Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 Exhibit Opens on June 30

2012 marks the sesquicentennial of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. On June 30, 2012, the exhibit, “The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862” will open at the Minnesota History Center.

Visitors of the exhibit will have the opportunity to examine evidence from the war, such as documents, images and artifacts from the Society’s collections. Visitors will learn about the broken treaties and promises that led to this disastrous chapter in Minnesota history. Accession records will accompany artifacts so visitors will know how they were acquired. “The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862” exhibit will include multiple viewpoints, including commentary from descendants of those touched by the war, as well as historical and contemporary voices. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will be encouraged to draw their own conclusions about what happened and why. Read more information at www.usdakotawar.org/exhibit.

“The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862” exhibit is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. Legacy funds are supporting a broad range of other initiatives in 2012 to commemorate the war, including:

Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byways Mobile Tour

By calling 1-888-601-3010 (from any location anywhere), the public will be able to listen to stories and multiple perspectives told by descendants of those touched by the war in this mobile tour of historic sites along the Minnesota River Valley. More stops will be added in 2013. More at www.usdakotawar.org/mobiletour.

The tour is funded by a grant from the National Scenic Byways Discretionary Grants Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

Oral Histories

Even 150 years after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, stories of this disastrous time in Minnesota history live on in people throughout Minnesota, the Upper Midwest and Canada. Minnesota Historical Society staff conducted interviews in homes throughout the Minnesota River Valley as well as in tribal community centers on Dakota reservations. Full transcripts and audio as well as selected quotes are available at www.usdakotawar.org/stories.

“Oral histories capture stories of families in their own words and they give us perspective unlike any other,” said Deborah Locke, project manager. “These histories are personal and heartfelt and the interviewees are passionate about their families' place in the story of Minnesota.”


A comprehensive list of community and Minnesota Historical Society events related to the U.S.-Dakota War are available at www.usdakotawar.org/events.

Community groups and organizations are invited to add their events related to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 to this page. Go to www.usdakotawar.org/events and click 'Add Event' to submit your event to this listing, as well as view all scheduled events and programs to date.


This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.