Duckworth & Durbin Call on Biden Administration to Establish 1908 Springfield Race Riot National Monument (Washington, DC) – In a press release received today, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) called on President-Elect Biden to establish a national monument in remembrance of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot.
The 1908 Springfield Race Riot began when a mob seeking to lynch 2 accused murderers became enraged when they found that the sheriff had moved them out of the city. The mob of about 5,000 whites attacked the predominately black neighborhoods and attacked black citizens, leading to the death of at least 16 people. The riot was only quelled with the help of the state militia. The 1908 Springfield Race Riot is said to be an important impetus of the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The press release by Senators Duckworth and Durbin is below:
“U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) are calling on the incoming Biden administration to declare the site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot in Springfield, Illinois, as a national monument to be managed by the U.S. National Park Service. The riot was the catalyst for the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Duckworth and Durbin have been longtime supporters of creating a national monument at the site, introducing the Springfield Race Riot National Monument Act in 2019 to help increase the number of National Parks devoted to recognizing the histories of diverse peoples and cultures.
“‘Establishing the 1908 Springfield Race Riot National Monument would represent long overdue progress in making sure the National Parks System properly memorializes the historic events of the African-American civil rights movement,’ the Senators wrote. ‘The NAACP was instrumental in pushing our nation forward to form a perfect union by helping establish justice and working to secure the blessings of liberty for Black Americans.’
“During the 1908 Springfield Race Riots, a mob of white residents murdered at least six African Americans, burned black homes and businesses and attacked hundreds of residents for no other reason than the color of their skin. During an excavation as part of the Springfield High-Speed Rail project, foundations and artifacts from homes destroyed during the 1908 Springfield Race Riot were uncovered. An agreement with community members was reached in 2018 to excavate the remains and designate the uncovered site a memorial.”
Duckworth & Durbin Call on Biden Administration to Establish 1908 Springfield Race Riot National Monument