Race riots erupted across the nation from late spring through the early fall of 1919. In dozens of incidents of racial violence, African Americans were beaten, terrorized, and murdered. The NAACP appealed to President Wilson to investigate the attacks, but federal and local governments did little to address the violence.
President Wilson delivered his “Fourteen Points” speech, outlining a plan for peace after World War I. The Fourteen Points program called for the reduction of arms, self-determination of nations, and a league of nations.
The influenza (or Spanish influenza) epidemic of 1918 and 1919 killed as many as 50 million people worldwide. A quarter of all Americans were infected at some point, including President Woodrow Wilson, and approximately 675,000 people died of influenza in the United States.
After radicals sent dozens of bombs to prominent government officials and American business men, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer initiated an anti-Red campaign. Appointing J. Edgar Hoover to the Justice Department, Palmer ordered a series of raids on suspected radical individuals and organizations. The raids turned up little evidence of violent intentions, but hundreds of aliens were deported anyway as a result.