May 21, 1856. Some 800 pro-slavery men sacked the free-state town of Lawrence, Kansas. Two newspapers, a hotel and the home of the former state governor were destroyed. Only one man–one of the attackers–died, and that was an accident.
It was the start of the “Bleeding Kansas” period. Three days later, abolitionist John Brown and his men killed five slavery proponents at Pottawatomie Creek. The Civil War loomed.