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The American-Dakota War of 1862 ended on December 26, 1862, when 38 Dakota men were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota, in the largest mass execution in the country’s history. Later, two other Dakotas were brought from Canada and executed.

Executions took place in southwestern Minnesota more than 160 years ago, but their memory lives on each December until the day after Christmas, when many gather in Mankato to honor and remember. Annually, a race and horseback ride honor ancestors, often against the brutal Minnesota weather.

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