On Jan. 13 137 years ago, a historic riot broke out in Tompkins Square Park. Reeling from an economic depression, more than 7,000 unemployed workers rallied in 1874 to force the city to create a public-works program to provide jobs to residents. But unbeknownst to the protesters, the city made a last-minute decision to revoke their demonstration permit. When police began rounding up people, chaos ensued. Eyewitness Samuel Gompers described the scene, saying “mounted police charged the crowd on Eighth Street, riding them down and attacking men, women, and children without discrimination. It was an orgy of brutality.” Schools were placed on lockdown, but in the end, no one was killed in the mayhem.
[Thanks to Red Riotdog for the tip]