This Day in Black History: Detroit Race Riot

From the African American Registry

National Guard in 1967

National Guard in 1967

On this date in 1967, the Detroit rebellion occurred. The summer of that year was a turbulent time in American history, “the worst year for riots in the United States,” with 165 uprisings taking place.

The Detroit uprising began near 12th Street and Clairmount in a predominantly Black, overcrowded, low-income neighborhood. Early on the morning of July 23, 1967, Detroit police raided a blind pig (a speak-easy), which was illegally selling alcohol after hours. A crowd gathered as those arrested were put in a police wagon.  Unrest erupted and quickly spread. Detroit Mayor Jerome P. Cavanagh asked Governor George Romney to send in the State Police. Cavanagh later authorized Romney to call in the National Guard.

It took 17,000 army forces, the Michigan National Guard, and Detroit police two days to subdue the rebellion. The effects of the unrest were enormous: 43 people died, 1,700 stores were looted, 7,231 people were arrested, 1,383 buildings were burned, and property valued at about $50 million was damaged.

Read more of the story here.