1919: Race Riots
On the afternoon of July 27, 1919, Eugene Williams, a black youth, drowned off the 29th Street beach. A stone-throwing melee between blacks and whites on the beach prevented the boy from coming ashore safely. Five subsequent days of rioting in Chicago ultimately claimed the lives of 23 blacks and 15 whites, with 291 wounded and maimed.
The Coroner’s Office spent 70 day sessions and 20 night sessions on inquest work and in examining 450 witnesses. Those findings, reported in the Coroner’s Report of 1919, were followed by his recommendations to deal with the social and economic conditions that were the underlying factors of the riots.
- Chicago Commission on Race Relations. The Negro in Chicago: A Study of Race Relations and a Race Riot »