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3, July 2017

“A Stain on the Name of America”: The Nation Reacts

Welcome to our three-part series about the 1917 East St. Louis race riot. This post covers events after the riot. To find out what happened before it and during it, click here.

The two ends of Illinois smoldered in uncertainty on July 3, 1917. Read more »

2, July 2017

“This Was the Apocalypse”: East St. Louis, July 2, 1917

Welcome to our three-part series about the 1917 East St. Louis race riot. This post covers events during the riot. To find out what happened before it and its aftermath, click here.

In the evening of July 2, 1917, 11-year-old Freda McDonald was laying on the bed she shared with her siblings, studying the peculiar humming sound growing outside her family’s small shack on Gratiot Street, near downtown St. Louis. Read more »

1, July 2017

“A City without a Social Contract”: Tensions in St. Louis's Industrial Suburb

Welcome to our three-part series about the 1917 East St. Louis race riot. This post covers events leading up to the riot. To find out what happened during it and its aftermath, click here.

“Money tree . . . all you have to do is go up there and shake it.” That’s the visual impoverished Southern blacks used to describe East St. Louis in 1916, according to Lyman Bluitt, a local black doctor. Read more »

22, June 2017

Live-Tweeting the East St. Louis Race Riot of 1917

In less than 48 hours—from the evening of July 1, 1917, to midday on July 3, 1917—East St. Louis descended into one of the deadliest race riots in U.S. history. As many as 200 African Americans were killed, hundreds more were left homeless, and large sections of the city were ruined. The national response ranks among the foundational moments of the modern civil rights movement, but like much so of our region’s civil rights history, the East St. Louis race riot's legacy has faded outside of museums and history textbooks. Read more »