July 27 - 1919 - The Chicago Race Riot
Throughout the summer of 1919, a series of race riots took place across the United States of America. Returning soldiers adjusting to civilian life, African-Americans working in new wartime jobs in Northern cities, and authorities worrying about Communism and Anarchism led to increased tensions everywhere. The violence hit Chicago that summer after a young black man named Eugene Williams floated over to a white beach on the informally segregated shores of Lake Michigan. White men would start throwing stones at him, which eventually caused his death by drowning. After police refused to arrest the stone thrower, mass violence broke out. At the drop of a hat, roving gangs of Irish-Americans attacked African-Americans and destroyed buildings in African-American neighborhoods. Fires, almost all of which would be deemed arson after the fact, made hundreds of families homeless. Some black families even decided to take trains back to the South. After the National Guard was brought in and quelled the riot five days later, 53 people were killed and hundreds were injured.