In Moore v. Dempsey, the Supreme Court ruled that twelve African Americans in Arkansas had been unfairly tried and convicted of murder based on a “wave of public passion.” The case was returned to the Arkansas court, which eventually freed the defendants.
The Second Mississippi Plan was devised by the Mississippi legislature to avoid honoring the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments without attracting federal intervention. The plan included a residency length requirement, poll tax, literacy test, and clean criminal record requirement. The Second Mississippi Plan successfully disfranchised most African Americans in that state.
President Woodrow Wilson attended a White House screening of D. W. Griffith’s new film, The Birth of a Nation. The film, based on the novel The Clansman by Thomas Dixon, celebrated the Ku Klux Klan and presented racist portrayals of African Americans. Wilson reportedly called the film “terribly true.” Fervor created by the film contributed to race riots and violence against African Americans throughout the nation, as well as the revival of the Ku Klux Klan.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a race riot broke out over the alleged attack against a white female elevator operator. Armed white mobs gathered in the city’s African American neighborhood of Greenwood and burned down homes and businesses and indiscriminately murdered black residents. More than 300 people were killed and 1,200 homes destroyed, leaving many surviving black families homeless.