June 13, 2005: The U.S. Senate apologized to lynching victims and their families for their failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation during the first part of the 20th century.
From 1890 to 1960, at least 4,700 Americans, over 3,000 of whom were African-Americans, were lynched during a time when the Senate failed to act on hundreds of anti-lynching bills.
The resolution, initially introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Sen. George Allen, R-Va., apologized to the victims and their descendants “for the failure of the Senate to enact anti-lynching legislation.”
To the surprise and outrage of the resolution’s supporters, more than a dozen senators declined to sign on as co-sponsors. Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., did not require a roll-call vote on the resolution, so the debate was scheduled to begin after normal working hours.
With nearly 200 descendants of lynching victims observing the proceedings from the visitors’ gallery, the Senate approved the measure by voice vote.
The resolution was passed Senate without amendment. It declares that the Senate:
- Apologizes to the victims and survivors of lynching for its failure to enact anti-lynching legislation.
- Expresses its deepest sympathies and most solemn regrets to the descendants of such victims, whose ancestors were deprived of life, human dignity, and the constitutional protections accorded to U.S. citizens.
- Remembers the history of lynching, to ensure that these personal tragedies will be neither forgotten nor repeated.
Finish reading the original post on
Daily Black History Facts