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Archive for Sunday, December 4, 2011

100 years ago: Football game erupts into street fight

December 4, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Dec. 4, 1911:

"Lawrence came near being the scene of a riot yesterday evening. The trouble started at a football game that was played at Woodland Park yesterday afternoon between a colored and a white team. At the game it is said that one of the white players struck a negro and a general mixup ensued. The trouble was taken up by those on the sidelines and it is said that knives were brought into play. However, no one was injured and the two rival parties came to town. Here the trouble started again. The colored element quickly formed themselves into a mob on the main street and for a little while controlled things, even the officers. A little liquor appeared on the scene and seemed to urge the mob on to continued its reckless actions.... The trouble occurred when there were but a few people on the street; however, the mob was quick in forming and grew rapidly after the trouble was fairly started. The negroes were greatly in the majority although there was no disposition to make trouble on the part of but a few of them. The others divided themselves into bystanders and peace makers but the latter were few and had a hard job on their hands.... Mayor Bishop arrived and several officers soon afterwards and the band broke up and disappeared as if by magic. The police watched the depots all night in search of the trouble makers but they were unable to find them. Two of those who were in the mob were taken in by Officer Daily but were almost immediately released."

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