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Sand Creek Massacre: 150th Anniversary Events Begin Tomorrow at National Historic Site

On Wednesday, December 3, after five days and 170 miles, the fifteenth annual Sand Creek Massacre Healing Run will end with a ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol, where descendants of Arapaho and Cheyenne tribe members killed at Sand Creek will join with more tribal representatives, historians, politicians and other supporters in commemorating the 150th anniversary of that dark chapter in Colorado history. See also: Photos of the 2013 Sand Creek Massacre Healing Run

On November 29, 1864 Colonel John Chivington led a troop of 675 volunteers and regular Army officers in a dawn raid on a camp of Cheyenne and Arapahoe along Sand Creek in southeast Colorado territory -- who'd camped there because officers at nearby Fort Lyons said they would be safe there. Instead, upwards of 150 Cheyenne and Arapahoe -- most of them women, children and elderly men -- were killed, and after looting and mutilating the bodies, the troops traveled to Denver, showing off their trophies.

At dawn tomorrow, descendents of the survivors will gather on Monument Hill at the Sand Creek Massacre Historic Site for a private ceremony remembering the massacre. Here's the schedule for the rest of the day from the National Parks Service:

9 a.m.-noon: U.S. Postal Service representative will be available to cancel letters with the 150th Year Remembrance of the Sand Creek Massacre postal cancellation stamp.

10- 10:30 a.m.: "The Sand Creek Massacre." Join a park ranger in the picnic area for this insightful discussion on the surprise attack on the Cheyenne and Arapaho village, which occurred 150 years ago.

Noon-12:30 p.m.: "And Still He Stayed." Join a park ranger in the picnic area for this interesting talk on Cheyenne Peace Chief Black Kettle. Who was he? Why is he remembered today?

1 p.m.: Monument Hill reopens to the public. Visitors are welcome to explore the park on their own or join speakers in the picnic area for a brief discussion on the importance of the day and background for establishing the park.

The public is invited to the town of Eads to attend the following programs:

3 and 5 p.m.: Join park staff at the Crow Luther Cultural Events Center in Eads for a preview of two new film documentaries on the Sand Creek Massacre. Films will be shown to the public free of charge.

The fifteenth annual Healing Run will begin at 7 a.m. Sunday, November 30, at the Sand Creek Massacre Historic Site.

But you don't need to travel to Eads to mark this anniversary. Keep reading for more Sand Creek Massacre activities this weekend.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun

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