That’s what called an understatement. It’s also the title of the Wednesday, June 18 through Tuesday, June 24 “This Week in Texas History” column.
Houstonians were as pleased as Punch to host the 1928 Democratic National Convention, the first by either major party held in the South since the Civil War. But on the eve of the grand affair a group of teenagers kidnapped a suspected cop killer and left him hanging from a downtown bridge for all the out-of-town visitors to see.
A week to the day after he was arrested for the rape and murder of a wealthy white woman in Robinson, Jesse Washington was found guilty on May 15, 1916 by an all-white, all-male jury and sentenced to death.
But a Waco mob could not wait for the black man’s legal hanging. Washington was dragged from the courtroom and lynched on the square, where his body was set afire and burned for two hours. Photographs were taken of the gruesome sight and made into postcards that sold like hot cakes.