Hundreds turned out Wednesday in Mankato, Minnesota to mark the 150th anniversary of the hanging of 38 Dakota Sioux men, the largest mass execution in U.S. history.
A new "Dakota 38" memorial was dedicated during the nearly two-hour ceremony in Reconciliation Park. Up to 500 people packed the area and about 60 horse riders rode in for the ceremony. A group of Dakota runners from Fort Snelling also arrived.
Mankato resident Bud Lawrence helped start the reconciliation effort in the 1970s. Lawrence calls it "a great day, not only for the Dakota but for the city of Mankato."
The chairman of Nebraska's Santee tribal council, Roger Trudell, said it's a piece of the nation's past that not many people have learned. He said almost all of the Santee people are direct descendants of those killed in the hangings.
The hangings on December 26, 1862 marked the end of the U.S.-Dakota War that took place along the Minnesota River valley that fall.