Look at today's news and among the other problems of the year 2020, you will now see riots and looting. But no one in Wyoming seems to think that any such thing will happen here. There is good modern day and historic reason for that.

In modern day terms, the state of Wyoming simply does not have the inner city racial tension that some of America's major cities have. But that was not always the case.

A wave of Chinese immigrants working the coal mines and railroads were at one point part of what might have been the only actual "riot" in Wyoming's history.

It happened on September 2, 1885. A group of 150 white miners in Rock Springs brutally attack their Chinese coworkers. 28 Chinese workers were killed, 15 were wounded. The Chinese workers were driven from the town.

The cause of the riot seemed to be that the miners working in the Union Pacific coal mine had been trying to unionize. They had even gone on strike for better working conditions and wages. On one occasion, the white workers walked off the job so the mining company hired Chinese laborers, at lower wages, to replace them. That was the spark that set off the attack.

A train was ordered to stop and pick up the fleeing survivors and take them to Evanston where they would be protected by the military. But there were fears that the arrival of so many Chinese would spark racial tension in that area, so the military set up a perimeter including a Gatling gun. The Chinese were eventually taken back to Rock Springs under military guard.

Today, racial tensions in Wyoming might exist, like they do anywhere else on the planet, but it is hard to find.

To learn more about the details of this horrible event you can watch a short Wyoming PBS documentary, below. 

 

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