War in Europe brings opportunity and conflict at home
Background to a massacre
When order was more-or-less restored after three days of murder and destruction of black-owned businesses, many by fire, (the mob’s first act was to cut off access to water meant to fight fires), bodies of the dead littered the streets of East St. Louis.
Formal pleas to President Woodrow Wilson, asking for a formal investigation of the riot were met with claims that not enough evidence warranted an official response. In October, a trial was held in Illinois for twenty-five blacks and ten whites on charges ranging from murder to inciting a riot.