Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 6, 1968 -- Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Traumatizes the City



April 6, 1968 – Four thousand national guard troops are on city streets and three more units are on alert as rioting and looting rage on the city’s south side.  Heavy sniper fire pins policemen and firemen working fires near Sixty-Fifth Street and Ingleside, and crowds continue to grow between Cottage Grove and South Park Avenues on Sixty-First, Sixty-Third, and Sixty-Seventh Streets.  Deaths attributed to the rioting stand at nine, and at least 800 have been arrested as hundreds are left homeless and thousands more have no electric power.  One of the worst areas of destruction is the area of Roosevelt Road between Kedzie and Homan Avenues.  Thirty buildings on the south side of the street are set on fire with 16 more on the north side torched.  The fire alarm that signals the beginning of the riots is turned in at 3:49 p.m. on April 5 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the previous evening. Eventually 125 arson fires are reported with 210 buildings burned or heavily damaged.


April 6, 1878 -- The Chicago Daily Tribune launches yet another editorial about the conditions found on the South Fork of the South branch of the Chicago River, widely known today as "Bubbly Creek." "Throughout the mile or more of its course there is absolutely nothing to gladden its wretchedness or to hide its beggarly rags of muddy bank and oozing filth," the paper moans. "A dirtier, uglier, more wretched-looking body of water it would be hard to find . . . the Fork is worse than ever before, for the reason that its present state is as bad as could possibly be attained." And it got worse . . .

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