1972 Black Hills Flood

1972 Black Hills Flood

One of the worst floods in U.S. history descended on the Black Hills of South Dakota in the middle of the night on June 9, 1972. In the aftermath, the community gathered to rebuild, and today you can visit local parks and museum exhibits to learn more about the unforgettable impact this flood had on Rapid City.

This year was the fifty year commemoration of the Black Hills Flood and the community gathered to remember, commemorate, and celebrate the renewal of our community.

The Journey Museum and Learning Center hosted many events during the 50th Commemoration and would like to share some of those events with you.

Higher Ground

A song performed and presented by local musician Andrew Beaird. this song was presented at multiple locations during the Commemoration activities on the days of June 8th and 9th. Andrew provided this presentation specifically for us to share online as part of the recorded program package.

Remembrance and Renewal

This documentary and recorded program and presentation occurred on Sunday, June 5th as a kick-off to the activities surrounding the 50th Commemoration.  The original score was composed by Alexander Massa and presented by a local ensemble. This performance was supported in part through funding from a IMLS Cares Grant.

Community Healing

This program comprised entirely of local community members allowed people to tell their own experiences of the Flood. This was completely unscripted and captures the stories as people brought them forth.

Remembrance, Resilience, and Rebuilding: Lessons from 1972

This program was originally presented on June 8th. Dr. Stephen Hausmann as Assistant professor in history of St. Thomas University. Presented a look back on the experiences of 1972 Rapid City. Dr. Hausmann has dedicated his career to  and examining the roots of environmental injustice and urban inequality among Native American communities in the West. His discussion is focused on what happened in Rapid City in the time that followed the tragic event.

The Day After the Flood

Originally presented on June 10th in collaboration with the South Dakota historical Society. Mayor Don Barnett who at the time of the Flood was a 29 year old leader recounts his personal experiences of the day after. The thoughts and conversations surrounding him and how Rapid City would begin to find it's way from the impact of the tragedy that had just occurred and looking into the uncertain future.

To learn more about what led up to the Flood of 1972 watch the videos below.

The Journey Museum and Learning Center regularly adds new events, exhibits, and features to the expansive museum, covering American history, Black Hills history, and Native American culture.

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The Journey Museum and Learning Center is one of the more unique museums to experience not only the history of the Black Hills but Native American culture.



The Journey Museum and Learning Center functions as a nonprofit thanks to the generous donations of our supporters and sponsors.

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The Journey Museum is currently in Winter Hours:

Winter Hours

(October 1st – April 30th)
10 AM – 5 PM Monday through Saturday
1 PM – 5 PM Sundays

Summer Hours

(May 1st – September 30th)
9 AM – 6 PM Monday through Saturday
11 AM – 5 PM Sundays


All individual admissions are good for two days with receipt.

Museum General Admission:

Adults (ages 18+) $10
Seniors (ages 62+) $8
Students (ages 6 – 17) $7
Children 5 & under FREE with family

Groups (10+ people):

$7 per person

Tour guides available. Please call (605) 394-6923 one week prior to visit to schedule.

Education Groups (12+ students):

$3 per student (all students 18 and under)
$5 College Students

Chaperones are requested. Special pricing will be extended to adult chaperones.

Tour guides available. Please call (605) 394-6923 one week prior to visit to schedule.