‘Day of Healing’ Held to Make Amends for 1907 Mob

September 5, 2007


Source: The Bellingham Herald


BELLINGHAM — On Sept. 4, 1907, hundreds of Bellingham residents gathered to drive away the city’s East Indian community.

On Tuesday, city and county officials joined about 100 residents to mark the anniversary with a “Day of Healing and Reconciliation.”

“Cultural and religious diversity is one of our community’s greatest endeavors,” County Executive Pete Kremen read from a joint city-county proclamation.

“When we are judged by history and by our children, let it be said that we overcame our differences for the sake of our children and that we shared a common dream for the future,” he read to the crowd gathered in the county Courthouse rotunda.

The proclamation was a far cry from the reaction of government officials 100 years ago, when police allowed a mob to round up East Indians and take them to the city’s jail in the basement of City Hall. The City Council, in a report days later, scolded the mob but blamed the riot on the town’s mill owners for hiring the East Indians in the first place.