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Will a well driller named Peter Norbeck get a working holiday in South Dakota?

South Dakota's Capitol as pictured in this file photo. (Daily Republic file photo)

PIERRE — Should Aug. 27 be a state working holiday in honor of Peter Norbeck?

The state Senate voted 31-3 Wednesday. SB 204 heads to the House of Representatives.

A working holiday means people would still go about their normal business.

South Dakota already has at least four. One is Joe Foss Day, on April 17, honoring the former governor and World War II fighter pilot.

Sen. Jim Bolin, R-Canton, said the only costs for Peter Norbeck Day would be ink and paper to advertise it in tourist brochures.

Norbeck was born Aug. 27, 1870, and died Dec. 20, 1936, midway of his third U.S. Senate term.

He was a two-term governor, one-term lieutenant governor and three-term state senator.

Bolin called Norbeck "probably the most important political figure in our state in the first 50 years of our history."

He credited Norbeck for arranging the carving of Mount Rushmore National Monument in the Black Hills; Laying out Iron Mountain Road so the monument can be seen from a tunnel; Inviting President Calvin Coolidge to spend the summer of 1927 at Custer State Park and Rapid City; and establishing the plan for the Rapid City cement plant that state employees operated until its sale in 2000.

The only opponent to speak against Peter Norbeck Day was Sen. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton.

"I'm sure the career politician was a fine gentleman," Nelson said.

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