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First-of-its-kind website reveals painful chapter in Minnesota and American history


Fri, Oct 12th, 2012
Posted in All Arts & Culture

The Minnesota Historical Society has launched a unique, comprehensive website enriched with video, audio and interactive tools to illuminate a profoundly important time in Minnesota and U.S. history, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

The site, www.usdakotawar.org, is designed for teachers, students, researchers and everybody else interested in the broader national causes of the war, the war itself and its far-reaching consequences.

The website reveals stories of survival, resilience and healing and it uses primary sources, oral histories, maps, multiple perspectives and interactives to tell the history of the war, its causes and its aftermath. The public is invited to join discussions and also to post their family history related to the war in the “Share Your Story” section of the website.

“This comprehensive website will help people in Minnesota and beyond learn--in a new way--about an incredibly important time in state and U.S. history,” said Rose Sherman, Chief Information Officer for the Minnesota Historical Society. “And because the site uses video, audio and interactives tools, we’re confident it will engage middle and high school students with this history.”

In this final phase of the website, visitors can learn about the Dakota homeland, newcomers to Minnesota, treaties, the war and it’s aftermath and the Dakota nation today. The first phase of www.usdakotawar.org was launched in March 2012.

2012 marks the 150th year since the U.S.-Dakota War was fought over six weeks in Southwestern Minnesota, resulting in hundreds dead, the Dakota exiled from their homeland and the largest mass execution in U.S.history: the hangings of 38 Dakota men in Mankato. The war’s causes began decades earlier and the impact of the war is still felt today.

Throughout this year, the Minnesota Historical Society is offering many new ways to learn about the war, its causes and its aftermath, including an exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. Visit www.usdakotawar.org for a list of all initiatives, events and resources for commemorating and learning about the war.

Many projects and programs related to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 are made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.

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