This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 136 days remaining until the end of the year.
The Dakota War of 1862 (also known as the Sioux Uprising, Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 or Little Crow’s War) was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux or Dakota which began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota. It ended with a mass execution of 38 Dakota men on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota.
Throughout the late 1850s, treaty violations by the United States and late or unfair annuity payments by Indian agents caused increasing hunger and hardship among the Dakota. Traders with the Dakota previously had demanded that the government give the annuity payments directly to them (introducing the possibility of unfair dealing between the agents and the traders to the exclusion of the Dakota). In mid-1862 the Dakota demanded the annuities directly from their agent, Thomas J. Galbraith. The traders refused to provide any more supplies on credit under those conditions, and negotiations reached an impasse.
On August 17, 1862, four Dakota killed five American settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, but estimates range from 400 to 800. It is said that until the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the civilian wartime toll from the Dakota conflict was the highest in U.S. history (excluding those of the Civil War).
Over the next several months, continued battles between the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands. By late December 1862, soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing, 38 Dakota were hanged on December 26, 1862, in the largest one-day execution in American history. In April 1863 the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota. The United States Congress abolished their reservations.
986 – A Byzantine army is destroyed in the pass of Trajan’s Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron. The Byzantine emperor Basil II narrowly escaped.
1807 – Robert Fulton’s first American steamboat leaves New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.
1862 – Indian Wars: The Lakota (Sioux) Dakota War of 1862 begins in Minnesota as Lakota warriors attack white settlements along the Minnesota River.
1862 – American Civil War: Major General JEB Stuart is assigned command of all the cavalry of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
1863 – American Civil War: In Charleston, South Carolina, Union batteries and ships bombard Confederate-held Fort Sumter.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Gainesville – Confederate forces defeat Union troops near Gainesville, Florida.
1883 – The first public performance of the Dominican Republic’s national anthem, Himno Nacional.
1907 – Pike Place Market, the longest continuously-running public farmers market in the US, opened in Seattle.
1908 – Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, realized by Emile Cohl, is shown in Paris.
1914 – World War I: Battle of Stalluponen – The German army of General Hermann von Francois defeats the Russian force commanded by Pavel Rennenkampf near modern-day Nesterov, Russia.
1915 – Jewish American Leo Frank is lynched for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia.
1918 – Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky is assassinated.
1942 – U.S. Marines raid the Japanese-held Pacific island of Makin (Butaritari).
1942 – World War II: The U.S. Eighth Air Force begins regular combat operations in Europe with an attack on the marshalling yards at Rouen-Sotteville.
1943 – The U.S. Eighth Air Force suffers the loss of 60 bombers on the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission.
1943 – World War II: The U.S. Seventh Army under General George S. Patton arrives in Messina, Italy, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, thus completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.
1943 – World War II: First Quebec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King begins.
1945 – Indonesian Declaration of Independence.
1947 – The Radcliffe Line, the border between Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan is revealed.
1953 – Addiction: First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.
1959 – Quake Lake: Quake Lake is formed by the magnitude 7.5 1959 Yellowstone earthquake near Hebgen Lake in Montana.
1959 – Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, the much acclaimed and highly influential best selling jazz recording of all time, is released.
1960 – Decolonization: Gabon gains independence from France.
1962 – East German border guards kill 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall.
1969 – Category 5 Hurricane Camille hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage.
1970 – Venera Program: Venera 7 launched. It will later become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet (Venus).
1978 – Double Eagle II becomes first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.
1980 – Azaria Chamberlain disappears, probably taken by a dingo, leading to what was then the most publicised trial in Australian history.
1982 – The first Compact Discs (CDs) are released to the public in Germany.
1988 – Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.
1998 – Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admits before the nation that he “misled people” about his relationship.