On September 22, 1954, prisoners at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City broke from their cells and for 26 hours took over the prison grounds. Prisoners had their fill of food, burned down sizable parts of the prison—including the factories they slaved away in—took guards hostage and exacted revenge against a notorious snitch. The state highway patrol was called to quell the riot—the first of a few times they’ve mobilized to put down social unrest, the most recent of which being the Ferguson Uprising. When the smoke cleared $4,000,000-8,000,00 worth of damage had been done. One month after the riot two mass refusals of meals commemorated it and pushed demands for better conditions. In the years following the riot, Missouri’s modern prison system was built (up until ’54 consisting of only two prisons).
Pictured here is the rubble of one of the prison’s factories.