In Waco, a Push To Atone for The Region's Lynch-Mob Past

WACO, Tex. -- Two memorials stand on the site of one of the most notorious incidents in the history of this central Texas city. One commemorates the 114 lives lost in the tornado of 1953; the other, the 1897 shootout between a newspaper editor and a local judge who offended the journalist's Baptist sensibilities.

But Heritage Square, as the downtown plaza is known, is also where 17-year-old Jesse Washington was tortured and lynched on May 15, 1916. The act of mob violence was so gruesome that it was dubbed the "Waco Horror" in Texas newspapers. National and European periodicals noted the event of a black farmhand dragged through city streets, mutilated, burned alive and lynched outside City Hall before the mayor, the police chief and 15,000 cheering townspeople.

Ninety years later, despite some opposition, a group of Waco residents and the city's white business establishment have decided it is time to make amends not only for Washington's lynching but also for "the history of mob violence in Central Texas."

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jimmy ray thomason - 6/29/2007

Sorry,I never heard of these events. I do,however,clearly remember the federal governments assault on the Branch Davidians there. I hope it wont take another 90 years to atone for that. This doesn't relate to the story presented but neither does the 1953 tornado.

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