1918 April 1

Dyer Anti-lynching Bill Introduced in House


Rep. Leonidas Dyer, Republican of Missouri, introduced the first anti-lynching bill in Congress on this day. The following year, civil rights activists held the first national anti-lynching conference in New York City, on May 5, 1919. Initially, some leaders of the NAACP were reluctant to support a federal anti-lynching law, believing that it would not be constitutional. They changed their minds by the early 1920s, however, and a federal anti-lynching law became one of the major goals of the NAACP in the 1920s and 1930s. Despite decades of lobbying, however, Congress never passed a law making lynching a federal crime.

The U.S. Senate issued a formal apology on June 13, 2005 for never passing an anti-lynching law.

Rep. Dyer served in the House of Representatives from 1911 to 1933. Read his official House biography:http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=D000591

Learn more about the Dyer anti-lynching bill: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/dyer-anti-lynching-bill-1922

See the horrors of lynching: Dora Apel and Shawn Smith, Lynching Photographs (2007)

Read the 2015 report on the number of lynchings: Equal  Justice Initiative, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror (2015)

On the Anti-lynching campaign read: Robert Zangrando, The NAACP Crusade Against Lynching, 1900–1950 (1980)

Learn more about Rep. Dyer and the anti-lynching bill: Cameron McWhirter, Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America (2011)

Watch a documentary on the history of lynching in America: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYFqv_mRMPI

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!