Facts About Lynching
* Mark Twain once called the nation "The United States of Lyncherdom."
* The NAACP was formed in response to a lynching. The B'nai B'rith organization created the Anti-Defamation League in reaction to a murder case that later led to the lynching of a Jewish man.
* At the turn of the 20th century, at least 100 lynchings were being reported each year. In 1892, a record 230 people were lynched, including 160 blacks.
* The first anti-lynching bill was proposed in 1900 by U.S. Rep. George H. White, who was African American.
* The only time the U. S. Supreme Court has tried a criminal case was a contempt trial against several men who lynched a black man after the high court had stayed his death sentence.
* 200 pieces of anti-lynching legislation were introduced in Congress from 1900 to 1950.
* Seven U.S. presidents unsuccessfully petitioned Congress to make lynching a federal offense.
* From 1887 to 1903, the State Department was forced to pay almost $500,000 to foreign governments whose citizens had been lynched after moving to the United States.
* Seventeen percent of the black men lynched between 1889 and 1941 were accused of rape or attempted rape.
* Because of terrorism such as lynching, 260,000 blacks -- 22 percent of the state's African American population -- left Georgia between 1920 and 1930.
* Senators in 1937-1938 filibustered for six weeks to block a vote on federal anti-lynching legislation. Senators arguing against the legislation claimed that such laws would put white women at risk of being frequently attacked by black men.
* Georgia became the first state in the nation to pass an anti-lynching law, in 1893, but no white man was ever convicted in the United States of lynching a black man.
* "Strange Fruit," a song about lynching sung by Billie Holiday, was her best-selling record. Time Magazine proclaimed it the most significant song of the 20th century. The British magazine Q called it one of the 10 songs that changed the world.
Source: Senate Resolution 39, the Committee for a Formal Apology.