East St. Louis was one of America's premier industrial towns in the late 19th and early 20th century. Unfortunately, it is also well known for a particularly disturbing Race Riot on July 2, 1917. Blacks throughout the city were shot, burned or lynched to death. After a Congressional Investigation, labor was not deemed to have caused the riot, but their often threatening and racial tone helped to inflame tension between the two races for months preceding the riot. It was another disturbing instance between whites and blacks involving labor relations.