“The Deadliest Mass Shooting in American History”


Was the Las Vegas shooting the “deadliest?”  Many people are calling it that.  My news station of choice–CNN–is calling it the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, but they are not saying which shooting in pre-modern American history was deadlier.

Over at Vox, German Lopez tries to makes sense of it all.  Here is a taste:

The short version: It was definitely the deadliest mass shooting in recent history. But if you look further back in the US’s past, the real answer depends on how you define a mass shooting.

The National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, for example, pointed to two past attacks as examples of previous massacres with higher death tolls than the Las Vegas shooting.

In 1873, an all-black militia defended a local courthouse in Colfax, Louisiana — fearing, at the height of racial tensions after the Civil War, that white supremacists were about to topple the regional government, which was evenly split between white and black citizens at the time. Soon after, a mob of more than 150 white men — made up of Southern Democrats, former Confederate soldiers, members of the Ku Klux Klan, and the paramilitary White League — surrounded the courthouse and attacked. Three white men and as many as 150 black men died, according to Smithsonian.com.

Another example: The 1917 East St. Louis Massacre — a white-led race riot — left at least 39 black people and nine white people dead, according to official estimates. But as Smithsonian.com noted, it’s widely believed that more than 100 black people were killed during the three-day massacre.

Read the entire piece here.  In the end, they were all horrific.

2 thoughts on ““The Deadliest Mass Shooting in American History”

  1. Another important event that doesn’t get mentioned much is the Tulsa Race Massacre, May 31-June 1 1921. Estimates of casualties at the hands of a highly armed white mob run as high as 300. Tulsa is still grappling with the fallout nearly a century later.


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