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The dark, forgotten moments in American history



America has many skeletons in its closet. Some of them like MKULTRA or the witch trials in Salem are known. This is a look at the violent events that were almost forgotten.

10th The Dorr Rebellion, 1842

The Dorr Rebellion is a strange part of the history of Rhode Island. It was an uprising that first tried to change things by legislative means. When that failed, both sides took up the fight, but the sides never fought each other.

In the mid-1

9th century the state of Rhode Island was still ruled by its almost colonial charter 200 years ago. It was decided that only whites who own land should be allowed to vote.

This was not an issue in the 17th century, but as the Industrial Revolution got under way, more men moved to urban areas and lost their suffrage because they did not meet the requirements. Others were new immigrants who did not qualify either.

In 1841 the disenfranchised united under Thomas Wilson Dorr. First, they tried to reform the system from within. They held an extra-legal meeting and drafted a new constitution. In 1842, the voters known as Dorrites held their own elections and elected Dorr as their new governor. At the same time, Samuel Ward King was Governor of Rhode Island.

President John Tyler, who believes passionately in the rights of states, settled the matter himself. Therefore, Dorr's men besieged on 17 May 1842 the Providence Arsenal . They tried to open the fire, but their cannons did not work and so they went.

In June, Dorr reunited a rebel force. When he heard that the state army was much bigger, he disbanded his men and hid himself. He was arrested in 1843 and charged with high treason.

. 9 The Ludlow Massacre, 1914

Union disputes were once a common and often violent problem in the United States. Such conflicts led to deaths more than once, but few were more dreadful than the Ludlow massacre.

The event occurred during a strike by miners in Colorado. On the one hand, we had the workers who wanted more rights, better pay and better working conditions. On the other hand, there was a huge company that did not want it. In this particular case, it was Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF & I), owned by John Rockefeller Jr.

When the strike began, the organization's first step was to expel the miners, as most of them lived in corporate cities. The miners moved with their entire family in tent colonies directly in front of the mines. In response, Colorado Fuel & Iron commissioned the Baldwin Felt Detective Agency to protect strikebreakers.

The agents were nothing but hired muscles, running around in armored cars with machine guns mounted. "They were not above the opening of the fire at the slightest provocation, which is why most of the tents had unearthed pits to cover them.

Escalating violence between the two camps finally brought out the National Guard. Governor of Colorado, Elias Ammons, sent them in at the behest of Rockefeller. The Guard was there to end the strike once and for all.

On April 20, 1914, the fight broke out. Bullets were fired and tents burned down. It's hard to tell how many deaths there were, but the cruelest discovery was made later. Under one tent were the charred remains of two women and eleven children hiding in a pit.

. 8 The Battle of Athens, 1946

In the 1940s, McMinn County, Tennessee, was ruled by the corrupt political machine of Senator Paul Cantrell and sheriff Pat Mansfield. It took a decade before World War II veterans seized weapons and besieged the county jail to ensure fair elections.

A fee system has been introduced for the Sheriff Department. This meant that MPs were paid per arrest and this led to numerous abuses, many of them violent. The main targets for this mistreatment were veterans returning from the war. In 1946, the ex-soldiers founded the GI Non-Partisan League to propose candidates for election against Cantrell's political machine.

Of course, there was legitimate concern over electoral fraud, as in previous years. But veterans assured people that their votes would be counted as votes cast and assigned to GI election observers in all areas. To counteract this, Mansfield brought hundreds of other MPs to the county seat of Athens.

The violence began when a guard prevented a farmer named Tom Gillespie from voting because he was black. The deputy beat Gillespie with his knuckles and shot him in the back as he tried to run away.

Things degenerated quickly. Veterans began to arm themselves when Cantrell's gang began collecting ballot boxes and electoral districts. Both sides took with them members of the opposite camp prisoner.

The most rudimentary of the GIs were known as "fightin" and were led by Bill White. They surrounded the McMinn County jail, where Cantrell collected the ballot boxes to "count" the votes. They attacked the building with dynamite and secured the ballots until they could be confirmed by an outside party. Mansfield and Cantrell were able to escape in an ambulance, but lost the election when veteran Knox Henry was elected sheriff.

