The Ghetto: From Bad to Worse

The wounds of the 1967 riots still fester

A raid on an after-hours "blind pig" bar in Detroit, a scuffle between a Newark cabdriver and the police -- these were the flash points 20 years ago as the summer of 1967 erupted into the Fire This Time. Ghetto despair gave way to grotesque destruction: 43 dead in Detroit, 26 killed in Newark, injuries and arrests in the thousands. By September more than 100 cities had been scarred by rioting, an alphabetical roster of shame that stretched from Atlanta, Boston and Cincinnati to Tampa and Toledo. National Guardsmen patrolled the streets, and a federal commission probed the causes.

Out of...