Attica

Events

Death of George Jackson

August 21, 1971

Inmate George Jackson is shot and killed by a guard at the San Quentin Prison in California.

Hunger strike at Attica

August 22, 1971

In honor of George Jackson's death, a hunger strike is called at Attica.

Second peaceful protest

August 30, 1971

Three hundred prisoners occupy the hospital area to dramatize the sub-standard health facilities.

Commissioner Oswald visits Attica

September 2, 1971

Commissioner Oswald visits Attica and meets briefly with Frank Lott, Chairman of the Attica Liberation Faction. Oswald left a recorded message, assuring the inmates that changes would be made but he needed more time to implement the requested changes.

Altercation between two officers and two prisoners

September 8, 1971

There is an altercation between correctional officers and two prisoners, who are most likely beaten later that day for their alleged involvement.

Prisoners seize control of Attica Correctional Facility

September 9, 1971

The revolt begins. A group of fifteen to twenty-five prisoners overpower four correctional officers and lock them in cells. The prisoners also create a committee to negotiate with Commissioner Oswald.

Prisoners take initiative

September 10, 1971

As the uprising continues, prisoners elect representatives and allow 33 citizen observers to enter D Yard for a short period of time to aid in negotiations.

Prisoners presents demands

September 11, 1971

Rockefeller refuses to come to Attica to aid in negotiations and the prisoners' demand for amnesty. The prisoners reject the proposed 28 points package because they did not trust the state to meet any of the promises.

Both sides prepared for the worst

September 12, 1971

The uprising continues. Oswald and Governor Rockefeller resolve to retake the prison by force if their next demand to release the hostages is refused.

State forces retake the prison

September 13, 1971

Known as Bloody Monday, Governor Rockefeller orders thousands of military troops and correctional officers to attack the prisoners. A helicopter flies over the prison yard, spraying tear gas. Hundreds of prisoners are shot and nine of the hostages are killed.

Actual cause of hostages' death revealed

September 14, 1971

Contrary to early claims from prison officials that several hostages died of slashed throats, the cause of death is gunshot wounds from law-enforcement firearms.

Punishments for the rebellion

September 14, 1971 - 1975

Demonstrations protesting the massacre at Attica begin in New York and around the nation. Beatings and harassment of prisoners continues. Ultimately, 62 inmates and one State Trooper are indicted for their role in the Attica Prison Riot.