On this day in 1862...


Thirty-eight men convicted of crimes during the U.S.-Dakota War are hanged by the federal government in Mankato.

The hanging is the largest mass execution in American history, and was ordered directly from President Abraham Lincoln.

The 38 men, all Dakota Indians, were found to have murdered 490 white settlers including women and children, in a war that was essentially over after six weeks once Minnesota's first governor, Henry Sibley, captured 2,000 Dakota and sentenced 303 of them to death.

After the war, most of the one million Dakotans, who were upset that many of the treaties they were promised were broken by the federal government, ended up having to vacate most of their land in Minnesota.

The war is thought to have changed the dynamic of the state and shape it into what it is today.

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