Massacre at Wounded Knee, 125 Years Ago Today

From This Week in History, the peace and justice history calendar of

December 29, 1890. The U.S. Army killed approximately 300 Oglala Sioux at Wounded Knee, in the new state of South Dakota. The 7th Cavalry (Custer’s old command) fired their artillery amidst mostly unarmed women, children, and fleeing men. The Wounded Knee Massacre was the final major military battle in the genocide against Native Americans. 18 soldiers received Congressional Medals of Honor for their “bravery.”

Encroaching white settlement after gold was found in 1874 on Sioux lands led to conflicts. The Great Sioux Agreement of 1889 established reservations for the native inhabitants and encouraged further white settlement on Indian land.

Puck Mag color

Published Jan. 21, 1891 in Puck magazine, this cartoon depicts Uncle Sam’s benevolence toward foreigners while murderous of the Sioux at Wounded Knee.


Big Foot at Wounded Knee

The frozen corpse of Big Foot, taken January of 1891, days after the December 29 massacre. Northwestern Photo Co. image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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