Camp Logan monument defaced 1 day after restoration unveiling

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Spray paint has maligned the newly restored Camp Logan historical marker in Memorial Park mere hours after its rededication on Wednesday.

The attack comes less than a day after the state historical monument, scarred on its back by previous damage, was unveiled by officials, preservationist and history lovers. The program included calls for “tolerance and understanding” by Mayor Sylvester Turner and other speakers.

Debra Blacklock-Sloan, a researcher and member of the Harris County Historical Commission, learned of the desecration around 3 p.m. Thursday and rushed to the park to survey and document the damage.

The marker commemorates the World War I training camp of black troops stationed in Houston as well as the associated 1917 racial riot and aftermath that became one of Houston’s darkest episodes.

The centennial commemoration events organized by the Houston-based Buffalo Soldiers National Museum coincided with the state historical marker’s repair, funded through a collaboration with Harris County.

Last week, two other historical monuments were defaced with paint.

A bust of Martin Luther King Jr. in Sunnyside was found smeared on the morning of Aug. 17 and a 7-foot-tall statue of Christopher Columbus in the Montrose area was found splattered that night.

A Houston man found Saturday with explosives at the base of statue in Hermann Park honoring Richard “Dick” Dowling, a Confederate Army commander, faces federal charges.

Those incidents of vandalism happened amid national turmoil and protests about Confederate monuments.

The Camp Logan Riot, as the mutiny came to be known, was a horrible chapter in Houston’s history. Black soldiers from the Army’s Third Battalion of the 24th Infantry Regiment left a World War I training camp against orders at what is now Memorial Park. The military men exacted revenge for humiliating and sometimes physically abusive treatment by local white citizens and police officers.

In the end, 16 people died – including five police officers – and 22 others were wounded (although numbers vary in historical accounts). The riot also begot murder trials resulting in 19 men hanged and 53 handed life sentences.

This report will be updated when more information becomes available.

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