Scottsboro Trials

The Most Famous Crime That Never Happened

March 25, 1931

On March 25, 1931 nine black teenagers allegedly raped two white females. The controversial trial lasted two decades and forever changed the people of Chattanooga.

What Actually Happened on that Day?

On March 25, 1931 in a train white and black hobos got into a fight. The white hobos were thrown off the train, and the train was ordered to stop in Paint Rock. The black youths were about to be charged with assault when two white women in boys clothing were discovered on the train. These women, having had sexual relations with some of the white men on the train, were afraid of being prosecuted, so they agreed to charge the nine black young men for rape instead. All except the youngest black male accused, who was TWELVE, were executed.

How the Trials Continued

There was not just one trial for these boys. They went through 2 more trials, and they were given life sentences for rape. A few of the men were given parole, but, ultimately, all of them died without being pardoned over this injustice.

Their Final Victory

Eventually, Alabama passed two bills to clear the name of the Scottsboro boys. Sadly, one of these bills were only passed in 2013. The Scottsboro Trials are just one of many injustices that have occurred over America's long history of racism.