March 28, 1908


Above, the circus is coming to town--apparently. I can't find any further mentions of "Towle's Circus." Below, Rep. J. Thomas Heflin hates African Americans and he hates drinking, so you can imagine how he feels about African Americans who drink liquor.

Heflin, accompanied by Rep. Edwin Ellerbe of South Carolina, was taking a streetcar to church, where Heflin was to deliver a temperance lecture. According to The Times, two African Americans boarded and one of them, Thomas (or Lewis) Lundy, was about to take a drink of whiskey when Heflin told him to stop. A congressman from Alabama, Heflin had introduced a measure to add Jim Crow cars to the Washington, D.C., streetcar system and he had received permission to carry a gun because of the resulting death threats.

Heflin threw Lundy off the streetcar after a fight and many passengers also got off the car during the brawl, The Times says, including Thomas McCreary and his wife. Lundy got up from the pavement and reached for his pocket, so Heflin fired his .38 at him through a streetcar window, missing Lundy and hitting McCreary in the leg, The Times says. Heflin fired again and struck Lundy in the head at least once, the paper says.

McCreary was taken to the hospital in a carriage because he refused to ride in an ambulance with an African American. Heflin was indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, but The Times never reported on the outcome of the case or whether Lundy and McCreary survived.

Countdown to Watts Front pages News
03/28/2008 07:21

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