The First & Last Deaths in Chicago’s Race Riot

On Saturday, August 9, 1919, the Cook County coroner issued his report on Eugene Williams’ death. Williams was the Black teen whose death in Lake Michigan on July 27 marks the beginning of the two weeks of racist violence that we know as the Chicago Race Riot.

There was another tragic milestone August 9. That evening Henry Goodman, whose death was officially counted as the last riot related killing, died of tetanus.


Writer. Formerly civil rights attorney. Currently professor. Working on new book about mental disability and criminal law in the 20th century.

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