Shiloh Baptist Church Crowd incident 05/04/1902

Hundred Fifteen Killed

Boston Evening Transcript

The Shiloh Baptist Church Stampede Of 1902

In the United States, many churches were established by free black individuals at the end of the 18th century, and became known as “black churches”. Even after the abolition of slavery, the prevailing discriminatory attitudes across the United States actively discouraged black and white Americans from worshipping side by side in churches. The Shiloh Baptist Church is one of these places of worship and is located in Birmingham in the US state of Alabama. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest black church in the city, sometimes attracting thousands of patrons. In 1902, disaster struck the congregation.

The Trumpet blast

an interview with witnesses and the National Baptist Convention after more that one hundred persons had died in a stampede caused by a false alarm of fire during an evening session of the National Baptist Convention in Shiloh Baptist Church, southeast corner Nineteenth Street and Avenue G, Birmingham, Ala., September 19, 1902

Episode 51: The Shiloh Baptist Church stampede

When the woman cried out, what she said was, “Fight!” But what the congregation of Shiloh Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, heard that Friday night in 1902 was, “Fire!” The panicked crowd rushed for the front door, and within ten minutes dozens would die – all because of a misheard word.

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