Though the tangle of events played out 125 years ago — leaving some 200 Lakota men, women, and children dead at the hands of the U.S. Army — the massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890, remains a controversial chapter in America’s history. Government officials saw it as an act of war. Lakota survivors, their descendants, and American Indian advocates considered it premeditated murder.
The incident became a national news event, and scenes of the aftermath and images of leaders on both sides became sought-after subjects for photographers. These photographs became the best known primary documents available in the study of the massacre.
This new exhibit features more than 60 of those photos drawn from the Library of Congress, Denver Public Library, Nebraska State Historical Society, and other repositories as well as from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections.