Anti-Lynching Legislation in US History

Warren_G_Harding-Harris_&_Ewing

Warren G. Harding in 1920

On October 26, 1921, President Warren G. Harding traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to participate in the city’s fiftieth-anniversary celebration.  The Republican Harding, just seven months into his first term, was immensely popular.  But the speech he gave that day was soon condemned by the Birmingham Post as an “untimely and ill-considered intrusion into a question of which he evidently knows very little.”

What did Harding say that so offended the local newspaper?  After marveling at Birmingham’s industrial development, the President broached the subject of race relations.  Harding reminded the audience that black Americans had served just as honorably as whites in the recently completed world war, stating that their service brought many African Americans their “first real conception of citizenship – the first full realization that the flag was their flag, to fight for, to be protected by them, and also to protect them.”  He went on to condemn the lynching of black men and women and told the citizens of Birmingham that their future could be even brighter if they had “the courage to be right.”

Read the rest of the article at We’re History.



Categories: African American History, United States History

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: