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Opinion
Giago: Skeletons hidden in Rapid City's closet


"One has to remember that back during the dark days of World War II American Indians were not allowed to drink in any local bar and this ban also included the Black military personnel at the local base. It didn’t matter if an Indian was in uniform wearing the Purple Heart or even wearing the Medal of Honor. He was not allowed in any of the Rapid City bars. It was a federal law vigorously enforced in the city.

The Main Street of Rapid City was lined with bars from 5th St. to 8th St. Bars such as The Roundup, Stockmen’s and Fitzgerald’s were popular watering holes on Main St., but no Indians or Blacks were allowed in them.

The story goes that an Indian man walked into Fitzgerald’s one day, plopped himself down at the bar and ordered a beer. The bartender said, “See the sign. No Indians allowed.” The Indian man replied, “I ain’t no Indian, I’m Mexican.” Mexicans were allowed in the Rapid City bars at the time. The bartender said, “Order your drink in Mexican.” The Indian man said, “Gimme one Beero.” Said the bartender, “Hit the bricks Indian.”"

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Tim Giago: They used to call them “Airdales� and “Flaps�

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