Riots Devastate Negro Sections Of Baltimore; Order Being Restored

April 11, 1968

Some sections of Baltimore this week had the appearance of a city ravished by war following several days of looting and burning that let much of the Negro areas in shambles.

The city, f Wednesday, was returning to some degree of normalcy. Civil and military authorities relaxed curfews and restrictions that had been enforced in the effort to restore order.

The outbreak of window-breaking, looting and fire-bombing was precipitated by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., noted Negro clergyman, civil rights leader and apostle of non-violence.

Dr. King was slain by a sniper’s bullet last Thursday evening in Memphis, Tenn.

Investigators are searching for a white man in connection with the shooting.

Whether the slaying was the work of an individual racist or an agent of some militant or subversive group, it unleashed a savage outbreak of civil disorders in many cities across the nation.

Among the hardest hit were Washington, D. C., Chicago, Ill., and Baltimore, Md.

In Baltimore more than 1100 fires and lootings were reported. Fire damage was estimated at $10,000,000, not counting the stock and equipment of victimized merchants. seven deaths were attributed to the violence.

Authorities said the disorders were the work of gangs of young Negroes and some adult militants. The vast majority of the Negro community proved to be responsible and law-abiding citizens.

Before the rioting could be brought under control, some 10,000 federal troops and national guardsmen were called in to bolster the city’s police force.

Although Baltimore, Howard and Anne Arundel Counties were covered by emergency regulations, those counties experienced no civil disorder. With some of its citizens employed in the city and others serving in the national Guard, Carroll County shared in the anxiety of the Baltimore uprising but reported no incidents within its borders.

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