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Riot Area Aflame in Detroit, Michigan

23 July 2011

Section of Twelfth Street, Detroit, Michigan

I am in the process of going through my childhood scrapbook, which is a mess, and came across pages of newspaper clippings about the Detroit Riots.  I was 9 years old on July 23, 1967, the day the riots began and I remember the newspapers, and television news, were full of reports on the riots.  I don't know why I was so interested in this.  I remember talking to my mother about it and I clipped lots of pictures and articles out of the Detroit papers.  I was amazed at the pictures of people 'stealing' looting from stores.  I thought that was horrible!

I grew up about 100 miles north of Detroit.  We would go to visit my Uncle Hank and Aunt Mabel, who lived in Ferndale, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.  My dad grew up in Hazel Park, Michigan and my grandmother lived there for awhile.  We would go to the Detroit Zoo and to Tiger Stadium during the summer and sometimes go school shopping there.  I guess because we had been there a few times, I was amazed at what was going on in Detroit that summer.

The Detroit Riots started July 23, 1967 and lasted four days until July 27th.  Thirteen thousand troops, mostly National Guard, were called in to restore order.  Six people were killed and 200 injured during the riots.  The rioting started after a pre-dawn police raid on an illegal bar, which led to the arrest of 73 people.
Map of the Trouble Area in July 1967


Kristin said...

I was 21 years old. My grandmother lived two blocks from 12th and Atkinson, where the riot started. I ended up spending that week there with cousins, aunts, uncles and my father. I'm planning to post something about it this July 23. It's something anybody who was in Detroit at the time will never forget.

Brenda Leyndyke said...

I can't imagine being that close to the riots. It must have been a little scary.

Claudia said...

I was in a dorm during Nursing School in Pittsburgh and I was very scared too. I could see the distant flames form the dorm window.

Brenda Leyndyke said...

Claudia it sounds like it affected a lot of people and is something you will always remember.

Anonymous said...

My father was 10 years old when this happened and he lived right in the middle of all of the chaos. Right on the corner of 12th and Hazelwood.

Brenda Leyndyke said...

Wow! I was a little scared reading about it in the paper. I can't imagine living in the middle of it. I hope you are recording his thoughts and remembrances about it. What a story he must have.

C. Rae White said...

I was 8 years old when the riot broke out. I lived in my grandmother's 6 family flat on Detroit's Northend (Alger at Beaubien). My mother sent me and my older sister to stay with our father in Los Angeles, CA for the summer. When the riot was over, my sister stayed in LA to attend college and I came back to live with my mother and step father in Detroit's University District (7 mile and Livernois area). My step father would often drive us kids around the areas where the riot had taken place (especially down 12th street). I remember seeing many businesses with the words, "Soul Brother" painted on them. My step father explained that these places were Black owned and this was done to stop destruction and looting.

Brenda Leyndyke said...

What an impression that must have made on you. Thank you for sharing your personal experience.

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