February 2018

Lest We Forget: The Lynching of Will Brown, Omaha’s 1919 Race Riot

A riot-crazed mob stormed the burning Douglas County Courthouse on September 28, 1919, and lynched an African American, Will Brown. The victim, accused of raping a white woman, had no opportunity to prove his innocence. Political boss Tom Dennison and his allies may have encouraged the lynching in order to discredit Mayor Edward P Smith, an advocate for reform.

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