Spread of Terrorism and Hatemongering

December 3, 1958

Report Outline
Rash of Violent Words and Deeds
Extremist Groups in the South
Causes and Curing of Hatemongering

Rash of Violent Words and Deeds

Recent bombings of schools, churches, and synagogues, mainly in southern states, have been roundly denounced and intensively investigated, but to date few suspects have been arrested and none has been convicted. Meanwhile, an increasing volume of anti-Jewish and anti-Negro literature, much of it plainly designed to inflame religious and racial hatred, has been placed in circulation around the country. To what extent the perpetrators of bomb outrages and the purveyors of hate literature are directly connected is problematical, Although measures aimed to deter bombings and curtail distribution of hate literature are to be introduced in the 86th Congress, it is widely agreed that an aroused and determined public opinion is the main thing needed to put a quietus on fanatical deeds and words.

Bombing of Schools and Places of Worship

More than three score bombings or attempted bombings of religious institutions, schools, and residences have been reported since Jan. 1, 1957. The bombings have been directed in great majority against the homes of Negroes or of white gentiles residing in the South and known to be sympathetic toward the struggle for Negro rights. However, schools and places of worship have become increasingly favored targets. During the first 11 months of 1958, schools in four southern or border states and in New Mexico were blasted, and bombs damaged six Jewish structures in four states.

Dynamiting of an integrated school at Osage, W. Va., in the early morning of Nov. 10 caused so much damage that the building may have to be replaced at an estimated cost of $350,000. The high school in Clinton, Tenn., integrated by court order in the autumn of 1956, had suffered an estimated $300,000 worth of damage from three explosions before dawn on Oct. 5. A Negro grade school at Chattanooga, Tenn., was bombed last Jan. 19, and a Negro junior high school in Jacksonville, Fla., was dynamited on April 27. Nashville's Hattie Cotton Elementary School, built in 1950 at a cost of $500,000, was virtually demolished by midnight explosions in September 1957, shortly after its first grade had been integrated.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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May 12, 2017  Anti-Semitism
Mar. 17, 2017  ‘Alt-Right’ Movement
Sep. 18, 2015  Far-Right Extremism
Nov. 22, 2013  Racial Profiling
May 08, 2009  Hate Groups
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Jan. 07, 1994  Racial Tensions in Schools
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Nov. 05, 1969  American History: Reappraisal and Revision
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May 13, 1964  Racism in America
Dec. 03, 1958  Spread of Terrorism and Hatemongering
Jul. 10, 1946  Ku Klux Klan
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Hate Groups
Race and Hate Crimes
Terrorism and Counterterrorism