This week is the 40th anniversary of the 12th Street Detroit Riots. It started early Sunday morning, July 23, 1967 during a raid at a blind pig (after hours bar) and continued for 5 days. At the end, there were forty-three dead, 467 injured, over 7,200 arrests and more than 2,000 buildings burned down (according to Rutgers University who have a very thorough write-up of the events) .
This was when Detroit was the Motor City and the hotbed of Motown. It was the Summer of Love and the summer of riots. The Vietnam “War” (as far as I know, it was never officially declared a war) was taking our youth right and left (no pun intended).
Do you remember? It was a long time ago. But it was a vital part of our recent history and I recommend everyone, while you are thinking of it, go refresh your memory or learn about this event. Here is a wikipedia link to the riots. The above-mentioned article by Rutger’s is also a must-read.
Thank you to NPR Talk of the Nation (from whom I learn something new every time I listen) for making me aware of this. They had an excellent program on the riots, including interviews with people who had been there and on Detroit Past and Present. Here is a link to their blog entry and where you can also listen to the audiocast of their show on this. This is one blog worth marking and remembering.
Becky Carleton, a librarian at the Johnson County Library in Kansas challenged me to name ten pieces
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I come from Scotland. I was on a visit to the USA for my first time in July,1967. I saw the riots and have not forgotten the scenes in Detroit these horrible 5 days when they occurred. I saw buildings on fire, Nat. Guards on the streets in great numbers. I saw shops being looted, goods carried from said shops with troops looking on powerless to intervene in case further disturbances would start. I have been to Detroit many times since that awful time and to see the city now in its dying state, makes me sad. I still stay in Scotland but I still have a great affection for the city and outlying parts.