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This Town In Arkansas Has A Dark And Evil History That Will Never Be Forgotten

Today the city of Elaine is a small, sleepy city on the Arkansas delta. In the fall of 1919, however, it was a nightmare. The Elaine Massacre of September 30 through October 2 of 1919 was the deadliest racial conflict in Arkansas history and may well be the single deadliest in the history of the United States. It’s impossible to confirm that because sources disagree on the scale of the massacre. All that can be absolutely confirmed is that the African American casualties numbered in the hundreds.

Though the headlines from the time never called the events at Elaine a massacre, and a very different narrative was put forth by the officials interviewed at the time, the facts are indisputable, horrific, and overwhelmingly sad. The Elaine Massacre is a dark mark on Arkansas’s history, and it will not be forgotten. For a more complete retelling of this gruesome story, please visit the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. This video is also informative:

J.B. Weisenfels
J.B. Weisenfels has lived in rural Arkansas for three decades. She is a writer, a mom, and a graduate student. She is also an avid collector of tacky fish whatnots, slightly chipped teapots, and other old things. In her spare time she enjoys driving to the nearest creek to sit a while. If you were to visit her, she'd try to feed you cornbread.