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On this date in...
1849...Thousands of anti-British protesters riot outside the Astor Place Opera House over the appearance of English actor William Macready, a rival of famed American actor Edwin Forrest. The protesters throw rocks and set fire to the building in what later becomes known as the Astor Place Riot. Soldiers and police finally restore order, but not before 27 are killed during the violence, which stirs heated debate about American nationalism and Anglo elitism.