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Sunday, July 2, 2017

On This Day, July 2, 1917---Missouri and National History

Just some of the state and national history our society seems to go out of the way to NOT teach us.

1917 East St. Louis race riot, destruction

This photo ran in the St. Louis Star on July 3, 1917 with the caption: “Where the charred bodies of eight negroes burned in their homes at Eighth Street and Broadway were found today.” The bodies of some Black victims were buried in a common grave, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Others were thrown into Cahokia Creek which ran between downtown and the riverfront railyards. (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Bowen Archives).

Blacks in East St. Louis were beginning to come in from the Southern United States and were taking jobs, yes, at lower wages, from Union members. The white Union members would have nothing of it.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch did a fantastic series of articles on this important time and group of events.

Archive article: 'Several hundred Negroes brought across river'
Keep in mind, too, this East St. Louis event, this massacre, this slaughter, was far from the only one in our nation's history. Here are two more, anyway.

Keeping in mind, too, that the national disgrace that was the "Trail of Tears", where we displaced thousands of Native Americans, from East to Oklahoma, also went through Southern Missouri. In fact, it went right through what is now downtown Springfield. 

I know that, as I went through grade school and high school, at no point during those years was it taught this history, that this abomination went through the Southern part of our state, Missouri.

So yes, let's know our national history.

All of it.

Maybe especially now, this time of year, around our Independence Day when we only remember how good and great we are.

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