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12 Vintage Photos Of The 1968 DC Riots After Martin Luther King's Death

On April 4, 1968, following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington, D.C. found itself in the middle of controversy. The most devastating perhaps was the six-day race riots which erupted in the nation's capital.

The riots started as news spread about King's assassination. At first, the crowd politely demanded that stores close out of respect but eventually it got out of hand. Buildings were set on fire, windows were broken and widespread looting ensued. The police was unable to control the crowd and eventually, the National Guard was brought in.

The situation escalated so bad and so quickly that it went down in history as "the largest military occupation of any American city since the Civil War."

These 12 vintage photos, captured by Dr. Darrell Clayton Crain Jr. on April 6, 1968, show just how bad some of the destruction was. See for yourself.

 
1. Guard at Woodward & Lothrop

dc riot 1968 - 1

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

2. Safeway

dc riot 1968 - 2

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

3. 14th and Kenyon NW

dc riot 1968 - 3

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

4. US Army at 14th and Park NW

dc riot 1968 - 4

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

5. Soul residence

dc riot 1968 - 5

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

6. Wall of a looted store

dc riot 1968 - 6

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

7. Firefighters in action at 14th and Harvard NW

dc riot 1968 - 7

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

8. Fire at 14th and Harvard NW

dc riot 1968 - 8

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

9. 14th St. GC Murphy

dc riot 1968 - 9

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

10. Street People's Drug

dc riot 1968 - 10

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

11. 14th Street NW

dc riot 1968 - 11

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

12. Tivoli Theatre

dc riot 1968 - 12

flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

 
H/t Beautiful Decay

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