Cincinnati Courthouse Riot

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Cincinnati is generally recognized as the conservative heart of Ohio. Yet, for For three days in 1884, Queen City citizens transformed their city into a war zone of deadly magnitude. From March 28 through March 30, 1884, law enforcement officers and Ohio National Guardsmen engaged in intense street fighting with mobs of Cincinnati residents that left more than forty people dead and over one hundred injured.
The Cincinnati Courthouse Riot was rooted in a corrupt political system that failed to control crime, which was rampant in the city during the late 19th century. Political leaders earned reputations for controlling elections and manipulating judges and juries in return for personal gain. Violent crime grew to such proportions in the 1880s that the ''Cincinnati Enquirer'' referred to the Queen City as a "College of Murder". By March 1884, Cincinnati residents had had enough.
When the violence ended and the smoke had cleared, fire had destroyed the courthouse. More importantly, approximately forty-five townspeople were dead and at least 139 wounded. The Guard suffered approximately forty casualties including two fatalities, one from a gunshot and one the result of an accident. Ironically, in a scheduled election that took place the following week, the people of Cincinnati voted to return to office candidates of the same political machine whose corrupt practices had triggered the Cincinnati Courthouse Riot.
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