Did you know that back in 1946 WWII veterans had a shootout with sheriff’s deputies? While most people from outside of Tennessee won’t recall this interesting event, it is something everyone should know.
The Battle of Athens began on August 1st, 1946 when veterans literally open fired on the local jail in order to stop corrupt local officials from cheating and stealing their way to winning an election. While the whole ordeal was most likely quite terrifying for locals it was something that changed everything. This began in Athens Tennessee and ended in dynamite.
It is still to this day unclear how many veterans took part in the Battle of Athens but after their fight that went well into August 2nd, they managed to recover several ballot boxes that had not been manipulated just yet and count votes. According to NBC News, the local government had been part of a statewide political machine run by Memphis Mayor Ed ‘Boss’ Crump. This violent but seemingly necessary situation occurred because people were finally just tired of the corruption, they had all they could take and made a stand finally. This is something you won’t hear about happening in modern times.
You see, there had been plenty of scams going on in local elections and this time locals did not want any kind of rigging to occur. Several events led to around 50 or more deputies being caught counting votes without the presence of a second party and so forth. The whole ordeal is quite interesting in itself, these men saw injustice happening and did what needed to be done to resolve it.
It is hard to believe that just 72 years ago we were so much more full of spunk than we are now. Don’t get me wrong, violence is not always the answer but sometimes getting your hands dirty to fight corruption can make a difference. In the end, the GI government collapsed and was replaced by a similar one to the one they had been fighting to begin with they had a good run and proved their point at least for a while.
Did you know about this? Isn’t it crazy to think that something like this happened so long ago but yet still is so prevalent?