Researchers dig for evidence of mass graves from 1921 Tulsa massacre

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The Greenwood District in north Tulsa was once nicknamed the "Black Wall Street," because of its thriving black professional and business community. Overnight, though, from May 31 to June 1, 1921 -- in what would be called the Tulsa Race Riots and the Greenwood Massacre -- the area became the scene or one of the worst race-based incidents of violence since the Civil War.

Historians, archaeologists and work crews returned to a Tulsa, Oklahoma, cemetery for a second day Tuesday, digging in search of mass graves from the Tulsa Race Massacre nearly 100 years ago.

The historic excavation is taking place at Oaklawn Cemetery, which is city-owned property and the known final resting place for some massacre victims who were given a proper burial after one of the most brutal and notorious racial episodes in U.S. history.

Explore»FROM 2019: White mobs reduced black community to rubble in 1921

Some of the nation’s foremost researchers will be on the grounds for the next three to six days seeking evidence that many more Black Americans could be buried there in a long-forgotten mass grave. So far, no findings have been announced.

On May 31, 1921, white mobs stormed the middle-class Black district of Greenwood, including its financial hub known as Black Wall Street, burning 35 city blocks to the ground and leaving 300 dead. The tragic events which took place over two days are mostly unwritten about in American history books.

Late last year, scientists led by the State of Oklahoma Archaeological Survey and using geophysical scanning equipment alerted city officials to potential areas of interest on the cemetery grounds.

NPR reported the crew discovered a pit measuring roughly 30 feet by 25 feet. They said it was large enough to fit up to 100 bodies.

At the time, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum speculated whether the “underground anomaly” was in actuality a mass grave.

"It should not have taken 99 years for us to be doing this investigation," Bynum told reporters Monday, according to NBC News. "But this generations of Tulsans is committed to doing what's right by our neighbors and following the truth wherever it leads us."

Bynum has also been providing updates about the excavation on his official Facebook page.

The tragic events in Tulsa more than 99 years ago recently got renewed attention after President Donald Trump scheduled a campaign rally in Tulsa for Juneteenth, which Black Americans annually celebrate on June 19 as the day when the last U.S. slaves were freed.

Explore» MORE: Lawmakers join push to declare Juneteenth a national holiday

Trump rescheduled the event for the following day after backlash from Black leaders who found the president's timing troublesome.