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Detroit Historical Society wants stories from 1967 riots

Jul 22, 2016

In the summer of 1967, the streets of Detroit shook with violence.

Civil unrest over lack of housing for blacks and open animosity with the mostly white police department boiled over in the early morning hours of July 23.

What began with a police raid on an unlicensed after-hours club grew into rioting and looting that devastated parts of the city and lasted for days.

Then-governor George Romney called in the National Guard, and President Lyndon Johnson sent in paratroopers to help quell the violence. 

By the time riots ended several days later, more than 2,000 buildings had been destroyed and 43 people were dead. 

The Detroit Historical Society is looking for residents who remember those turbulent days. 

On Saturday, the DHS is holding an event at the Detroit Historical Museum in Midtown to collect stories for its 1967 oral history project.  

Anyone who lived in or around the city in 1967 is encouraged to share their memories.

Support for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative on Michigan Radio comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism's Michigan Reporting Initiative, the Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.