Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dangerous South Is Murder Capital, Northeast Is Safest, 1920

“The Murder Rate,” from the editorial page of the South Bend News-Times, Nov. 21, 1920; J.M. Stephenson, publisher, and John Henry Zuver, editor.
The United States, with all its virtues, has long been noted among nations for evil eminence in the murder rate. It may not be well to harp much on that string just now, when invidious comparisons with foreign nations are particularly unwelcome. It is interesting and instructive, however, to learn how American cities compare with each other.
Memphis, Tenn., in the latest figures, still heads the shameful list, with a record of 55.9 cases of homicide per 100,000 people for the year 1919. Savannah, Ga., comes next, with 42. Then in order come Atlanta, Charleston, Nashville, New Orleans and St. Louis. The south certainly has nothing to brag of in the matter of illegal killings.
The west and middle west shine by comparison. San Francisco has 12 murders per 100,000. Chicago 11.6, Cleveland 11.1, Los Angeles 9.5, Indianapolis 9.1
The east, contrary to common opinion, has still fewer murders per capita. Pittsburg’s figure is 8.9. Philadelphia’s 6.2, and Boston’s 5.7. New York has been attracting attention by her large total of homicides, but the rate there for last year is only five per 100,000.
At the bottom of the list, be it noted, stands Milwaukee, with the proud figure of 2.5. Milwaukee, obviously, has certain virtues for which she has not been given due credit. This table should be inverted, placing her probably at the top in honorable regard for human life.

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