Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Washington Court House
We stopped for the night in Washington Court House, Ohio, a small city—population 14,000—whose name demands explanation, particularly since the imposing structure on Main Street is not officially known as the Washington Court House, but the Fayette County Courthouse, Washington C.H. as the name is sometimes abbreviated, being the seat of Fayette County.
With the anniversary of the George Floyd killing, I took particular interest in this plaque located before the courthouse. It seemed a positive that the residents would feel proud enough, or perhaps just compelled, to commemorate the shooting of a lynch mob on a plaque. Though McKinley, who'd become president in 1897 and himself shot in 1901, was being optimistic: there would be dozens more extra-judicial killings in Ohio before the lynch era came to an end in 1937, though it should be noted, because it will be a surprise to some, that about half the victims were white people.