THE NATION 1967: Cities The Fire This Time: Detroit

The Fire This Time

At midnight, Hubert G. Locke, a Negro who is administrative assistant to the police commissioner, left his desk at headquarters and climbed to the roof for a look at Detroit. When he saw it, he wept. Beneath him, whole sections of the nation's fifth largest city lay in charred, smoking ruins. From Grand River Avenue to Gratiot Avenue six miles to the east, tongues of flame licked at the night sky, illuminating the angular skeletons of gutted homes, shops, supermarkets. Looters danced in the eerie shadows, stripping a store clean, then setting it to the torch.

In the...

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