In 1917, white workers of the Aluminum Ore Company in East St. Louis went on a massive strike. This prompted the management of the company to employ African-Americans and a few other willing white people to work. And that decision started one of the deadliest riots in America.
On July 2, 1917, the East St. Louis, Illinois race riot erupted leading to the slaughtering of at least 100 African-Americans (some sources put the figure at nearly 200) with over 6,000 others left homeless. By comparison, eight whites died.
This riot, described as arguably one of the worst race riots of the early 20th century, involved mobs of whites attacking the African-American community, killing and burning down their houses while the police either stood by or arrested African-Americans.
The city of East St. Louis, Illinois was the scene of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 20th centuryBut the riots did not just start out of nothing. In February 1917, 470 African-American workers were hired to replace white workers who had gone on strike against the Aluminum Ore Company.