142 years ago today, 17 Chinese immigrants were lynched in the Los Angeles Chinese Massacre, the largest mass lynching in U.S. history.
The story was such a big deal that it superseded the Great Chicago fire on the front page of the New York Times. And then it promptly disappeared. None of the white settlers involved in the violence were brought to justice. Those tried had their convictions overturned due to a legal technicality. If that sounds fishy, it’s because it was.
Though the powerful and wealthy in frontier L.A. wanted the story covered up, historians and scholars have been able to unearth a lot about the what, how, and why of that night. A colorful history, from the L.A. Weekly. (CW: graphic descriptions of violence, images of bodies.)