Students read about the Duluth lynchings, which occurred on June 15, 1920. Afterwards, they answer questions relating to the event and how it affected the people of the community.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Minnesota | Unit 8: Times of Changes" which will give students the opportunity to determine the impacts of the major social, cultural, and political changes that shaped the United States in general and Minnesota in particular during the early 1900s.
188.8.131.52.1: Describe how the major cultural and social transformations of the 1920s changed the lifestyle of Minnesotans.
- Class set of Duluth Lynchings handout
- Introduce the event of the Duluth lynchings to students. Explain to the students that a lynching is when a mob, or large group of people, kill someone (usually by hanging) without a legal trial.
- Distribute the Duluth Lynchings handout and instruct students to read the passage and answer the prompted questions in small groups. The passage can be read quietly or aloud in turns.
- Reconvene the class and discuss the answers.
- Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie and three other black men were suspected of attacking Irene Tusken after the circus performance and brought to jail.
- The National Guard was brought in. Many arrests were made. Many black people left Duluth. People formed a local branch of the NAACP, and an anti-lynching bill was signed into law.
- No, not for murder. Three mob members served time in jail after being convicted of rioting.
For information, visit: Minnesota Historical Society: The Duluth Lynchings