A century later, Atlanta remembers '06 race riotBreaking News
It was the third day of the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot, the worst outbreak of racial violence in the city's history. Whites had done almost all of the bloodletting so far, and authorities feared blacks were plotting reprisals.
As they headed back for the jail with their prisoners, the posse noticed figures lurking in the shadows. An officer ordered them to put up their hands. Someone pulled a trigger. Guns crackled and flashed for five minutes. A white cop and at least two black residents fell dead.
At the Fulton County Courthouse the next morning, one of the policemen, John Oliver, gave an account of the battle to a gathering that included a reporter for The Atlanta Evening News. After the shooting started, he told them, he spotted a man with a gun coming toward him and fired.
"I found him this morning. I had shot him in the stomach. He was an old negro and had a muzzle-loading musket."
The "old negro" was probably George Wilder, disabled veteran who lived with his wife on nearby Moury Avenue. At 70, he was a former slave who had fought with the Union Army at the end of the Civil War. Thought to be the oldest Atlantan to die in the riot, he lies under a broken tombstone barely a mile from where he was shot to death.
Wilder's grave has become a focal point for a group of Atlantans who plan to commemorate the riot centennial this week. The Coalition to Remember the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot — representing an array of local colleges, governments, and cultural and faith groups — is staging a four-day remembrance that will be part symposium and part town hall meeting.
comments powered by Disqus
- Watch every presidential debate since 1960
- Clinton-Trump Debate Expected to Be Rare Draw in a Polarized Age
- Obama hails opening of the African American Museum
- Palestinians' Abbas seeks British apology for 1917 Jewish homeland declaration
- Anger as Churchill's home turned into Hitler HQ for Transformers 5
- Karl Dietrich Bracher, German Historian of Nazi Era, Dies at 94
- Allan Lichtman predicts Trump will win
- Doris Kearns Goodwin scores an interview with Barack Obama
- Art historian Kellie Jones wins a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant
- Historians note that prisoners have been treated inhumanely throughout American history