WXYZ News Covers the Detroit Civil Rights Riots | July, 1967

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

The city of Detroit, Michigan turned into a battleground in July, 1967 after city police raided an ‘unlicenced’, after-hours bar on what is now called Rosa Parks Boulevard, in the wee hours of July 23rd. As the situation became more tense, Governor George Romney called in the National Guard, and then President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the U.S. Army into Detroit to quell the violence.

It ended up being one of the costliest and most destructive riots in U.S. history. At the end of five days of guerilla warfare, 43 lay dead, 463 injured and several thousands of others were under arrest. Large parts of Detroit were in ruins.

View a NewsReel of the 1967 Riots

Listen to history as it happened, as described by ABC (network) News reporters Tom McEntire and Lowell Newton, who were on the scene as bullets screamed by their network vehicle. The entire newscast was anchored by Don Howe. News originated from the WXYZ studios in Detroit.

Courtesy of Contrbutor Robyn Watts

There are many reasons why the riot started, most have their basis on racism and the evolving Black Power movement. Other reasons were more subtle – everything from the blazing Summer heat to police brutality. We won’t discuss them on this website, but rather, prefer to provide some interesting links for our visitors to visit for educational purposes.

1. Detroit’s Great Rebellion
2. “The 12th Street Riot”The History Channel
3. 1967 Detroit RiotWikipedia
4. Detroit Riots ’67 – Rutgers University
5. Detroit Burning photo series – Life Magazine
6. Remembering the Detroit Riot of 1967 – Absolute Michigan


Steve West is a 39 year veteran of broadcasting. His air work as a Jock and News Anchor includes six radio markets and over two-dozen radio stations. Steve currently works on-air for the Super Radio USA media group out of Minnesota. Steve is the founder of the Airchexx Media Group and manages Airchexx.com and Airchexx Live - the official station of Airchexx.

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