Skip to navigationSkip to content

The US has failed to pass anti-lynching laws 240 times. This is all of them.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama honors those killed in racist lynchings.
  • Amanda Shendruk
By Amanda Shendruk

Visual journalist

United StatesPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The US Congress has failed to enact anti-lynching legislation at least 240 times. Now, more than 100 years since the first attempt, senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Tim Scott are hoping to right this historic wrong, and make lynching a federal hate crime.

We found every bill and resolution containing the word “lynching” that have ever been introduced to congress.

Many of the bills were summarized in the same way, “for the better assurance of the protection of persons within the several States from mob violence and lynching.”

Almost 5,000 people were victims of lynching in the United States between 1882 and 1968, seventy percent of whom were black, according to the NAACP. Many of these mob deaths occurred during the decades congress failed to pass preventative or punitive measures. While the last attempt to pass an anti-lynching bill was in 1965, the Senate issued an apology in 2005 for its past legislative failures.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.