Duluth Lynchings 100 Year Anniversary Marked with Week of Remembrance

For immediate release

Release dated: 
June 5, 2020
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, Strategic Communications, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org
Julianna Olsen, Strategic Communications, 651-259-3071, julianna.olsen@mnhs.org

Duluth Lynchings 100 Year Anniversary Marked with Week of Remembrance

MNHS partners with local historians and community leaders for online programs

On June 15, 2020, it will be 100 years since a white mob lynched Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie, three black men who had been falsely accused of a crime in Duluth. To mark this anniversary MNHS is holding a week of remembrance June 8-15, 2020. 

In the wake of George Floyd’s death and ongoing community unrest, we can look to history to help us build a deeper understanding of this moment—and take inspiration from the stories of the many men and women who have fought for justice and equity. 

"Through this remembrance we hope that people will develop greater understanding and empathy for those who suffer the violence of racial persecution,” said Avi Viswanathan, MNHS director of the Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement.  “And we hope that people will be inspired to take action and do something to support our communities and make systemic change.” 

The week of remembrance runs June 8-15, 2020, and includes:

  • June 10, 7 p.m. - Live conversation with Michael Fedo author of "The Lynchings in Duluth" and Augsburg Professor of History Dr. William Green about the history of African Americans in Minnesota and how racism has played out in the state over time. 
  • June 15, 12:30 p.m. - Premiere of a compilation video featuring perspectives from Minnesota historians, celebrated authors, and prominent community members.
  • June 8-15 - Daily history social media posts and clips from oral history interviews with black Minnesotans who lived in or near Duluth at the time of the lynchings.

All programs will be presented on the MNHS Facebook page and are free. For more information about the history of the Duluth lynchings, visit www.mnhs.org/duluthlynching

Additional events organized by the Clayton Jackson McGhie memorial group can be found at claytonjacksonmcghie.org/.

About the Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at mnhs.org.