September 21, 2023

Duckworth, Durbin Bill to Establish Springfield 1908 Race Riot National Monument to Be Considered by Full Senate

Bill to designate site moves closer to becoming law


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) celebrated the progress of their Springfield 1908 Race Riot National Monument Act after the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today favorably reported the bill out of committee. This bill now can be considered by the full Senate, bringing this legislation closer to becoming law and preserving this critically important moment in American history as a national monument.

“We are pleased the Springfield 1908 Race Riot National Monument Act moved closer to becoming law today because it means we are that much closer to protecting and preserving this critical historic site,” the Senators said. “We have been dedicated to preserving these important parts of our state and nation’s history and are committed to seeing the process through. Ensuring our National Park System honors civil rights events of extraordinary cultural and historical importance, such as the Springfield 1908 Race Riot, is long overdue, and we look forward to having this bill brought to a vote in the Senate soon.”

Duckworth and Durbin re-introduced the Springfield 1908 Race Riot National Monument Act this year, legislation to designate the site as a national monument. During the 1908 Race Riots, a mob of white residents murdered at least six Black Americans, burned Black homes and businesses and attacked hundreds of residents for no other reason than the color of their skin. In the aftermath of the riot, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed.

Earlier this year the National Park Service released its Special Resource Study for the proposed national monument site stating that this site met all the necessary criteria, and the National Park service testified favorably for the legislation in a hearing earlier this year, taking the rare step in declaring the Biden Administration’s strong support for Congress passing the legislation.