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Wounded Knee refers to an area in South Dakota where two armed conflicts involving Native Americans occurred: the massacre of Native Americans by the U.S. Army in 1890 and the standoff between demonstrators in support of Native American issues and government authorities in 1973. This entry discusses both of these conflicts.

Massacre of 1890

On December 29, 1890, U.S. troops, largely members of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, under the command of Major Samuel M. Whitside and Colonel James W. Forsyth, killed more than 200 members of a Lakota band of Native Americans led by Big Foot at the Wounded Knee vicinity of South Dakota. The soldiers began firing in an attempt to disarm Big Foot’s people, but the continued and indiscriminate shooting demonstrated that the encounter ...

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