NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued an official Proclamation of Apology to the Italian American community Friday morning for the “largest lynching in United State history.”
The American Italian Cultural Center, Commission of Social Justice, and the Order Sons of Italy coordinated the event.
Michael Santo of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy says the lynching in 1891, where 11 Italian immigrants were killed after acquittals in a police chief’s murder, and responses to it prompted Italy to close its embassy in the U.S., followed by a reciprocal U.S. Embassy closing in Italy.
The Committee on Safety ran an advertisement in the local papers that called for a mass meeting at the Henry Clay statue in the middle of Canal St.
A crowd of thousands gathered and were further incensed by a speech by a local attorney before marching off to the nearby jail. The mob found and murdered eleven of the Italians.
Video: The story of that Italian massacre was also one of the displays in the Musee Conti Wax Museum in the French Quarter, which was open for a half century before closing in January 2016 (Ctsy. Dave McNamara):
He says that when representatives asked the city earlier this year for an apology, Cantrell embraced the idea. He says she appointed Human Relations Commission head Vincenzo Pasquantonio as liaison.