The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on December 29, 1890, and remains one of the darkest chapters in American history. The event resulted in the slaughter of 300 Native Americans after they were surrounded and soldiers took their weapons away at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota.
The massacre started after the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry entered the camp of Lakota ghost dancers and ordered them to give up their weapons or they would be forced to relocate. A scuffle ensued between a deaf Lakota named Black Coyote and a soldier. At which point, someone started shooting, causing the group to scatter.
The soldiers hunted down and killed the men, women and children as they ran away helplessly. The bodies were stripped of clothing and buried in a mass grave a few days later. The Army lost 25 men in the event – twenty more were awarded the Medal of Honor. The U.S. government called the massacre “the end of the race war between the Native Americans and the whites”…
Many activists for Native Americans have requested withdrawal of the medals awarded for this horrible event, but this has not yet been honored by Congress. Currently, the Lakota are pushing to have the tribe’s version of the massacre included in the official memory and are attempting to gain compensation for the descendants of those who were murdered.