Vintage: Chicago’s 1919 race riot

Vintage: Chicago’s 1919 race riot


The riots began after an incident at a South side beach where an African-American teenager was killed, setting off five violence-filled days where dozens died and hundreds were injured. The rioting wasn’t quelled until Gov. Frank Lowden sent in 6,500 state militia troops to draw a line between the white and black districts. In the end, 23 African-Americans and 15 whites were killed. More than 525 were injured, two thirds of them black.

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A horde of young boys run to the corner where a young black man was being beaten during Chicago’s race riots of 1919. White youngsters drove out African-American residents by stoning their homes during the race riots. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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African-American men gather in front of Walgreen Drugs at 35th and State Streets during the 1919 race riots in Chicago. Police officers stand in front of the crowd. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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The state militia was called in to quell the violence on the south side of Chicago during the 1919 race riots. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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Police remove the body of a black man killed during the 1919 race riots. The five days of violence were sparked when a black teenager crossed an invisible boundary between the waters of the 29th Street beach, known to be reserved for whites, and the 25th Street beach, known to be reserved for blacks. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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A man armed with a machine gun sits at the Cook County Jail during the 1919 Chicago race riots. — Harry Atwell photo

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A black man is searched by Chicago Police in front of a crowd at an unidentified spot in Chicago during the 1919 race riots. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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The mounted police round up “stray” African-American’s and escort them back to a safety zone during the race riots in Chicago in 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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Crowds gather at 36th and State Streets, the center of the riot area, during the 1919 Chicago race riots. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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The state run militia patrols the streets of Chicago during the race riot of 1919. Photo dated Aug. 1, 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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Troops gather at 47th Street and Wentworth Avenue during the Chicago race riots in 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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A soldier tells a man to “back up” during the race riots in Chicago in 1919. The soldiers were in place to keep white people in their own district. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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The original caption for this photo reads: “These Negro policemen appeal for law and order. Detective Sergeants Middleton and Scott drive through riot area urging members of their race to get off streets and go home.” The photo was taken a day after the rioting began, July 28, 1919. Editors note: part of this print was hand-panted. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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The state militia was mobilized in Chicago at the height of the 1919 race riot. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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The state militia hold their ground at 47th and Wentworth Avenue during Chicago’s race riot of 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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The Zvonirnir Club at 2903 Wentworth Avenue was wrecked by rioters during the Chicago race riots of 1919. Photo printed on July 30, 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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The state militia march through Chicago during the 1919 race riots. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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Soldiers from the state militia talk with a man during the Chicago race riots of 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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A black resident of the south side moves his belongings to a safety zone under police protection during the Chicago race riots of 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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Heavily armed motorcycle and foot policemen stood at the ready for instant transportation to quell the rioting on Chicago’s south side on July 30, 1919. — Underwood & Underwood

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A police officer stands in front of Burke’s Lunch Room in the heart of Chicago’s business district. A black man was dragged out through a window and beaten to death on the sidewalk in front of the lunch room during the race riots of 1919. The hole in the window is covered up with a board. Photo dated July 30, 1919. — Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.

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Army trucks loaded with troops are rushed to the South side of Chicago to quell the race riot of 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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A soldier walks past a group of men during the Chicago race riots of 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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Many houses in the predominantly white stockyards district were set ablaze during the 1919 race riots. The five days of violence were sparked when a black teenager crossed an invisible boundary between the waters of the 29th Street beach, known to be reserved for whites, and the 25th Street beach, known to be reserved for blacks. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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Police armed with rifles walk their beat next to the ‘Black Belt’ during the Chicago race riots of 1919. Photo dated July 30, 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

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People look over the remains of a destroyed building in the Stock Yards neighborhood during the 1919 Chicago race riots. Photo dated Aug. 2, 1919. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

via Chicago Tribune


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