Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen heard next to nothing about the town’s most important historical event. In 1862, Mankato was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history – the hanging of 38 Dakota warriors – following one of the major wars between Plains Indians and settlers. In this documentary, originally produced for This American Life, John goes back to Minnesota to explore what happened, and why Minnesotans didn’t talk about it afterwards.
Image: The Minnesota State Seal, 1858
Download a transcript of the episode.
Key sources for this episode:
Gwen Westerman, Mni Sota Makoce
Mary Wingerd, North Country: The Making of Minnesota