Riot erupts over choice of actors in play (1849)

May 10, 1849 Manhattan, New York A riot breaks out over which actor should play Macbeth at the Aster Opera House, leaving 25 dead Troubles began prior to the riot as audience members fiercely aligned themselves with one of two actors to play the titular role in Macbeth. William Charles Macready was a British actor…

Drunken college students invade sleepy town, cause riot

May 9, 1969 Zap, North Dakota College students begin their spring break in-state, wreaking havoc and eventually being dispersed by the National Guard 2 days later The event was organized by Chuck Stroup, a student at North Dakota State University in Fargo. Zip to Zap, as it was called, was intended to bring spring break…

Several shot during protests at iron mill (1886)

May 5, 1886 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Laborers demanding an eight-hour workday join in protest at the Milwaukee Iron Company rolling mill Four days earlier, approximately 12,000 laborers joined in protest at the rolling mill; the total in attendance swelled a few thousand more by the climax of the protest, including children. The goal of the protest…

The Haymarket Affair

May 4, 1886 Chicago, Illinois The Haymarket Affair begins as a peaceful protest that escalates into a full riot The rally began as a both demonstration demanding an 8-hour work day (the standard at the time was 10-hour work days, 6-day work weeks) as well as protest against police shooting union workers the day before.…

Doctor’s riot of 1788

April 16, 1788 New York, New York A three-day riot begins between doctors at a medical school and citizens of the city Tensions had been high in the area for some time as the medical school was known to rob graves to obtain fresh human cadavers for dissection; the practice of “violating” a body was…