Category Archives: Lest We Forget

On this day in history, May 23, 1796 — Ad Offers Reward for Return of Runaway Slave to President George Washington

On May 23, 1796, a newspaper ad was submitted for publication that sought the return of Ona “Oney” Judge, an enslaved black woman who had “absconded from the household of the President of the United States,” George Washington. Ms. Judge … Continue reading

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On this day in history, May 22, 1872 –Congress Restores Confederates’ Rights with the Amnesty Act of 1872

Even while the Civil War was in progress, the Union offered amnesty to Confederates in an attempt to encourage loyalty to the Union and begin the process of reconstruction. The Confiscation Act of 1862 authorized the President of the United … Continue reading

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On this day in history, May 20, 1961 — Mob Attacks Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama

On May 16, 1961, mob violence in Birmingham, Alabama, threatened to prematurely end the Freedom Ride campaign organized by the Congress on Racial Equality. The Nashville Student Movement, an interracial group of twenty-two college students studying in Tennessee, volunteered to … Continue reading

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On this day in history, May 19, 1994 — Justice Department Sues After Principal Threatens to Cancel Prom Due to Interracial Couples

On February 24, 1994, Hulond Humphries, principal of Randolph County High School in Wedowee, Alabama, announced at a student assembly that the school’s prom would be canceled if interracial couples attended. When a biracial student stood and asked whom she … Continue reading

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On this day in history, May 15, 1916 — Jesse Washington Brutally Lynched in Waco, Texas

On May 15, 1916, after an all-white jury convicted Jesse Washington of the murder of a white woman, he was taken from the courtroom and burned alive in front of a mob of 15,000. When he was accused of killing … Continue reading

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On this day in history, May 14, 1961 –Freedom Riders Attacked in Anniston, Alabama

The Freedom Riders, an interracial group of civil rights activists, began riding interstate buses in 1961 to test Supreme Court decisions that prohibited discrimination in interstate passenger travel. Their efforts were unpopular with whites who supported segregation. On Mother’s Day, … Continue reading

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On this day in history, May 13, 1956 — Four White Men Kidnap and Rape Black Girl in Tylertown, Mississippi

On May 13, 1956, sixteen-year-old Annette Butler of Tylertown, Mississippi, was kidnapped and gang raped by four white men. Ms. Butler and her family reported the assault and the men were arrested, jailed, and tried for the crime – a … Continue reading

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