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Tue, 07.22.1969

A Riot in York, Pennsylvania Occurs

Troops outside of York, PA

*On this date in 1969 in York, Pennsylvania the National Guard was called to suppress a race riot.

A white man shot Lillie Belle Allen (a young Black woman), the previous night. Earlier that day Robert and Arthur Messersmith were charged with criminal homicide in the shooting, nine other people were recommended for indictment in the case.

Allen was shot as she tried to drive past a group of white men. Witnesses said Messersmith ran into York’s Newberry Street with a group of armed white men the night of July 21, 1969, as a car carrying Allen approached.

At the time, Charlie Robertson, the two-term mayor of York, Pennsylvania, was being charged with murder in the killing of Allen.  A police officer at the time, Robertson is accused of inciting and providing ammunition to a white gang, which included Messersmith.


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