Photos of 1968 DC Riots After Martin Luther King’s Death

The year 1968 is remembered as among the most tumultuous time in America’s history. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968, Washington, D.C. found itself in the middle of controversy. The most devastating perhaps was the six days of race riots which erupted in the nation’s capital.

The riots started as news spread about King’s death. At first, crowds of people politely demanded that stores close out of respect but eventually became violent. As a result, buildings were set on fire, windows were broken and widespreed looting ensued. The situation got even worse in the following days. The police were unsuccesful in trying to control the crowds and eventually, the National Guard was brought in.

The situation got so bad that it went down in history as “the largest military occupation of any American city since the Civil War.”

These 12 vintage images (taken April 6, 1968), captured by Dr. Darrell Clayton Crain Jr., shows to prove just how bad some of the destruction was. See for yourself.

 
1. Guard at Woodward & Lothrop

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

2. Safeway

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

3. 14th and Kenyon NW

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

4. US Army at 14th and Park NW

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

5. Soul residence

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

6. Looted storefront

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

7. Firefighters at 14th and Harvard NW

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

8. Fire at 14th and Harvard NW

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

9. 14th St. GC Murphy

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

10. Street People’s Drug

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

11. 14th Street NW

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

12. Tivoli Theatre

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flickr / 1968 Grief and Anger, Posthumous DCC

 
H/t Beautiful Decay

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