Today in History – December 29

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Massacre at Wounded Knee
Massacre at Wounded Knee

Massacre at Wounded Knee
Massacre at Wounded Knee

THUNDER BAY – December 29 in history.

The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Čhaŋkpé Ópi Wakpála) on the LakotaPine Ridge Indian Reservation in the U.S. state of South Dakota. On the day before, a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment which was commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside intercepted Spotted Elk’s band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butteand escorted them eight kilometres west to Wounded Knee Creek, where they made camp.

The remainder of the 7th Cavalry Regiment arrived, led by Colonel James W. Forsyth and surrounded the encampment supported by four Hotchkiss guns.

On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota.

One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot for it.

A scuffle over Black Coyote’s rifle escalated and a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry’s opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow soldiers. The Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking soldiers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.

By the time it was over, more than 200 men, women, and children of the Lakota had been killed and 51 were wounded (4 men, 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300.

Twenty-five soldiers also died, and 39 were wounded (6 of the wounded would later die).

Wounded Knee has gone down in the history as a place where the actions of the government against the Lakota warriors set in place a rallying point.

Significant Events on December 29

  • 1170 – Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church.
  • 1427 – Army of Ming dynasty started withdrawing from Hanoi, put an end to the domination of Đại Việt.
  • 1508 – Portuguese forces under the command of Francisco de Almeida attack Khambhat at the Battle of Dabul.
  • 1778 – American Revolutionary War: 3,000 British soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell capture Savannah, Georgia.
  • 1786 – French Revolution: The Assembly of Notables is convened.
  • 1812 – The USS Constitution under the command of Captain William Bainbridge, captures the HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three hour battle.
  • 1835 – The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.
  • 1845 – In accordance with International Boundary delimitation, United States annexes the Republic of Texas, following the manifest destiny doctrine. The Republic of Texas, which had been independent since the Texas Revolution of 1836, is thereupon admitted as the 28th U.S. state.
  • 1851 – The first American YMCA opens in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1860 – The first British seagoing ironclad warship, HMS Warrior is launched.
  • 1876 – The Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster occurs, leaving 64 injured and 92 dead at Ashtabula, Ohio.
  • 1890 – Wounded Knee Massacre on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 300 Lakota killed by the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment.
  • 1911 – Mongolia gains independence from the Qing dynasty, enthroning 9th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu as Khagan of Mongolia.
  • 1911 – Sun Yat-sen becomes the provisional President of the Republic of China; he formally takes office on January 1, 1912.
  • 1914 – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the first novel by James Joyce, is serialized in The Egoist.
  • 1930 – Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s presidential address in Allahabad introduces the two-nation theory and outlines a vision for the creation of Pakistan.
  • 1934 – Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.
  • 1937 – The Irish Free State is replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.
  • 1939 – First flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.
  • 1940 – World War II: In the Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe fire-bombs London, England, UK, killing almost 200 civilians.
  • 1949 – KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut becomes the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.
  • 1959 – Physicist Richard Feynman gives a speech entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom”, which is regarded as the birth of nanotechnology.
  • 1959 – The Lisbon Metro begins operation.
  • 1972 – An Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 (a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar) crashes on approach to Miami International Airport, Florida, killing 101.
  • 1975 – A bomb explodes at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, killing 11 people and injuring 74.
  • 1989 – Riots break-out after Hong Kong decides to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese refugees.
  • 1992 – Fernando Collor de Mello, president of Brazil, tries to resign amidst corruption charges, but is then impeached.
  • 1996 – Guatemala and leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity sign a peace accord ending a 36-year civil war.
  • 1997 – Hong Kong begins to kill all the nation’s 1.25 million chickens to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.
  • 1998 – Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over one million lives.
  • 2001 – A fire at the Mesa Redonda shopping center in Lima, Peru, kills at least 291.
  • 2003 – The last known speaker of Akkala Sami dies, rendering the language extinct.
  • 2006 – UK settles its Anglo-American loan, post-WWII loan debt.
  • 2012 – A Tupolev Tu-204 airliner crashes in a ditch between the airport fence and the M3 highway after overshooting a runway at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia, killing five people and leaving three others critically injured.
  • 2013 – A suicide bomb attack at the Volgograd-1 railway station in the southern Russian city of Volgograd kills at least 18 people and wounds 40 others.