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Article-a-Day #96: Atlas Obscura-The Unsettled Legacy of the Bloodiest Election in American History, in Ocoee, Florida, November 2, 1920

ON NOVEMBER 2, 1920—ELECTION DAY, 100 years ago—Moses Norman of Ocoee, Florida, joined more than 25 million Americans in going to the polls to cast his vote. Unlike most of those other voters, however, Norman was Black, and exercising his rights meant putting his safety at serious risk. Just days earlier, the Ku Klux Klan had ridden through nearby Orlando, trying to send a message to Black people who planned on voting. So it came as no surprise when Norman was turned away on Election Day, Fifteenth Amendment be damned. No one knows, in detail, precisely what happened next. But for all the differences in accounts, the following is clear: This simple act of self-assertion led to the murders of at least four Black people, and the story was largely kept under wraps for decades.