This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
December 29 is the 363rd day of the year (364th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are two days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1890, the Wounded Knee Massacre took place near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Cankpe Opi Wakpala) on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
In the years prior to the Massacre, the U.S. Government continued to coerce the Lakota into signing away more of their lands. The large bison herds, as well as other staple species of the Sioux diet, had been driven nearly to extinction. Congress failed to keep its treaty promises to feed, house, clothe and protect reservation lands from encroachment by settlers and gold miners; as well as failing to properly oversee the Indian Agents. As a result there was unrest on the reservations.
On December 28, the day before the massacre, , a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside intercepted Spotted Elk’s (Big Foot) band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them 5 miles westward (8 km) to Wounded Knee Creek where they made camp.
The rest of the 7th Cavalry Regiment arrived led by Colonel James 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 opening firing indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow troopers. Those few Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking troopers, 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, at least 150 men, women, and children of the Lakota Sioux had been killed and 51 wounded (4 men, 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300. Twenty-five troopers also died, and thirty-nine were wounded (6 of the wounded would also die). It is believed that many were the victims of friendly fire, as the shooting took place at close range in chaotic conditions.
More than 80 years after the massacre, beginning on February 27, 1973, Wounded Knee was the site of the Wounded Knee incident, a 71-day standoff between federal authorities and militants of the American Indian Movement.
The site has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
1170 – Thomas Becket: 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 Roman Catholic Church.
1778 – American Revolutionary War: 3,500 British soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell capture Savannah, Georgia without firing a shot.
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.
1813 – British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York during the War of 1812.
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 – According with International Boundary delimitation, U.S.A annexes the Mexican state of Texas, following the Manifest Destiny doctrine. For others, the Republic of Texas is admitted as the 28th U.S. state.
1851 – The first American YMCA opens in Boston, Massachusetts.
1860 – The first British seagoing iron-clad warship, HMS Warrior is launched.
1876 – The Ashtabula River Railroad bridge disaster occurs, leaving 64 injured and 92 dead at Ashtabula, Ohio.
1890 – United States soldiers kill more than 200 Oglala Lakota people with four Hotchkiss guns in the Wounded Knee Massacre.
1911 – Sun Yat-sen becomes the provisional President of the Republic of China; he formally takes office on January 1, 1912.
1911 – Mongolia gains independence from the Qing dynasty.
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.
1940 – World War II: In The Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe fire-bombs London, killing almost 200 civilians.
1949 – KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut becomes the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.
1959 – The Lisbon Metro begins operation.
1959 – Physicist Richard Feynman gives a speech entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom”, which is regarded as the birth of nanotechnology.
1965 – Filming began on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in England.
1966 – The Beatles start the recording session that would become the hit single Penny Lane at Abbey Road Studio.
1972 – An Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 (a Lockheed Tristar) crashes on approach to Miami International Airport, Florida, killing 101.
1975 – A bomb explodes at La Guardia 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 Union 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 1 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.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Constitution Day (Ireland)
* The fifth day of Christmas (Western Christianity)