Houston Matters

Lessons From The Camp Logan Riots Still Echo 100 Years Later

On the 100th anniversary of the infamous Camp Logan riots, we revisit Michael Hagerty’s conversation with Dr. Adriane Lentz-Smith about the riots and their legacy today.

Camp Logan Headline -TSHA Online
Headlines from the Houston Press following the 1917 Camp Logan Riots.

This morning, tombstones were placed at College Park Cemetery, and a historical marker was rededicated at Memorial Park, where 100 years ago today, on Aug. 23, 1917, the Camp Logan riots took place in Houston.

It was a night of racially charged violence and murder that left many dead and led to the execution of more than a dozen black soldiers. The incident is featured in the PBS documentary series The Great War, a three-part documentary on World War I from the series American Experience. The film back in April, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of America entering the war.

On this 100th anniversary of the infamous event, we revisit a conversation Michael Hagerty had with Dr. Adriane Lentz-Smith, an associate professor of history at Duke University. She’s featured in the series and told him about the riots and their legacy today.

MORE: Historical Marker, Head Stones Commemorate 1917 Riots

  • The court martial of 64 members of the 24th Infantry on trial for mutiny and murder of 17 people in Houston on Aug. 23, 1917 during the Camp Logan Riots. The trial was held  at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. (Photo Credit: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/Wikipedia Commons)
    The court martial of 64 members of the 24th Infantry on trial for mutiny and murder of 17 people in Houston on Aug. 23, 1917 during the Camp Logan Riots. The trial was held at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. (Photo Credit: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/Wikipedia Commons)
  • The entrance to Camp Logan, near present-day Memorial Park, circa 1917.
    The entrance to Camp Logan, near present-day Memorial Park, circa 1917.
  • A historical marker at the former location of Camp Logan, near present-day Memorial Park. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    A historical marker at the former location of Camp Logan, near present-day Memorial Park. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Headlines from the Houston Press following the 1917 Camp Logan Riots. (Photo Credit: Texas State Historical Association)
    Headlines from the Houston Press following the 1917 Camp Logan Riots. (Photo Credit: Texas State Historical Association)

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