1866 Mechanics’ Institute Attack

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One violent event, captured in the best media technologies of its time and brought to American living parlors, completely changed American politics during the Reconstruction period.  A convention at the stately Mechanics’ Institute in New Orleans, determined to create a new constitution where all races could vote, was forcefully ended by police in what investigators could only describe as a massacre.    We discuss the event, the reasons behind it, and how it affected political power in Louisiana and in Washington for ten years.  

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