Race Riot in Cairo, Illinois

Date: 
Mon, 1967-07-17

On this date in 1967, three days of riots and protests occurred in Cairo, Illinois.

The incident began with a so-called jail house suicide of Pvt. Robert Hunt. He was a young Black soldier on leave in his hometown of Cairo. The alleged suicide fired up the town's African-American community. The police said Hunt had hanged himself with his T-shirt, but Cairo's Black residents had the evidence to challenge that story.

The suspicious death touched off three days of riots and protests, followed by a seven-year renewal of civil rights activities in the city, one of the latest, and longest-sustained such struggles in the nation at that time.

Reference:
Southern Illinois University,
Anthony Hall 220, mailcode 4344,
1265 Lincoln Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901
(618) 453-4551

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