Geophysical scanning identified two spots at the Oaklawn Cemetery that might bear bodies of those killed in the city's race riots almost 100 years ago, Scott Hammerstedt, a senior researcher for the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, said Monday at a public hearing in Tulsa.
Surveys confirmed suspicions that one area might be a grave, in addition to a newly discovered trench under the soil of about 30 by 25 feet.
"I'm as confident as I can be in the results that this is a very big candidate with something associated with the massacre," Hammerstedt said.
Phoebe Stubblefield, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Florida, cautioned at the hearing that the number of bodies inside the trench could be anywhere from 10 to 100. She also said it's unlikely that researchers will be able to identify any remains.
"We just don't know what level of preservation we'll get," Stubblefield said.
The city is also working with the private owners of Booker T. Washington Cemetery in Tulsa to gain permission to scan the grounds, which researchers suspect could be home to another gravesite.
A decision on the next step regarding the suspected graves won't be made for at least a few months, as the public oversight committee on the graves is scheduled to meet again in February. But experts recommended that the city secure the sites in the meantime.
If the city decides to go ahead with an excavation effort, several permits would need to be approved.
The Tulsa Race Massacre, sometimes referred to as the Tulsa race riots, began in May 1921 after a black teenager named Dick Rowland was falsely accused of having assaulted a white woman.
Rowland had entered an elevator where the operator, Sarah Page, screamed shortly after he arrived, according to the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. Rowland was accused of sexually assaulting Page, and when he was arrested on May 31, a white mob demanded that the sheriff turn him over to them.
About 25 black men arrived at the courthouse that night offering to guard Rowland, but the sheriff turned them away. Still concerned that Rowland faced violence, more black men returned to the courthouse later that night.
About 1,500 armed white men stood off against about 75 black men outside the courthouse. Many on both sides of the conflict were World War I veterans.
The black men retreated to the segregated city's Greenwood District, popularly known as Black Wall Street because of the number of African American businesses, as tensions escalated and gunfire was exchanged.
White rioters led by the Ku Klux Klan began burning Greenwood down early on June 1, looting many of the district's black businesses, as the governor declared martial law and brought in the National Guard.
Official death tolls at the time accounted for 36 people killed in the riots, although experts have long believed that the number could be in the hundreds.
HBO's "Watchmen" recreated the two-day event in its pilot episode in October. The show, based on the 1980s graphic novel, used the unsettling massacre to set the tone for its season.
Every Wednesday, Madame Zoltar responds to your queries and comments in her blog, Dear Madame Zoltar. Are the stars in your favor? What to do with that 401K? Find out by sending your questions and thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.” Bob Marley
PLEASE BE SURE TO READ OUR DISCLAIMER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE
This website exists for entertainment purposes only. The reader is responsible for discerning the validity of information posted here, be it fictional or based on real events or people. The content of posts on this site, including but not limited to links to other web sites, are the expressed opinion of the original poster and are in no way representative of or endorsed by the owners or administration of this website. The posts on this website are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or factual information on behalf of the owner or administration of JT Irregulars. This site may contain adult content and if you feel you might be offended by such content, you should log off immediately.
Not all posts on this website are intended as truthful or factual assertion by their authors. Some users of this website are participating in internet role playing, with or without the use of an avatar. NO post on this website should be considered factual information on face value alone. Users are encouraged to USE DISCERNMENT and do their own follow up research while reading and posting on this website. JT Irregulars reserves the right to make changes to, corrections and/or remove entirely at any time posts made on this website without notice. In addition, JT Irregulars disclaims any and all liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of a post on this website.
This site is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. You should not assume that this site is error-free or that it will be suitable for the particular purpose which you have in mind when using it. In no event shall JT Irregulars be liable for any special, incidental, indirect or consequential damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, including, without limitation, those resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether or not advised of the possibility of damage, and on any theory of liability, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of this site or other documents which are referenced by or linked to this site.
Some events depicted in certain posting and threads on this website may be fictitious and any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. Some other articles may be based on actual events but which in certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be composites, or entirely fictitious. We do not discriminate against the mentally ill!
Administrators may close an account, remove any post or comment and cancel author accounts as they, alone, deem necessary. You may contact the administration at email@example.com to report inappropriate use or to ask for the removal of specific material. The administration retains the final decision of what content constitutes appropriate use and what content is displayed.
Fair Use Notice: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Users may make such material available in an effort to advance awareness and understanding of issues relating to civil rights, economics, individual rights, international affairs, liberty, science & technology, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.