SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD)– U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with the Springfield NAACP, including President Teresa Haley and other religious leaders over federal efforts to protect the 1908 Springfield Race Riot Site.

According to a press release, Durbin along with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), introduced the 1908 Springfield Race Riot National Monument Act, which would establish the site as part of the U.S. National Park Service.

In Jan. 2021, both senators penned a letter to then-President-Elect Biden asking him to declare the site a national monument.

The tragedy of the 1908 Springfield Race Riots is Illinois history that should never be forgotten. The NAACP was formed after this hate-fueled event and has gone on to protect and defend Black Americans across the country.  The protection of this site will allow future generations to learn from this event and honor the lives lost during the deadly riots.  This site would be a reminder of our commitment to fight prejudice and promote equality in Illinois.

Sen. Durbin

The 1908 Race Riot began after a black man was falsely accused of assault. When a mob arrived at the local jail to lynch the accused man, they discovered he had been sent north. The white mob would go on to murder at least six Black Americans, burn 40 black homes and businesses, and attack hundreds of black residents.