Victims Of Deadly 1959 Arkansas Fire Honored With Marker

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A marker partially funded by the Black History Commission of Arkansas has been placed at the gravesite of some of the 21 victims of a deadly fire 59 years ago at a juvenile labor camp for black boys.

The marker was placed Saturday (April 22) above coffins holding 14 of the victims of a March 5, 1959, fire inside a dormitory at the Arkansas Negro Boys Industrial School in Wrightsville, about 11 miles southeast of Little Rock.

The building where the fire ignited was locked from the outside and steel screens covered windows. A total of 69 boys were in the building and 21 boys perished. A grand jury that investigated the deadly fire handed up no indictments.

The Arkansas Department of Correction Wrightsville Unit now stands at the site.

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