Norwegians Discover the South Pole

December 14, 1911

Norwegian Ronald Amundsen and his team of five are the first humans to reach the Geographic South Pole on December 14, 1911. They are five weeks ahead of their British rivals, led by Robert Falcon Scott, who perish on the return journey. Despite Amundsen’s clear victory, the story of Scott’s team’s heroic tragedy will eventually eclipse the Norwegian achievement.

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Sitting Bull Murdered

December 15, 1890

Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake in Standard Lakota Orthography, also nicknamed Slon-he or “Slow”), a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man and revered Native American tribal chief, is killed by Indian agency police while being arrested on December 15, 1890.

Sitting Bull’s arrest is ordered to prevent his fleeing the reservation to support the Ghost Dance movement, a new religion which has evolved in reaction to Native Americans’ forced submission to government authority and reservation life.  Around 5:30 a.m. on December 15, thirty-nine Indian agency police officers and four volunteers approach Sitting Bull’s house and lead him outside. When he refuses to mount a horse, the police use force and shooting erupts from the crowd that has gathered. Sitting Bull is shot in the head by Sergeant Red Tomahawk and drops to the ground.

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