August 13 - 1906 - The Brownsville Affair
The 25th Infantry Regiment was an all-African-American regiment of the United States Army who had just recently been transferred to Fort Brown, near Brownsville, Texas, after serving with distinction in Cuba and the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. When a bartender was shot and killed in Brownsville during a shootout on August 13, 1906, the townspeople of Brownsville blamed members of the 25th Infantry Regiment. The evidence for the soldiers' participation was pretty thin. They had reported back to barracks before a curfew on the night in question. Shell casings from guns said to have been only available to the soldiers of the 25th were proven to be planted. Furthermore, the Fort's officers backed the soldiers. Still, local officials sought to blame the 25th Infantry Regiment's soldiers, and despite these charges amounting to nothing, the entire chain of command got involved. Eventually, 167 members of the 25th Infantry Regiment were dishonorably discharged by President Theodore Roosevelt for participating in a "conspiracy of silence."