On this day, March 28, in 1884, vigilantes stormed the courthouse in Cincinnati in one of the most destructive riots in American history.
The rioters were outraged that a jury returned a verdict of manslaughter in the slaying of their employer, a livery stable owner. The mob wanted a murder conviction.
Thousands stormed the jail and tried set it on fire. Five people were killed.
The next morning, the Cincinnati Enquirer applauded the violence with the headline: "At Last The People Are Aroused And Take The Law Into Their Own Hands, Enraged Community Rises In Its Might."
The riots grew worse over the next several days. By the time the violence was quelled, more than 50 people were killed and a fire had totally gutted the Hamilton County Courthouse.
- Scott McCabe