United States and American History: Late 1967

About the history of the United States in 1967, the summer of love and hippies, riots in Newark and Detroit, first black Supreme Court Justice, anti-Vietnam sentiment contiunes.


June 23 The Senate voted to censure Sen. Thomas Dodd (Dem.-Conn.) for paying personal debts with campaign contributions; unlike Powell, Dodd kept his seat and his chairmanship.

Summer Tens of thousands of young people converged on the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury district for the "Summer of Love," with similar migrations to the East Village, New York City, and other centers of "hip culture." The "hippies" or "flower children" set themselves apart by dropping out of straight society and turning on to communal living, free love, marijuana, LSD, heavily amplified music, and spiritualism. This generally horrified their elders.

July 12-17 The Newark Riot, covering 10 sq. mi., left 26 dead (24 black), over 1,500 injured and 1,397 arrested. It started when police beat a black man after a traffic arrest. It ended with what even the New Jersey governor's Select Commission called "excessive and unjustified force" as police and National Guardsmen vandalized black businesses and indiscriminately shot at blacks. Meanwhile, the House refused to consider a $4 million bill for rat control in urban slums.

July 23-30 The Detroit Riot left 43 dead (36 black), over 2,000 injured, 5,000 arrested, 1,700 stores looted by whites as well as blacks, and 5,000 homeless from 1,442 fires. It started when police arrested 73 blacks in a raid on an after-hours club and ended with the 1st use of Federal troops to quell a civil disturbance in 25 years.

--There were riots or disturbances in 127 cities over the summer. Among the largest of the others were New York (2 dead), Milwaukee (4 dead), Cambridge, Md. (SNCC chairman "Rap" Brown arrested for inciting to riot), Minneapolis (National Guard called out), and Chicago (2 dead).

Aug. 31-Sept. 4 Over 2,000 delegates from 200 black, student, labor, war, and leftist organizations attended the "New Politics" convention in Chicago. The convention's platform called for "revolutionary change" and "open draft resistance."

Sept. 30 President Johnson signed a record $70 billion defense appropriation including $20 billion for direct support of the Vietnam War.

Oct. 2 Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the 1st black Supreme Court justice.

Oct. 15 Florence Beaumont, a 56-year-old housewife from La Puente, Calif., burned herself to death in front of the Los Angeles Federal Building in protest against U.S. fighting in Vietnam. She was one of 7 Americans to choose self-immolation as a means of protest.

Oct. 21 Fifty thousand to 150,000 people marched to the Pentagon and 647 were arrested in the antiwar demonstration immortalized by Norman Mailer in Armies of the Night. Folk singer Joan Baez was among 125 arrested in a sit-in at the Oakland Draft Induction Center. Other antiwar demonstrations were held in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and on many college campuses.

Nov. 7 Selective Service chief General Hershey announced that college students arrested in antiwar demonstrations would lose their draft deferments.

Dec. Reports by the Census on "Social and Economic Conditions of Negroes" showed that 41% of nonwhite families made less than $3,300 a year (compared to 12% of white families), 7.3% of nonwhites were unemployed (3.4% white), and 29% lived in substandard housing (8% white). Another report revealed that 83% of black students still attended all-black schools in 11 Southern States.

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