(source, photo by Lawrence Beitler)
This infamous lynching took place in Marion, Indiana on August 7, 1930.
[Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith] had been arrested the night before, charged with robbing and murdering a white factory worker, Claude Deeter, and raping his white girlfriend, Mary Ball. A large crowd broke into the jail with sledgehammers, beat the two men, and hanged them. When Abram Smith tried to free himself from the noose as his body was hauled up by the rope, he was lowered and then his arms broken to prevent him from trying to free himself again. Police officers in the crowd cooperated in the lynching. A third person, 16 year old James Cameron, narrowly escaped lynching thanks to an unidentified participant who announced that he had nothing to do with the rape or murder. (source)
The photograph was the inspiration for a poem by Abel Meeropol, called “Strange Fruit”, immortalized in the song of the same name, performed by Billie Holiday: