Friday, November 14, 2014

Louisville Riots of 1968

Martin Luther King speaks at the 1964 Mark on Frankfort, KY
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On April 4, 1968 in Memphis Tennessee the  assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King brought much grief, pain &  anger across America. His death would be the final straw in what would lead to a plethora of riots across the United States.

One riot in particular had taken place in Louisville, KY. A city which was no stranger to the racial tensions between blacks and whites that was widespread across America.

Louisville Skyline 
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In Louisville, Kentucky, on May 27, 1968, a rally took place at 28th and Greenwood to protest an arrest that had happened a few weeks prior on May 8, 1968. The men arrested were Charles Thomas and a real estate broker by the name of Manfred G. Reid. Reid  questioned officer's about Thomas's arrest which caused a crowd of about 200 African Americans to gather and begin to yell at the officers as the two were taken into custody.

Three weeks later, a rally which consisted of close to 350-400 people was devised as a plan to discuss the arrest of Thomas and Reid. At the rally, there were several speakers who gave their opinions on the arrest of the two gentlemen in hopes to find a solution to the injustice in their community. Towards the end of the rally a confrontation ensued between rally goers and the police patrolling the intersection of 28th and Greenwood and ended up escalating into a full fledged riot that lasted for a week.

National Guard Troops in West End of Louisville during 1968 Riot
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Burning Taxi during 1968 Louisville Riot
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Over 2,000 guardsmen from the national guard were called in to defuse the situation in Louisville. As a result of this riot both looting and shootings occurred, buildings were burned, two teens were killed, and 472 arrested had taken place.

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