Buried footage of Ax Handle Saturday is uncovered after more than 60 years: Video captures moment mob of 200 white men attacks black sit-in against segregation in clip that then disappeared in media blackout

 The Jacksonville Historical Society unearthed previously and purposely buried video of 'Ax Handle Saturday,' a white mob's brutal racist beating of black people - including children and teenagers - on August 28, 1960. 

The attack received little media attention at the time, and media blackout ensured footage like this wouldn't be seen. They town mayor denied it ever happened. 

The 44-second, soundless clip shows angry hoards of white men armed with ax handles and other weapons chasing down black people after a sit-in demonstration at a diner. 

The video shows the attack from different angles. At the 16-second mark, the video shows an aerial view of white men swinging ax handles at a black man. 

The graphic footage continues with white men ganging up on black people, punching him and knocking them to the ground while white police officers watched.  


A mob of white men ganged up on black people and beat them with ax handles and other weapons

A mob of white men ganged up on black people and beat them with ax handles and other weapons

Black people were punched, beaten and thrown to the ground while police watched

Black people were punched, beaten and thrown to the ground while police watched

Mitch Hemann, a senior archivist for the Historical Society, said, 'It is very brutal footage, but it is important footage'

Mitch Hemann, a senior archivist for the Historical Society, said, 'It is very brutal footage, but it is important footage'

One of the victims was Nat Glover, who went on to serve as the Sheriff of Jacksonville from 1995-2003. He was 17 at the time. 

He pleaded with a white police officer for help, and the officer’s only response was, 'You better get out of here before they kill you,' The Jaxson reported in 2020. 

Mitch Hemann, a senior archivist for the Historical Society, told News4Jax on Friday - the 61st anniversary of the attack - that the historical society worked with Florida State College at Jacksonville to find the the footage. 


'We dug a little bit on Ax Handle Saturday and we found you could find material related to this in other parts of the world,' Hemann told News4Jax. 

'Here there was a media blackout, so there’s very little footage or documentation of it. But even 60 years later, if you dig properly, you can still find this information.'

The video has different angles, including this aerial view. It's unclear who took the video

The video has different angles, including this aerial view. It's unclear who took the video

The attack followed a sit-in demonstration, and black people were followed by the racist mob through the streets of downtown Jacksonville

The attack followed a sit-in demonstration, and black people were followed by the racist mob through the streets of downtown Jacksonville

'It is very brutal footage, but it is important footage,' he said. 

'With the media blackout at the time, that’s a measure in terms of trying to keep these stories out of the public. Every little frame of footage you can find today is precious because of that.'

The video is a mixture of various angles, but it's unclear who took the footage.  

News4Jax reported that Hemann said it has a connection to a Jacksonville journalist named Harry Reagan, a former investigative reporter for WJXT and JHS board member.

Buried footage of Ax Handle Saturday is uncovered after more than 60 years: Video captures moment mob of 200 white men attacks black sit-in against segregation in clip that then disappeared in media blackout Buried footage of Ax Handle Saturday is uncovered after more than 60 years: Video captures moment mob of 200 white men attacks black sit-in against segregation in clip that then disappeared in media blackout Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:53 Rating: 5

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