EL PASO SALT WAR, 1877

El Paso’s salt mines, located about a hundred miles east of the city, had long been used by local Indians and Chicanos.  In 1877, two local political factions struggled for control of the deposits; these were the so-called “Salt Ring” led by District Judge Charles Howard, the group that tried to gain private control of the mines, and the “Anti-Salt Ring” of Antonio Barajo and Luis Cardis, which opposed privatization.  Continue reading EL PASO SALT WAR, 1877

THE OMAHA COURTHOUSE LYNCHING OF 1919

The infamous Omaha Courthouse Lynching of 1919 was part of the wave of racial and labor violence that swept the United States during the “Red Summer” of 1919. It was witnessed by an estimated 20,000 people, making it one of the largest individual spectacles of racial violence in the nation’s history. The Great Migration brought tens of thousands of African Americans to northern industrial cities—including Omaha, Nebraska, which saw … Continue reading THE OMAHA COURTHOUSE LYNCHING OF 1919

FORT PILLOW MASSACRE (1864)

On April 12, 1864, some 3,000 rebels under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest overran Fort Pillow, a former Confederate stronghold situated on a bluff on the Tennessee bank of the Mississippi, some 40 miles north of Memphis. The garrison consisted of about 600 Unionsoldiers, roughly evenly divided between runaway slaves-turned-artillerists from nearby Tennessee communities and white Southern Unionist cavalry mostly from East Tennessee Continue reading FORT PILLOW MASSACRE (1864)