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Lynch mob in Sherman touches off riot


On this day in 1930, an angry mob stormed the Grayson County courthouse in Sherman and lynched an African-American farm hand accused of raping a white woman. The ensuing riot was one of the earliest and worst examples of racial violence during the Great Depression, and initiated a flurry of similar incidents in Texas. Despite the efforts of a small detachment of Texas Rangers, including the legendary Frank Hamer, the mob burned the courthouse and most of the town's black business section, prompting Governor Dan Moody to impose martial law. Eventually, fourteen men were indicted on various charges, though lynching was not among them. By October 1931, only two of the fourteen had been convicted, one for rioting and the other for arson.

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