Skip to main content

300-mile ride commemorating largest mass execution in U.S. history ends in Mankato

The annual memorial ride ends in Mankato, at the site of the mass execution of 38 Dakota men.

One hundred and fifty four years ago today, 38 Dakota people were hanged in Mankato as punishment for crimes U.S. authorities said they committed during the Dakota War.

It remains the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

And on Monday, 60 people on horseback will finish their 300-mile journey from Lower Brule, South Dakota, to Mankato to mark the 12th annual Dakota Wokiksuye Memorial Ride and remember the men who were hanged, according to the Indian Country Media Network.

The ride will finish Monday at Reconciliation Park, where there's a monument dedicated to the 38 men who were hanged on Dec. 26, 1862, the Mankato visitor's page says.

The execution came following the end of the Dakota War of 1862, MPR News said. After the Dakota surrendered, Col. Henry Sibley (who later became the first governor of Minnesota) put together some military men to prove the guilt (or innocence) of the accused Native Americans on their involvement in the war, according to the Minnesota Historical Society.

Originally, 303 men were sentenced to death. Abraham Lincoln narrowed the list to 39, because he felt that the number was too large and could cause further conflict, the historical society reports.

On the morning of Dec. 26, 1862, the 38 men (the 39th was given a reprieve) were hanged on a wooden scaffolding in front of 4,000 people. A drawing of the execution site can be seen here. A couple months later, two men who had fled from Minnesota were found and executed, the Indian Country Media Network says.

Next Up


After long wait, storms eventually cancel Duran Duran concert

The newly inaugurated Rock 'N Roll Hall of Famers were kicking off their North America tour in Minnesota.

ITT Tech

Student loans cancelled for 1,380 Minnesota ITT Tech students

President Joe Biden moved to cancel the federal debt this week.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 2.17.19 PM

Twine kills 2 young ospreys in Long Lake, Minnesota

One bird was found hanging by its leg from the nest.

Mindy Kiepe

5 Great Danes kill owner on northwest Iowa farm

The dogs were euthanized after the incident.

Becker Public Schools

School district sued by teachers' union over staff 'gag order'

The district has faced heightened scrutiny for months now.

Andrew Luger, former U.S. Attorney of Minnesota

After dozens of arrests, concern over rising 'militaristic' weapons on MN streets

The U.S. Attorney provided an update on the violent crime strategy in collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 1.31.41 PM

Outrage after ‘vote with bullets’ remarks from GOP Senate candidate

The candidate's comments were recently brought to light in a video recording.

State Patrol

2 killed after driver crosses center line near Silver Lake

A toddler in the vehicle survived the crash.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 4.12.14 PM

The answer to winter woes: St. Paul's upcoming Palm Springs-style supper club

Take a first look at inside the menu at The Apostle Supper Club.


Construction of the protested North Dakota pipeline will sort of get to go on

Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline will resume after a temporary halt was thrown out by a court of appeals.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

4-year-old girl killed by falling branch in Mankato is identified

She is from South Dakota, and was attending the Mahkato Annual Traditional Powwow.