be viewed on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s 1972 Flood - In Memoriam page. Additional historical resources including photos, original broadcast reports, and news reports are available on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s Digital History Archives. A full transcript of the memorial service is available through the Rapid City Journal’s website.

Related items

  • District 31 Re-Elects The Late Chuck Turbiville

    Voters in South Dakota’s 31st Legislative District, which includes Spearfish, Lead, Deadwood, and other communities in the Northern Hills, voted on Tuesday to re-elect Republican…
  • 2018 South Dakota Statewide Midterm Election Results

    South Dakota voters cast their ballots on November 6th for a new slate of leadership in Pierre. U.S. Representative Kristi Noem defeated State Senator Billie…
  • Counties Could Face Huge Costs Over Pipeline Protests

    South Dakota counties could become responsible for any costs associated with future protests over the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, reports the Black Hills…

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]