9 Gruesome Things That Were Perfectly Normal a Century Ago

Public executions

Public executions were a common practice

100 years ago, people were quite acquainted with violence and death. People were shot for treason, hanged for rape and lynched for all sorts of other crimes. It was a harsh society with a ruthless justice system, either imposed by the authorities or by the citizens themselves in the form of vigilantism.

In the United States, like in many other countries and cultures of the time, the practice of execution was conducted in public, and seen by many as a community event. Others thought such practices were cruel and barbaric, but this hasn’t stopped the execution of around 15,000 people throughout the history of the United States. The last public execution in the US took place in 1936, with as much as 20,000 people watching the gruesome spectacle as convicted rapist and murderer Rainey Bethea was hanged for his crimes. The scandal and negative publicity caused by it prompted the Government to prohibit public executions.

However, the ban on the practice didn’t stop civilians from taking the law into their own hands. According to the NAACP, public vigilantism and lynchings became a common occurrence from 1882 to 1968. People were lynched for various reasons, from stealing cattle and taking someone else’s life in the West to simply being black in the South. In fact, 72 percent of the 4,743 individuals lynched between 1882 and 1968 were people of color.

See also 11 Impressive Photos All Over The World That Will Make You Rethink History.

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4 thoughts on “9 Gruesome Things That Were Perfectly Normal a Century Ago”

  1. China does that (child work abuse) TODAY and the Democratic Party, Entertainment Industry and Professional Sports ALLOW it to happen.

  2. Not sure we have improved much, drug use increased, killing fetus started, killing thousands of potential babies,
    alcohol use way up, highway deaths way up, now we have a pandemic killing thousands, wars killed thousands,
    world bad health and poor at all time high. R. Conn