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History & Heritage Book Club

We've got a great lineup of programs coming to the Heritage Center. We hope to see you at the meetings!

Tom Roberts Books

History and Heritage Book Club News

There’s a great lineup of speakers coming up for the History and Heritage Book Club!

Please note that the dates of the February and March programs will be different than usual due to the speakers’ schedules.

The guest speaker in February will be V.J. Smith of Brookings. The program will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, at the Cultural Heritage Center.

Smith wrote the book on customer service and how one person can make a difference in “The Richest Man in Town.” Smith tells of getting to know Aaron “Marty” Martinson and the life lessons that Marty taught him. Customers would wait in Marty’s checkout line at Wal-Mart in Brookings because he made them feel welcome and appreciated. Smith calls Marty “the richest man in town” because so many people were touched by Marty’s kindness. Marty reminded everyone to be better people.

Smith is the former executive director of the South Dakota State University Alumni Association and is a professional speaker. He is also the state senator from District 7 in the South Dakota Legislature, which is why he is in Pierre and can speak to the History and Heritage Book Club in person.

Copies of “The Richest Man in Town” are available at the Heritage Stores at the Cultural Heritage Center and the Capitol.

The guest speaker in March will be Molly Rozum of Vermillion. The date and book club selection will be announced later.

Joining the book club remotely on April 9 will be Phil and Sandy Hammon. On the evening of Nov. 17, 1973, five teenagers from Sioux Falls were attacked by three brothers at Gitchie Manitou State Preserve southeast of Sioux Falls. Four of the teenagers were killed. The Hammons’ book, “Gitchie Girl,” tells about the murders but focuses on the life of the sole surviving teenager, Sandra Cheskey. She came to be known as “Gitchie Girl” after the crime.

The recently published sequel, “Gitchie Girl Uncovered,” gives readers a closer look at the killers and their backgrounds. It also tells more about Cheskey’s life.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Cultural Heritage Center.


About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.

About the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation
he South Dakota Historical Society Foundation is a private charitable nonprofit that seeks funding to assist the South Dakota State Historical Society in programming and projects to preserve South Dakota’s history and heritage for future generations.