November 3 - 1979 - The Greensboro Massacre

Throughout 1979, a group calling itself the "Workers Viewpoint Organization" had been organizing workers in textile mills around Greensboro. On November 3, after the group became the "Communist Workers Party," they held a "Death to the Klan" rally. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Ku Klux Klan and allied American Nazi party groups showed up to protest the protest, after which they opened fire with shotguns. In just 88 seconds, five protesters would be fatally shot, while eleven others would be injured, while just one Klansmen was injured. Television news cameras were rolling the whole time, capturing the entire affair. When a funeral took place eight days later, hundreds of National Guardsmen protected the funeral from further violence. Despite that, the Klansmen arrested in the aftermath of the shooting were all acquitted in a trial that concluded a year after the event. A Federal trial, charging even more Klansmen with violating the civil rights of the victims, also resulted in acquittals. The Klansmen argued they fired in self defense; the Communist Workers Party said they were politically targeted. Most strikingly, the police should never have allowed the Greensboro massacre.

William Floyd