Northlanders gather at gravesites on 94th anniversary of Duluth lynchings

By KBJR News 1

June 16, 2014 Updated Jun 16, 2014 at 12:06 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Flowers were laid, and words of remembrance and action were spoken at the gravesites of three young African American men who were the victims of a gruesome tragedy in 1920.

That tragedy took place right here, in Duluth, when Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie were falsely accused of rape.

The three young men were taken by a mob of thousands from the old Duluth Jail on Superior Street, and lynched at the intersection where the CJM Memorial now stands in their memories.

Earlier Sunday community members met with CJM Memorial Committee members at the men's gravesites, in Duluth's Park Hill Cemetery, to honor and remember the 94th anniversary of the tragedy.

NAACP Duluth President Claudie Washington says the lives of these men should never be forgotten.

"Black kids should be standing here to know about this history; not to hear it once in a while, or from people they may disbelieve," said Washington, "but when they come here and see it—we all should have brought some people here."

Memorial services on this 94th anniversary will continue Monday in Duluth, at the CJM Memorial site, on 1st street.

Billy Wagness