Races: Sparks & Tinder

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The Los Angeles ghetto of Watts went berserk in 1965 after an unemployed high school dropout named Marquette Frye was arrested for drunken driving. In six days of rioting, 35 died, 900 were injured. In 1966, the Cleveland ghetto of Hough erupted when a white bartender denied a glass of ice water to a Negro patron. And in Newark, N.J., a trumpet-playing Negro cab driver by the name of John Smith last week became the random spark that ignited the latest—and one of the most violent—of U.S. race riots.

Smith was...

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