March 25: In the depths of the Depression, a fight breaks out between white and black young men who are riding as hoboes on a Southern Railroad freight train. The train is stopped by an angry posse in Paint Rock, Alabama, and nine black youths are arrested for assault. Rape charges are added, following accusations from two white women who have also come off the train, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates. The accused are taken to Scottsboro, Alabama, the Jackson County seat. The women are examined by Drs. R. R. Bridges and Marvin Lynch.
Grand jury indicts the nine Scottsboro boys for rape.
The case against Roy Wright, aged 13, ends in a hung jury when 11 jurors seek a death sentence, and one votes for life imprisonment.
January 5: A letter from Ruby Bates to a boyfriend surfaces; in it, she denies having been raped.
April 6: Ruby Bates appears as a surprise witness for the defense, denying that any rape occurred and testifying that she was with Victoria Price for the whole train ride. Her assertion that she and Price were with boyfriends the night before explains the presence of semen in their vaginas. On the stand, Dr. Bridges admits that the sperm found in his examination were non-motile, and indicates that Victoria Price showed few physical signs of having been forcibly raped by six men, as she claimed, but he refuses to say how old the semen could have been.
October 1: Nashville police arrest two lawyers associated with the I.L.D. for allegedly intending to bribe Victoria Price with $1,500 to change her testimony. The lawyers were never convicted.