. 7 The Bonus Army, 1932

On July 28, 1932, President Herbert Hoover sent the military to deal with a group of World War I veterans who marched on Washington and called the Bonus Army.

Eight years ago, despite the veto The US government passed the World War Adjusted Compensation Act by then-President Calvin Coolidge. It granted bonuses based on the days of war, but only small amounts were paid out immediately. Anything that cost more than $ 50 was issued as a service certificate that was not redeemable until 1945.

This caused a problem when the Great Depression hit because people did not want to wait decades for their compensation. In 1932 veterans began to protest and demanded the immediate payment of their bonuses.

It's hard to tell how many veterinarians it was. Initially, only a few hundred were gathered by a former sergeant named Walter Waters. But they grew by thousands and later by tens of thousands. It is estimated that around 20,000 veterans and their families came to Washington at the height of the movement and settled in barrack cities.

President Herbert Hoover had no intention of yielding to their demands. First, he sent the police to disperse them. Tensions soon became violent and two demonstrators died . Later, he sent the army to permanently evacuate the barrack towns.

A squad commanded by General Douglas MacArthur used tear gas and bayonets to evict the demonstrators, then destroyed their camps. Hundreds more were injured, but there were no more deaths.

Four years later, Congress passed the Adjusted Compensation Act, which granted veterans immediate bonuses in the form of treasury bills.

. 6 The Revolt of Doctors, 1788

One of the first incidents of unrest in the United States following the American Revolution was the uprising of doctors. Despite the name, it was not the doctors who were upset, but the cause of the rampage due to the practice of body-snapping anatomical studies.

In New York City, the theft of corpses for dissection by so-called "resurrection fighters" was considered abhorrent by the public and the authorities, but many looked to the events. The officials were content to ignore the problem, as the body-hijackers targeted a black graveyard outside the city, home to the African Burial Ground National Monument. Even when a group of freedmen asked the city council for help, their request was ignored.

The tensions in the black community were great. There are several stories about what caused the uproar, but many are a group of boys who have seen something disturbing playing in front of the New York Hospital. In the most terrible version a surgeon allegedly struck the children with a severed arm and claimed that he belonged to the recently deceased mother of one of them. The boy told his father, who gathered an angry crowd and marched to the hospital.

The rioters searched the building completely. The next morning, the crowd got bigger and ran through the city looking for the doctors who were hiding. Eventually, there were clashes with the militia, which killed at least six and up to 20 people.

The following year, New York passed a law to stop the abduction of bodies and allowed executed criminals to be used for dissection. However, the practice could hardly be slowed down as demand far exceeded supply.

. 5 The Astor Place Riot, 1849

If we stay in New York, we look at the Astor Place Riot. With dozens of dead and hundreds more injured, it was one of the bloodiest revolts in the city's history. Allegedly, the uprising arose from a rivalry between two Shakespearean actors who acted as proxies for a class war between the New York elite and the working class.

Oddly enough, theater uprisings were relatively commonplace back then. When people wanted to protest against a particular policy or actor, they went on the show and caused a bit of commotion. They threw eggs or tomatoes on the stage, maybe a few chairs, then everyone went home and life went on.

Not this time. Protesters, mostly working class, supported American actor Edwin Forrest. However, his rival, British thespian William Charles Macready, played Macbeth at the Astor Opera House. The building itself was considered a symbol of elitism because of its high prices and strict dress code, which was only available to the upper classes of the city. Subsequently, Forrest supporters distributed leaflets reading "MEN WORKING, ARE AMERICANS, OR ENGLISH RULES IN THIS CITY?"

. At its encore, over 10,000 people gathered outside the Astor Opera House. Hundreds of soldiers were waiting for them, and when the collision became inevitable, they began firing at the crowd.

. 4 The Red Summer, 1919

Recently, a hundred years after the start of the Red Summer, we have marked a violent part of US history known for numerous race riots and lynches. In just a few months, scores of black and white violence cases were reported in numerous cities, killing at least 165 people and injuring hundreds of others.

were several factors that led to the growing resentment against the race. It was the beginning of the great migration of peoples as millions of blacks from the south moved to the developing urban areas of the northeast. Black soldiers came from overseas and were more determined than ever to fight against oppression. Red frighteners portrayed them as the perfect medium to bring Bolshevism to the United States.

