It was during this week in 1967 that civil disturbances turned violent in Newark. According to the excellent book, “On This Day in New Jersey History," the spark that set off the powder keg was the arrest of a black taxi driver on motor vehicle issues.

Wikipedia refers to the incident as a “beating” by two white police officers and the rumor was he had been beaten to death (he was not). But the deeper problems are considered to be “substandard housing, chronic unemployment, alleged police brutality, and inferior educational opportunities."

At this point, Newark was a majority African-American city, but the politicians in charge were white. The riots lasted six days and resulted in the deaths of 26 people. Looting and Molotov cocktails were common. Eventually the National Guard was called in to quell the disturbances. The final price tag for the uprising was $10 million.

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