Hour Magazine and Crain'sDetroit was first to remind us in a recent editions that this summer is the Fiftieth anniversary of six days (July23 to July29th) in which 43 people died. That is the tragedy. The good news is there hasn't been anything even r
Hour Magazine did provided brief summaries of how each of the of
The well worn pictured Book has more detail Nightmare in Detroit tells the story of the 43 fatalities with each getting getting a chapter or more. Each is a tragedy of it's own.
When the significance of the date became apparent to those in the news media
That prompted this writers to go from basement to Attic looking for the book I first found in a discount basket at a gas station somewhere between San Diego and Los Angeles As you can see from the jacket the book is well worn and when I at first couldn't find I accused my wife of putting out for a white elephant sale or something. I later apologized when the book turned up a pile of other books and I must admit it was not the first time the book got "lost". My fascination stemmed from the events and chronology told by two skilled journalists Van Gordon Sauter who in 1967 covered both the Newark Detroit riots of that summer. His Co author Burliegh Hines in 1966 received the best feature story 1966.
I never planned to stay in Detroit indefinitely but little things like career advances courting and marriage became provided a not so unpleasant permanence. A job at the Michigan Catholic Newspaper at Chicago and Linwood put me more or less at Ground zero for the 12th street Blind Pig. It was also the stomping grounds for the late great Purple gang of Dry Cleaner War Fame a half century prior.
Currently Public Broadcasting is featuring a series on revising historic Homes in what is referred to Boston Edison. In their day these homes heavy on sound deadening plaster and filigree were the best Detroit had to offer.
First casualty of July 23rd 1917 was one Krikor Messerliam
Then years previous almost to the day The British Commissioner in Constantinople signed the documents that allowed the twenty year old Armenian to begin the long trek to the United States.
Those interested the pitfalls in such arduous Journey perhaps taken by their ancestor should see the movie America, America, written and Directed Elia Kazan. In 1964 it was nominated for Best
The Last casualty of July 29th and the last causlties recorded was Ernest Roquemore . He was killed by a paratrooper. The landlady heard the police arrive with paratroopers she new the difference because her husband was one. It is alleged Ernest ran out of the house with something in his hand. Someone yelled he's got a gun the paratrooper positioned by the back door fired. His aim was good but Eric had no gun. There was more gun play at the house that ended when the Landlady's Husband alerted by the noise came up from the basement and the demanded the shooting stop. A girl talking on the telephone by a window was wounded. in the words of a witness the police charged
upstairs first and asking questions later.
Crains focused on the business aspects of the black community in the days before the Freeways. and takes you to a part Detroit many who lived here all their life never new existed..
A Bloomfield Hills resident who has plaques lining lining the Hallway of his home for emeritus service to Mayors, Cavanagh through Young. Remembers being in another the Hall when Governor Romney and the Mayor requested aid in the form of troops waiting on the tarmac at Selfredge Air Base. The condition was admission that local could not handle the situation. That would be useful to the President in the Election year 1968 when it was presumed Romney would be a president candidate.
The Michigan a front page Picture of soldiers mustering in front of a Catholic grade School.
What were your memories of that Summer ?