It was on this day in 1968 that the Opelousas Massacre began, a stain on Louisiana history.


Many may have never heard of the Opelousas Massacre, and some might not even be able to fathom that something like this could have ever happened, but it did: mobs of white men murdered an estimated 200 black men, all because of an election.

Blacks had just been given the right to vote, and, instead of allowing Democracy to take its course, whites in Opelousas were worried that they would be outnumbered in the polls. White Democrats took to intimidation tactics in hopes of curtailing the Republican vote in St. Landry Parish and, it appears, the intimidation worked: not one single vote was cast for the Republican in the presidential race.

This is a heartbreaking read, but a history lesson we should never forget.

(Equal Justice Initiative)