#TodayInHistory – December 29
December 29 – Some important events on this day
1170 👉🏼 English Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket assassinated before the high altar of Canterbury Cathedral by four knights
1835 👉🏼 Treaty of New Echota is signed between the US government and representatives of a minority Cherokee political faction to cede all lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.
It was US President Andrew Jackson’s policy to removing Native Americans from their ancestral lands to make way for settlers and speculators that led to the infamous Trail of Tears in the 1830s.
The Cherokees of Georgia initially tried legal means to resist the policy and actually won their case in the US Supreme Court. However President Jackson refused to acknowledge the judgement and 20,000 were eventually marched west at gunpoint. A quarter of their number would perish on the journey.
1845 👉🏼 Texas admitted as 28th state of the Union
1852 👉🏼 Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants
1860 👉🏼 The first British seagoing iron-clad warship, HMS Warrior is launched
1862 👉🏼 Bowling ball invented
1890 👉🏼 US 7th Cavalry massacre 200+ captive Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
The 19th century in America was full of conflicts between the emerging federal government and the Native Americans who had occupied the land before the arrival of European settlers. One such group of Natives was the Lakota, who the US government had steadily been seizing land from prior to the events at Wounded Knee.
An attempt had been made to arrest the famous Lakota Sioux chief Sitting Bull, but he was killed in the attempt. Led by another chief, Spotted Elk, a band of Lakota attempted to make for safety at Pine Ridge reservation, but they were intercepted by American cavalry and taken to Wounded Knee Creek, where a camp was established.
The following morning, December 29, 1890, the cavalry attempted to disarm the Lakota tribesmen. The exact sequence of events is not fully known, but it is believed that a Lakota named Black Coyote quarreled with soldiers when they attempted to take his rifle. Nearby Lakota started doing the ‘Ghost Dance’, a ritual of a religious movement the Americans had been trying to crush. Black Coyote’s gun went off and the Americans began firing at the Lakota, killing between 150-300, including around 200 women and children.
The massacre has been a hugely controversial event ever since. 20 soldiers received the Medal of Honor for their actions at Wounded Knee. In 1990, both houses of the US Congress passed a resolution expressing “deep regret” for the massacre.
1903 👉🏼 French Equatorial Africa separates into Gabon, Chad and Ubangi-Shari
1911 👉🏼 Sun Yat-sen elected 1st President of the Republic of China
1940 👉🏼 Worst German air raid on London as over 10,000 bombs including the 1st incendiary bombs are dropped on the city as part of the Blitz
1989 👉🏼 Václav Havel is selected to be president of Czechoslovakia by the Federal Assembly shortly after the Velvet Revolution
1997 👉🏼 Hong Kong begins slaughtering all its chickens to prevent bird flu