Park Service Seeks Public Input on Springfield Race Riot Act

Members of the public are invited to provide comment on the National Park Service (NPS) Springfield 1908 Race Riot special resource study until September 3, 2022. The purpose of this special resource study is to gather further information about the study area, including other sites in Springfield, Illinois associated with the 1908 Springfield Race Riot, and to evaluate the potential inclusion in the National Park System.

Public Law 116-139 directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study associated with the Springfield Race Riot of 1908 and the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The 1908 Springfield Race Riot took place over the course of a weekend during which a large white mob targeted Black homes and businesses. Damages suffered by the African American business community are estimated at $100,000 (in 1908). In the aftermath, a total of 107 people were indicted for riot, arson, larceny, and murder. A special resource study examines the eligibility of an area for inclusion in the National Park System. A potential site is evaluated according to four congressionally established criteria: (1) national significance, (2) suitability, (3) feasibility and (4) the need for NPS management. All four criteria must have positive findings for an area to be considered eligible for inclusion in the National Park System. At the conclusion of the study, the NPS will submit its findings to the Secretary of the Interior, who then makes a recommendation to Congress for consideration. Parks in the National Park System are designated by acts of Congress and/or through presidential proclamation.