The Only Successful Coup d’état In American History, The Wilmington Coup, Left A Dark Stain On North Carolina’s History
Politics in North Carolina have a long history of unrest and unruliness. For those who closely follow current politics, a look back at an astounding period in the history the Old North State exposes an eye-opening, shameful revelation. For the last 121 years, a massacre in 1898 that was ultimately the result of political strategies within the City of Wilmington was conveniently billed as a race riot – when, in fact, it was a coup. Moreover, it is believed to be the only successful coup d’état in the history of the U.S.
But the most remarkable thing about the Wilmington Coup is how long it took for the truth about that ill-fated day for many North Carolinians to be acknowledged. Scores of African Americans were killed in a bloody massacre (as many as 300 people) and others were escorted or, more accurately, physically chased out of town. What follows is a short summary of what happened and why Wilmington will always have a dark stain looming overhead.
For more than a century, history books in schools throughout the Old North State have taught our children a more than slightly skewed version of the events that took place during the Wilmington Coup. What do you remember learning in school about this dark stain on North Carolina’s history?
Robin Jarvis is a travel and entertainment writer and editor for OnlyInYourState.com with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Her love for travel has taken her to many parts of the world. She spent more than two decades living on the coast in South Carolina and currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina - although she still makes it back to see family in South Carolina quite often. When she's not working, she loves to hike, kayak, and check out new adventures. Get in touch at [email protected]
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