ST. PAUL -- This Monday will mark the 100th anniversary of the Duluth lynchings. It was on June 15th in 1920 when a white mob lynched Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie, three black men who had been falsely accused of a crime.

To mark the anniversary the Minnesota Historical Society is holding a week of remembrance.

Avi Viswanathan is the Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement. He says for a long time it was a dark part of Duluth's past that residents tried to bury.

This history was largely forgotten or pushed aside for a number of years, but a gentleman by the name of Michael Fedo wrote a book called "The Lynchings in Duluth" that really brought back the history and really informed a lot of people about this event.

Today you can see a memorial honoring the three men in downtown Duluth and visit their gravesites in Park Hill cemetery.

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

Viswanathan says they've been working on the week-long commemoration for a year now, but the timing in the wake of the death of George Floyd has certainly given the milestone even more meaning.

The current events happening is a tragic coincidence but it's also telling a story that violence and racism against the black community faced 100 years ago is still present in our communities and society today.

The Minnesota Historical Society is posting on Facebook oral history interviews with black Minnesotans who lived in or near Duluth at the time of the lynchings.

AM 1240 WJON logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

20 of the Hardest Lake Names to Pronounce in Minnesota

More From AM 1240 WJON