This Day in History

Aug. 6, 1855: Bloody Monday

Time Periods: 1850
Themes: Voting Rights, Immigration

Bloody Monday occurred on Aug. 6, 1855, in Louisville, Kentucky, an election day, when Protestant mobs attacked German and Irish Catholic neighborhoods.

Bloody Monday Kentucky 1855

Historical marker.

This was one of the worst anti-immigrant massacres in U.S. history, instigated largely by the writings of Louisville Journal editor George Prentice, whose statue remained until 2018 in front of the Louisville, Kentucky library.

These riots grew out of the bitter rivalry between the Democrats and the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party. Multiple street fights raged, leaving twenty-two people dead, scores injured, and much property destroyed by fire. Five people were later indicted, but none were convicted, and the victims were not compensated.