A look back at local, national and world events through Deseret News archives.

On May 8, 1973, militant Native Americans who had held the South Dakota community of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks peacefully surrendered.

“Militant Indians in Wounded Knee lay down their arms today, signaling an end to the 70-day occupation of the historic South Dakota hamlet,” reported the front page of the Deseret News on that day.

The May 9 front page:

But the narrative began in the late 19th century.

In late December 1890, the U.S. Army 7th Cavalry got into a skirmish with a group of Plains Native Americans, the incident escalated and the 7th Cavalry “decimated the Indian village of Wounded Knee. Some 300 Indians — mostly women and children — as well as 31 soldiers were killed.

“... It was the last armed conflict into the 30-year effort by the Army to subdue the Plains Indians,” historical accounts relate.

Then in 1973, a group of approximately 200 Oglala Lakota seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. The group chose the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre site for symbolic value, and the 70-day standoff attracted widespread attention.

A major reason for the confrontation was the group’s protest of what “they called corrupt management of Indian affairs on the reservation by the federal government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” the Deseret News article of the day reported.

Some remember the nonfiction book “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West,” by Dee Brown. The 1970 bestseller offered a realistic and well-researched account of Native Americans in the West in the 19th century.

Here are some of the Deseret News stories related to a difficult time in U.S. history, from myriad perspectives:

Utahn joins spiritual journey to Wounded Knee

View Comments

Tense FBI, AIM exchange during Wounded Knee talk

Sioux gather at Wounded Knee to mark centennial of massacre

Widow of civil rights activist wants him home

‘Wounded Knee’ author Dee Brown dies

We were there: See Deseret News front pages from 45 big moments in Utah, world history
Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.