September 30, 1919
The notorious Elaine Massacre erupted, which marked the deadliest racial episode in Arkansas history. The lynchings and murders that occurred in Elaine arose out of whites’ fear and distrust of a black union organization in Phillips County. A shooting at a church in Hoop Spur (Phillips County) sparked the conflict; the presence of about 100 sharecroppers attending a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union quickly spurred massive violence by whites against blacks throughout the county. Although the exact death toll remains unknown, historians have estimated that hundreds of black citizens were killed, while five white citizens died in the incident.