Dakota men hanged in 1862 honored in Mankato

Published On: Dec 26 2012 09:33:00 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 26 2012 03:29:38 PM CST
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) -

Hundreds of people have turned out in Mankato to mark the 150th anniversary of the hanging of 38 Dakota men -- the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

A new "Dakota 38" memorial was dedicated during the nearly two-hour ceremony in Reconciliation Park Wednesday.

The Free Press of Mankato reports up to 500 people packed the area. About 60 horse riders rode in for the ceremony, and a group of Dakota runners from Fort Snelling also arrived.

Mankato resident Bud Lawrence helped start the reconciliation effort in the 1970s. Lawrence calls it "a great day, not only for the Dakota but for the city of Mankato."

The hangings on Dec. 26, 1862, marked the end of the U.S.-Dakota War that took place along the Minnesota River valley that fall.