June 14, 2019

Duckworth Tours 1908 Race Riot Memorial Site


[SPRINGFIELD, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) toured the 1908 Race Riot excavation site in Springfield today to observe the excavation process of the site Duckworth has proposed to be a national monument. The Springfield Race Riot National Monument Act, which Duckworth introduced this February, designates the site a national monument to be managed by the National Park Service. With less than a quarter of National Parks devoted to recognizing the histories of diverse peoples and cultures, designating the 1908 Race Riot Site a National Monument will guarantee that public lands reflect the diversity of the country. Photos from today’s tour are available here.

“The 1908 Race Riot Sites are of extraordinary cultural and historical importance to our State and to this Country,” Duckworth said. “Those on the ground spearheading this effort know what I do: that we need to do everything we can to ensure that the lessons learned in 1908 won’t be lost for the generations of Americans to come. By designating this area a national monument, we will help make our nation’s public lands more representative of all the people who helped build our country.”

During the 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. The riot was the catalyst for the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). During an excavation as part of the Springfield High Speed Rail project, foundations and artifacts from homes destroyed during the Springfield 1908 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