The most notable event of the Red Summer was the Chicago Uprising in late July. It began after a black teenager named Eugene Williams stoned and drowned after swimming in a white-reserved area of ​​Lake Michigan. Violence erupted after the police refused to arrest the perpetrator. About 40 people were killed, 500 others were injured and 1,000 black families became homeless. The bloodiest episode occurred in Elaine, Arkansas. Hundreds of soldiers came from nearby Camp Pike with the order to shoot any black man who did not surrender immediately. They teamed up with local support groups and shot down at least a hundred, maybe over two hundred people.

. 3 The Battle of Blair Mountain, 1921

Although the Ludlow massacre was terrible, it was not uncommon for that time. The miners were determined to get better wages and working conditions and organized strikes across the country. West Virginia experienced a nine-year period between 1912 and 1921 called the West Virginia Coal War, which led to the largest uprising in US history since the Civil War.

He started the strike of Paint Creek-Cabin Creek in 1912. The scenario was almost identical to that in Colorado. Instead of meeting any demands, the mining companies drove the workers out of the cities that owned them and assigned Baldwin Felt agents to act as strikebreakers. They provoked the miners and eventually the situation became violent.

A few years later, and the same thing happened in 1920 in Matewan, Mingo County. Sid Hatfield, police chief of Matewan, was on the side of the strike miners. As reprisals Baldwin felt agents murdered him in front of a courthouse.

This proved to be the catalyst needed for the final mobilization of the miners. About 10,000 of them planned a march in the district of Mingo, but first had to pass through the district Logan. There, a staunch anti-union sheriff named Don Chafin organized a troop of 3,000 state police, MPs, and militia to fight the miners.

After several shots were exchanged, the heavy fighting began on August 31, 1921 and lasted three days. After one million fired shots and up to 100 casualties, President Warren Harding sent in the army, and most miners surrendered or dispersed home.

. 2 The Orange Riots, 1871

Sectarianism has often been a source of dissent and violence throughout United States history. In 1871, a conflict between Irish Protestants and Catholics escalated into a bloody fight on the streets of New York City, killing 60 people and wounding hundreds more.

The Order of Orange is a Protestant organization based in Northern Ireland. The most famous tradition is the Orange Walk, an annual parade celebrating the twelfth anniversary. The oranges go to the streets to celebrate the victory of the Protestant King William of Orange over the Catholic King James II. In the Battle of the Boyne. Even in modern times, the march is not always well received, especially if it ventures into areas with a strong Catholic presence.

Given the large number of Irish immigrants to America, new lodges of order were finally opened across the pond. On July 12, 1870, the orange people set off. They were probably fighting with the Irish Catholics, and despite police interference, eight people died in the conflict.

The following year, the Order of Orange planned to march again. Initially rejected, it was finally approved by New York governor John T. Hoffman with the promise of a National Guard escort to maintain peace.

Thousands of people walked, protected by 1,500 police officers and guardsmen. Violence broke out even faster than last year. When the mob threw stones and bottles at the demonstrators, the guard of the crowd opened the fire. With hundreds of dead and injured, the event became known as "Slaughter on Eighth Avenue".

. 1 The Californian Indian Catastrophe

"The white man's interest requires his extinction ." These were the words of John Weller several years before he became California's fifth governor in 1858. At that time, the state had already made concentrated efforts In order to eliminate the Californian aborigines, whose indigenous population decreased in less than three decades from 150,000 to 30,000 less, removed any kind of legal protection from someone with "half of Indian blood" or more. They were not allowed to vote or serve as jurors or lawyers or testify against whites in a lawsuit. A decade later, indigenous limitation became legal.

In the worst case, the government supported dozens of militia massacres. The lack of any impact inspired the vigilantes to kill thousands more. It has been estimated that up to 16,000 people were murdered in cold blood while the rest died of illness, starvation and the absence of any social services.

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