City of New Orleans to Issue Proclamation of Apology for Largest Lynching in United States History

Mar 27, 2019 12846

The City of New Orleans will be issuing an official Proclamation of Apology on April 12, 2019, regarding the largest lynching in United States history. Following the murder of New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy on October 16, 1890, several Italian immigrants were arrested without just cause. Nine of the 19 men who were indicted went to trial, which resulted in six acquittals and three mistrials (because the jurors couldn't agree on a verdict).

In reaction to this, on March 14, 1891, a mob formed outside of Parish Prison. The rioters broke inside and dragged 11 Italian immigrants out of the prison. Those 11 Italians were hung, shot, and/or clubbed to death in the city streets—marking the largest lynching in United States history.

Five of those who were killed had not even been tried in court. Eight of the wrongfully imprisoned Italian immigrants survived the lynch mob by managing to hide in the prison itself. Afterward, the charges against them were dropped, and they were set free. In the end, 11 Italian immigrants were lynched for a murder that was never solved, and those who were guilty of the lynching were never arrested and brought to justice.

The Presentation of the Official Proclamation of Apology for this tragic event will be made by the Mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell on: Friday, April 12, 2019 @ 11:00 a.m. AMERICAN ITALIAN CULTURAL CENTER 537 South Peters Street New Orleans, Louisiana

For more information, contact: Michael A. Santo, Esq. (516) 551-5503

The Commission for Social Justice would like to recognize New York CSJ State Chair John Fratta and Michael Santo, Esq., for their efforts in making this Proclamation possible. Founded in 1905, the Order Sons & Daughters of Italy in America is the oldest and largest organization for men and women of Italian heritage. Its anti-defamation arm, the Commission for Social Justice, was founded in 1979 and combats the stereotyping of Italian Americans by the entertainment, advertising, and news industries.



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