Scottsboro Boys


On March 25, 1931 Fight Breaks Out

March 25, 1931

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.

On March 30, 1931 Boys charged for rape

March 30, 1931

Grand jury indicts the nine Scottsboro boys for rape.

April 7, 1931 Boys Convicted

April 7, 1931

On April 9, 1931 Roy Wright Charged with death sentence

April 9, 1931

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.

On January 5, 1932 Ruby denies rape

January 5, 1932

January 5: A letter from Ruby Bates to a boyfriend surfaces; in it, she denies having been raped.

On April 6, 1933 Ruby disowns the charges

April 6, 1933

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.

April 18, 1933 Trial Postponed

April 18, 1933

May 7, 1933 Protests In Washington

May 7, 1933

October 20, 1933 New Judge For The Case

October 20, 1933

October 1, 1934 Lawyers Used Bribery

October 1, 1934

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.

April 1, 1935 No African Americans On Jury

April 1, 1935

Dec 1, 1935 Scottsboro Defense Committee

December 1,1935