Senate Bill Passes Crucial Committee Vote for 1908 Springfield Race Riot Site To Become National Monument

By Benjamin Cox on September 23, 2023 at 9:47pm

Image of the aftermath of the 1908 Race Riot.

A bill to make a Springfield historic site a national monument is moving forward in the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources moved the Springfield 1908 Race Riot National Monument Act favorably out of the committee.

This bill now can be considered by the full Senate, bringing this legislation closer to becoming law and preserving the site.

Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin reintroduced legislation this year to designate the site as a national monument. Parent legislation has been repeatedly introduced by 16th District Congressman Darin LaHood. 13th District Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski recently also signed on to the legislation as chief sponsor in the U.S. House. The bill was also pushed by former 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis.

The Springfield site documents the 1908 race riots that saw white residents burn Black owned homes and businesses, resulting in 6 deaths. In the aftermath of the riot, the NAACP was formed.

Earlier this year the National Park Service released its Special Resource Study for the proposed national monument site stating that this site met all the necessary criteria, and the National Park service testified favorably for the legislation in a hearing earlier this year, taking the rare step in declaring the Biden Administration’s strong support for Congress passing the legislation.