May 1


May 1, 1866 The Memphis Riots of 1866 began after a shooting altercation between white policemen and black soldiers recently mustered out of the Union Army in Memphis, Tennessee. For three days, mobs of white civilians and policemen rampaged through black neighborhoods. A report by a joint Congressional Committee detailed 46 blacks and 2 whites killed, 75 persons injured, over 100 persons robbed, 5 women raped, and 91 homes, 4 churches, and 8 schools burned. No criminal charges were ever brought against any of the perpetrators of atrocities committed during the riots. The riots did result in major changes to the city’s police force.


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