In the real world ... well, how about more than 200?
It doesn't necessarily take a shadowy government conspiracy to orchestrate a mass cover-up -- sometimes all it takes is lots of ordinary people with an intense desire to forget all about something unspeakably horrible and victims who are powerless to do anything about it.
After a calm chat, the armed men convinced Joe (lower right) to keep quiet and not die.
Way back in 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a young black man named Dick Rowland tripped in an elevator and fell into a teenaged white girl named Sarah Page. Now, again, this was 1921, and the only crime worse than being black was being black and touching a white girl. Rowland was arrested, and whispers of a lynching began to spread among the whites in the community. You should note here that Tulsa was also home to what was known as the "Black Wall Street," a large area of the city where affluent African-Americans had done quite well for themselves. And the only crime worse than being black and touching a white girl back then was being black and successful.
The day after his arrest, an angry white mob showed up outside Rowland's cell wearing their very best Sunday lynching clothes. An angry black mob, meanwhile, showed up to protect him. A single gunshot went off, and what followed was the worst race riot in U.S. history. Fighting spread like wildfire, not to mention the actual fire: white pilots from the nearby airport took off and firebombed black neighborhoods, giving Tulsa the proud distinction of being the only city in the lower 48 states other than New York City to have experienced an aerial attack.
University of Texas
New Jersey's continuous attack by its own air doesn't count.
At the end of the 16-hour massacre, 39 people were officially recorded as dead, Tulsa's two black hospitals were destroyed, and the entire 35-block area known as "black Wall Street" was razed to the ground. At that point, the town almost immediately tried to scrub the event from history. There's evidence that Tulsa, anxious to forget what had just happened, crudely buried bodies in mass graves or tossed them into coal mines or the Arkansas River. The laughably low 39 deaths stood as the official toll for almost 80 freaking years, before an in-depth investigation in the late '90s suggested that it was actually at least 300, making the Tulsa Race Riot "the worst single act of domestic violence on U.S. soil since the Civil War."
And we're going to bet you've never heard of it before today.
Consider Jacopo's novel The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy required reading the moment you finish this article. Buy a copy today.
For more unsettling conspiracies, check out 7 Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened and 6 Mysterious Deaths That'll Make You Believe in Conspiracies.
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