The US-Dakota War, 150 Years Later

Mankato, Minn.,– 38 Dakota Indians were killed in 1862 after the US-Dakota War. This war is the topic for the public radio station This American Life’s podcast titled “Little War on the Prairie.” This podcast is even more important as it is the 150th anniversary of the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

Minnesotan man John Biewen and Minnesota State University, Mankato teacher, Gwen Westerman explain to us the true events of this historical event.

Facts about the war:

  • December 26, 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the war.
  • It was the largest mass execution in U.S. history, yet it is relatively unknown.
  • The execution method was a hanging which took place in downtown Mankato.
  • After five settlers were killed by Dakota men, the conflict grew and more support of the war was the outcome.

Biewen and Westerman go on to explain the the war was not something that abruptly happened and that many circumstances led to the actual war.

Dakota men from the US-Dakota War. Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

What led up to the war?

  • Thomas Jefferson encouraged the Native Americans to become so indebted to traders that their only option would be to sell their land.
  • Mistreatment and blatant lies led the Native Americans to damaging situations. For example, the treaty for the Traverse des Sioux was intentionally translated with important information left out.
  • Many people had their land taken away from them and were still in a large amount of debt.
  • The Native Americans were offered little to no help from the majority of settlers. One man allegedly said that they should eat grass instead of offering credit for food.

Dakota people held at Fort Snelling. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

These are only a few of the problems that led up to the war. The war lasted for 36 days and resulted in the death of many innocent people on both sides. It is important to note that not everyone was for the war and there are many cases of Native Americans protecting the people they knew.



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Helpful Social Media Tips from Professor Ellen Mrja

Follow these tips from Ellen Mrja for a better experience with Twitter and blogging.

Entering the world of social media can be a very difficult and tiresome task. There are many questions that people have and when given a good answer to these questions, Twitter and blogging, for example, can become a great tool for getting your ideas out there. Professor Ellen Mrja offers quick solutions to these questions that can give anyone a better understanding of social media.

First and foremost, she gives a list of Do’s and Dont’s. These helpful hints consist of the following:

  • Don’t give out lots of meaningless tweets in a short amount of time (and in general).
  • Don’t just rely on retweeting.
  • Do reply to people’s tweets and try to start a conversation.
  • Think of tweets as headlines: keep them interesting, to the point and sort of as a call for action (example: explain a charity and ask for donations)
  • Keep tweets under 120 characters so that others can add their handle on a tweet.
  • Don’t create a tweet that leaves the reader questioning what exactly the topic is.
  • Keep tweeting and keep things interesting! It will get easier very soon!

With these hints in mind, the Twitter experience can be much better.

She also explains ways to have blogging give a better outcome. Her first tip is the same as Twitter: Keep it up! There are many lurkers on the internet who read blog posts and tweets, but they do not comment. Check analytics and stats so that you can figure out who (also where they come from) and when people are viewing your posts.

To make your blogs more effective, it is important to use SEO keywords, search engine optimized. A helpful site that Mrja gave as an example was AdWord. Through this website you are able to see which keywords would help the best in the SEO sense. Remember, the larger the number on searches is more competition. So find a keyword is not so much competition so that your material is more likely to be seen.

Also be sure to use the Excerpt on a blog post. An Excerpt gives you another opportunity to describe a bit more what is going on in your post. It also gives you an opportunity to create more SEO material.

These are just a few of the tools that you can use to create good and higher viewed material for blogs and tweets. Social media is tricky, but when given the right tools and ideas like these from Mrja, it can prove to be a fruitful and very helpful tool for you and your career. Keep these things in mind and keep at it!


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Live Twitter Coverage

Yesterday I did a live Twitter coverage of the election results. It was not quite what I expected it to be. When I first began Twitter, I thought that it was a worthless thing that took way too much time. In other words, it was more hassle than it was worth. But last night I realized how handy it could be.
Throughout the results of the elections, I found that most channels and websites were slower than the other or the announcers were simply announcing things that weren’t true or they were projecting everything rather than reporting on it. But it was easy to just go onto Twitter and see what other people were saying about it.
I now have realized that Twitter deserves respect and I will now look at it in a different way. So keep that in mind, people: Twitter can be a great social media tool if used correctly.


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My own google map

Throughout my year abroad I visited cities and countries that opened my eyes to new opportunities life has.


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How to be a woman

Caitlin Moran, author of How to be a Woman, is renowned as a comedic feminist. In laymen’s term, she’s the British Tina Fey. She often says that her insights give a fresh and “in your face” idea of what feminism actually means. But is her approach to feminism what society really needs to make the feminist movement evolve and move forward? The Feminist Texan says “No!”

Many topics Moran brings up in her book are very important to the feminist movement. These topics are the basic ones that most people know and often bring up, such as openness with the truth about abortion and the media’s distorted version of women.

Moran does get a bit away from every day feminism by quoting a well-known (and often times a bit strange) feminist named Germaine Greer. Though Greer is very interesting, when Moran uses ideas such as having a taste of your own menstrual blood, I’m sure it is easy to see how many people are lost and jump off of that bandwagon. She also puts down women who will not label themselves as a feminist even though the majority of them do have feminist values. Her idea of a feminist is best described from this description:

“Here is the quick way of working out if you’re a feminist. Put your hand in your underpants.

a. Do you have a vagina? and
b. Do you want to be in charge of it?

If you said “yes” to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.”

Another bad point to Moran’s approach to feminism is shown in her somewhat “White Privilege” attitude. This is seen in her response to an interview that she had with Lena Dunham, creater of the show “Girls.” Moran was interviewed by Bitch Magazine but the interview was killed and never ran in the magazine.

Moran was questioned on Twitter if she had asked Dunham about the lack of women of color depicted in the show. The response that Moran gave was definitely inappropriate and made her outlook definitely have a white privileged appeal. Her response: “Nope. I literally couldn’t give a shit aboutit [sic].”

Though I do find Moran quite interesting, I definitely can see where The Feminist Texan is coming from. For an introduction to feminism, I, personally, find Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti to be much more applicable to people’s lives and it is sassy and in your face, but it is truthful and gives good explanations to feminist topics and problems.

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Preamble, Grievances and Pledge

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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HTML Tutorials

HTML Tutorials

About HTML

There is a lot more you can learn about HTML. And the best place to turn for complete information on any topic related to Web design is, of course, the Web. The following sites offer helpful tutorials so you can learn more about HTML.

HTML Tutorials

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