South Dakota


South Dakota, the first state to adopt initiative and referendum on a
statewide level, did so in 1898. The Direct Legislation Record for December
of that year gave credit for this achievement to the organizing efforts of
Walter E. Kidd of Brown County. Kidd, born in Michigan in 1849, spent “half
his mature years” in farming and the other half in “newspaper work” as
publisher of the Dakota Ruralist, whose front-page motto was “Socialism in
Our Time.” Kidd claimed that it was the “only daily paper in the country