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The [Tuesday] Papers

"The Chicago race riot of 1919 was a major racial conflict that began in Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1919 and ended on August 3," a heavily footnoted and sourced Wikipedia entry says.

"During the riot, thirty-eight people died and over five hundred were injured. It is considered the worst of the approximately 25 riots during the Red Summer, so named because of the violence and fatalities across the nation.The combination of prolonged arson, looting, and murder was the worst race rioting in the history of Illinois."

Richard J. Daley was almost certainly one of the rioters.

From American Pharaoh by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor:

On July 27, 1919, these tensions exploded when six black teenagers went swimming in the wrong part of Lake Michigan. Young Eugene Williams drifted too close to a "white" beach on the South Side, and drowned after being hit by a rock thrown by a white man standing on the shore. False rumors spread rapidly through both the white and black communities. Blacks reported that a policeman had held a gun on a black crowd while whites threw stones; whites spread word that it was a white swimmer who had drowned after being hit by a rock thrown by a black. Five days of bloody riots ensued, from July 27 to July 31, followed by another week of intermittent violence. White gangs roamed the South Side, attacking blacks indiscriminately, and whites drove through the Black Belt shooting at blacks out of car windows.

Black gangs wandered through black neighborhoods, beating up white merchants. In the end, it took the state militia and a driving rainstorm to bring about a tense peace. But before the hostilities had died down, 23 blacks and 15 whites had been killed, and another 537 injured, two-thirds of them black.

The seventeen-year-old Daley was, at the very least, extremely close to the violence. Bridgeport was a major center of riot activity: by one estimate, 41 percent of all the encounters occurred in and around Daley's neighborhood. South Side youth gangs, including the Hamburg Athletic Club, were later found to have been among the primary instigators of the racial violence. "For weeks, in the spring and summer of 1919, they had been anticipating, even eagerly awaiting, a race riot," one study found. "On several occasions, they themselves had endeavored to precipitate one, and now that racial violence threatened to become generalized and unrestrained throughout Chicago, they were set to exploit the chaos." The Chicago Commission on Human Relations eventually concluded that without these gangs "it is doubtful if the riot would have gone beyond the first clash." It is also clear that Joseph McDonough, patron of the

Hamburg Athletic Club and later Daley's political mentor, actively incited the white community at the time of the riots. McDonough was quoted in the press saying that blacks had "enough ammunition . . . to last for years of guerrilla warfare," and that he had seen police captains warning white South Side residents: "For God's sake, arm. They are coming; we cannot hold them." At the City Council, McDonough told police chief John J. Garrity that "unless something is done at once I am going to advise my people to arm themselves for protection."

Was Daley himself involved in the bloody work of the 1919 race riots? His defenders have always insisted he was not, arguing that it would have been more in character for him to be attending to "his studies" or "family affairs" while much of the Irish-Catholic youth of Bridgeport were out bashing heads. But Daley's critics have long "pictur[ed] him in the pose of a brick-throwing thug." It strains credulity, they say, for Daley to have played no part in the riots when the Hamburg Athletic Club was so heavily involved - particularly when he was only a few years away from being chosen as the group's president. Daley's close ties to McDonough, who played an inflammatory role, also argue for involvement. Adding to the suspicions, Daley always remained secretive about the riots, and declined to respond to direct questions on the subject. It was a convenient political response that allowed Daley to play both sides of the city's racial divide: whites from the ethnic neighborhoods could believe that Daley was a youthful defender of the South Side color line, while blacks could choose to believe the opposite. Daley's role, or lack of role, is likely lost to history, in part because the police and prosecutors never pursued the white gang members who instigated the violence. At the least, it can be said that Daley was an integral member of a youth gang that played an active role in one of the bloodiest antiblack riots in the nation's history - and that within a few years' time, this same gang would think enough of Daley to select him as its leader.

Back to Wikipedia:

"Tensions escalated when a white police officer did not arrest the white man responsible for William's death but arrested a black man instead. Objections by blacks were met with violence by whites. Attacks between whites and blacks erupted swiftly. At one point, a mob of white men threatened Provident Hospital, many of whose patients were African American."


"The riot lasted for nearly a week, ending only after the government deployed nearly 6,000 National Guard troops. They stationed them around the Black Belt to prevent further white attacks. By the night of July 30, most violence had ended.[9] Most of the rioting, murder, and arson was the result of ethnic whites attacking the African-American population in the city's Black Belt on the South Side."


"[O]n July 31, more than 30 fires were started in the Black Belt before noon and were believed to be due to arson. Rioters had put cables across the streets to prevent fire trucks from entering the areas. The mayor's office was told of a plan to burn down the black area and run its residents out of town."


"A white gang looking for African Americans during the Chicago Race Riot of 1919."

Chicago-race-riot.jpg"Chicago-race-riot." Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


"An African American man was stoned to death by whites during the Chicago Race Riot of 1919."

Chicago_Race_Riot_1919_stoning.png"Chicago Race Riot 1919 stoning" by Chicago Commission on Race Relations. Negro in Chicago: The Negro in Chicago; a study of race relations and a race riot (1922) - New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


"United States President Woodrow Wilson pronounced white participants the instigators of the prolonged riots in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

"As a result, he attempted to promote greater racial harmony through the promotion of voluntary organizations and through the enactment of legislative improvements by the United States Congress.

"He did not change the segregation of federal departments which he had imposed early during his first administration, however.

"The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 shocked the nation and raised awareness of the problems caused by whites that African Americans faced every day in the United States."




Related: The Beachwood Radio Hour #54: Reading The Rekia Boyd Case.

Manslaughter or murder, a black woman is dead and the cop who killed her walked.


From Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos:

Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night's property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American's civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids' game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

FTW indeed.





The Beachwood Reporter Tip Line: The big game.


Posted on April 28, 2015

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