Skip to main content

After visiting all the other states, Obama plans trip to South Dakota

  • Author:
  • Updated:

President Barack Obama has visited 49 of the 50 states during the six years he's been in office, and he's just announced plans to visit the last one on his list – South Dakota.

Obama plans to deliver the commencement address at a South Dakota community college next month.

Amid some speculation over when he'd finally visit the state, Obama used a White House interview on Monday with a reporter from KSFY, a TV station in Sioux Falls, to break the news himself.

"I can't let my South Dakota friends feel neglected," Obama said, adding with a smile, "I think by May 8th, finally there should be spring in South Dakota."

Obama will travel to Watertown, in the state's northeastern corner, to deliver the commencement address at Lake Area Technical Institute on May 8.

Obama has made technical and vocational education one of the focal points of his administration, according to the Associated Press.

The White House says Lake Area Tech is one of the nation's best community colleges and has a two-year graduation rate that is more than twice the national average.

Obama had visited 46 of the 50 states by the end of 2015. Besides South Dakota, he had not made it to Idaho, South Carolina or Utah, the Associated Press notes.

Obama made appearances in Idaho and South Carolina early in the year, and he stopped in Utah this month.

The president has visited Minnesota several times since he was elected, the most recent of which was in June of last year when he spent two days in the state.

He talked about flood recovery efforts and economic issues, and also made stops at several popular spots including Matt's Bar and the Grand Ole Creamery.

According to the White House Historical Association, Obama will be only the fourth president to have stepped foot in every state.

Richard Nixon was first, followed by George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Ronald Reagan fell four states short of the goal.

George W. Bush was very close; he visited 49 states but never made it to Vermont, according to the AP.

Obama did visit South Dakota previously, in 2008 when he was campaigning for president.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.01.44 PM

Twin Cities radio host Matt McNeil seriously injured in crash

A post on his social media account says he'll recover.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.48.55 PM

Marshalls in downtown Minneapolis to close its doors to shoppers

The company confirmed it will be open until mid-January.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.45.35 AM

Boys aged 12 and 14 arrested after fleeing police in stolen car

The two boys were charged with felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property.


Heavy snow brings multiple crashes to southern Minnesota roads

The snowfall is expected to end sometime Friday morning.

Cheetah Pizza

Edina pizza joint quietly closes after 38 years

The restaurant was located at 5125 Edina Industrial Blvd.


Internet providers to get $100M to expand coverage across Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the largest single investment in broadband infrastructure in the state's history.

Forest Lake High School

Charges: Man left knife tucked in bathroom stall inside high school

The 42-year-old entered the bathroom Tuesday morning and left 15 minutes later.


Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.