Lawmakers introduce bill to establish 1908 race riot as National Monument in IL

Lawmakers introduce bill to establish 1908 race riot as National Monument in IL
Sen. Durbin introduced the bill with fellow Sen. Duckworth

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the Springfield Race Riot National Monument Act, which designates the 1908 Race Riot Sites in Springfield as a national monument.

It would be managed by the National Park Service.

“The 1908 Race Riot Sites are of extraordinary cultural and historical importance to our State and to this Country,” Duckworth said. “By designating this area a national monument, we will help ensure that the painful lessons learned here will not be lost for the generations of Americans to come while helping make our nation’s public lands more representative of all the people who helped build our country.”

“The 1908 Springfield Race Riots are a part of Illinois’ history that will never be forgotten. In the aftermath of this violent, hate-fueled tragedy that resulted in the murder of six African Americans, the NAACP was born. The organization has played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement during the decades that followed the riots, and continues to be a powerful voice for African Americans in the civil rights issues of our time.” said Durbin. “I’m proud to support the establishment of a Springfield Race Riot National Monument, which would honor the lives lost by these hate-filled crimes and allow future generations to learn from this event. My hope is that designating this area as a National Monument would also help renew our commitment to fighting prejudice and promoting equality in Illinois.”

At least 6 African Americans were murdered in the riots.

"I am excited about seeing the 1908 Race Riot Site As A National Monument become a reality,” Teresa Haley, NAACP Illinois State President, said. “This is a part the Black History that needs to be preserved and shared with everyone. Especially since it led to the established of the oldest Civil Rights Organization in the world. An organization that I’m proud to serve as the NAACP IL State President as well as the Springfield Branch President.”

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