Allen, South Dakota is a small town located in the southwest of the state. Despite its size, there have been several significant historical events that have taken place in and around the town. Here are seven of them:
1. Wounded Knee Massacre - On December 29, 1890, the United States Army killed approximately 250 Lakota Indians, including women and children, in what is known as the Wounded Knee Massacre. The event took place just 15 miles northwest of Allen and marks one of the deadliest conflicts between Native Americans and the U.S. government.
2. Battle of Slim Buttes - The Battle of Slim Buttes took place on September 9-10, 1876, between the U.S. Army and a combined force of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians. The battle, which occurred about 50 miles northeast of Allen, was a significant victory for the Indian tribes and marked one of the few times they were able to successfully resist U.S. expansion into their territories.
3. Discovery of the Allen Fossil Beds - In 1890, scientists discovered a significant paleontological site in the Allen area that contained fossils from the Oligocene epoch. The Allen Fossil Beds were designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975 and continue to be studied by researchers today.
4. Creation of Pine Ridge Reservation - In 1889, the Pine Ridge Reservation was created by the U.S. government as a home for the Oglala Lakota tribe. The reservation encompasses much of the land surrounding Allen and is an important cultural and historical site for the Lakota people.
5. Birthplace of Red Cloud - Red Cloud, one of the most important Lakota leaders in history, was born near Allen in 1822. He played a significant role in resisting U.S. expansion into Lakota territory and negotiated the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868, which guaranteed the Lakota control over the Black Hills.
6. Establishment of Fort Robinson - Fort Robinson was established in 1874 near present-day Crawford, Nebraska, about 60 miles southeast of Allen. The fort played a significant role in the U.S. government's efforts to control the Lakota and other Native American tribes in the region.
7. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Protests - In 1973, members of the Oglala Lakota tribe, along with members of the American Indian Movement, occupied the town of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The occupation lasted for 71 days and was a significant protest against the U.S. government's mistreatment of Native Americans.
While Allen, SD may be a small town, it has played an important role in the history of Native Americans and the United States as a whole. These seven historical events serve as a reminder of the struggles and triumphs of the past, and the important role that Allen and its surrounding areas played in shaping that history.
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