Chicago Race Riots of 1919, Coroner’s Official Report

Above, Newspaper Headlines, July 31, 1919

“Five days of terrible hate and passion let loose cost the people of Chicago thirty-eight lives, wounded and maimed several hundred, destroyed property of untold value, filled thousands with awful fright, blemished the good name of our city, and left in its wake fear and apprehension for the future.”  Chicago Coroner’s Report 1919

I recorded the Chicago coroner’s report for the 78th volume of the LibriVox Nonfiction Collection.

Listen to the report here:
Read the report on-line here:

“The Chicago race riots of 1919 began on a hot summer day in the city, after a Black swimmer drowned in Lake Michigan. White men and boys had stopped him from coming ashore on a beach they claimed as a “white beach” by throwing stones at him as he clung to a railroad tie off shore, until he finally succumbed to exhaustion.”

The Chicago Coroner’s Report is a valuable, nuanced examination of race relations in Chicago following the  first World War.


Negative attitudes toward immigrants were also prevalent in this period:

Newspaper headlinesThe Deportation Cases of  1919-1920

Ellis Island, 1913An American in the Making, the Life Story of an Immigrant