Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

May 25, 1933

On May 25, 1933, the Philadelphia Tribune’s headline story was the shooting of religious leader G. Wilson Becton. “Mystery shrouds the attempted assassination of Evangelist G. Wilson Becton,” Joseph Rainey wrote in the Tribune. “As the ‘Gospel Feast’ evangelist lies near death’s door an awed public is asking who committed the dastardly crime? Rev. Becton was kidnapped and shot through the head by two white thugs as he drove up in his luxurious front of Tindley Tea Room...Fifteen minutes elapsed before motorcycle police found him stretched out in the rear of his car.” The front page of the Philadelphia Tribune included two other stories on Becton. One was a biographical piece, titled “Becton’s Life Read Like Best Seller.” The second article included an interview with his wife, a spiritualist name Josephine Becton, as well as pictures of Becton. Becton died from his wounds and the motives for his murder remain mysterious.

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