90 years after the a young, black man was hanged and burned alive in their city square in front of a crowd of 15,000 people, the Waco City Council approved a resolution, Tuesday, June 20, 2006 condemning lynchings that occurred in the city’s past. Waco was the scene of one of the most brutal lynchings in U.S. history, an event that became known as the “Waco Horror“.

The Handbook of Texas Online says,

“Of the 492 lynchings that occurred in Texas between 1882 and 1930, the incident that perhaps received the greatest notoriety, both statewide and nationally, was the mutilation and burning of an illiterate seventeen-year-old black farmhand named Jesse Washington by a white mob in Waco, Texas, on May 15, 1916 – an event sometimes dubbed the “Waco Horror.”

“We are appalled and grieved by heinous lynchings and other forms of violence that created a culture of fear and injustice,” the council said in the resolution. “We recognize that past mob actions hurt our city in ways far beyond the brutal murders, as they deprived our community of broad citizen participation and created a stigma that we strive to overcome.”

The resolution did not mention specifically the 1916 lynching of Jesse Washington, a 17-year-old black man who was killed after an all-white jury convicted him in the death of a white woman.


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