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Shocking the ConscienceA Reporter's Account of the Civil Rights Movement$
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Simeon Booker and Carol McCabe Booker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617037894

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617037894.001.0001

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date: 21 January 2019

No Ordinary Football Game

No Ordinary Football Game

(p.205) 16 No Ordinary Football Game
Shocking the Conscience

Simeon Booker

University Press of Mississippi

In 1962, on Thanksgiving Day, violence erupted between the fans of two high school football clubs in Washington, D.C. It was the annual high school football championship game pitting St. John’s, the top Catholic league team, and Eastern High School, the public school champs. The St. John’s team was predominantly white, while the Eastern team was all black. What was supposed to be a great day for a football game turned ugly when black fans of Eastern High School, sensing that their team would lose, began to chase and beat white fans of St. John’s. The fighting spilled out into the streets, and many blacks rejected the claim that it was triggered by racial animosity or hostility toward whites. A committee formed by School Superintendent Carl F. Hansen to investigate the stadium riot found serious disciplinary problems as well as deplorable conditions in some of the city’s public schools.

Keywords:   football, Thanksgiving Day, violence, blacks, whites, public schools, Washington, Carl F. Hansen, riot

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