1908 Springfield Illinios Race Riot Subject of Exhibit

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The reasons behind the infamous 1908 riots that rocked Illinois’ state capital, the history that followed, and how race relations remain an issue a century later are at the heart of a current exhibit in Springfield and talks planned this fall in the capital and Bloomington.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum offers in-depth analysis of the three-day riot with its exhibit, “Something so Horrible: The Springfield, Illinois, Race Riot of 1908.” It runs through October.

Using artifacts, photos, news reports and oral histories, the exhibit walks visitors through the tragic weekend in Illinois history, and how it led to the birth of the nation’s pre-eminent civil rights organization — the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“It presents a chapter in our history that most people would like to forget, but that we must remember so that we can avoid repeating those mistakes,” said museum spokesman David Blanchette...

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