24 Comment

  • stunning images indeed but this music….WTF

  • The music was so tranquil, it made me actually feel better about the destruction that occurred.

    Seriously tho, its amazing to see places in their historical glory, even if they are on fire.

    • Historical glory? Sorry but that time had no glory compared to the same locations today. Things are much better these days.

      • for whom exactly?

        • Today is better for those not in the criminal class. Today is better for those that value home rule instead of having congress run everything. Today is better for those who value an increasingly diverse city. Today is better for those that value a bunch of restaurants representing influences from all over the World. Today is better for those that value seeing historic thing re-open (like the Howard theater) instead of close and be torn down. Today is better for those that want to choose to ride thier bike to work. …. I could ramble on with ore for a long time.

      • This video also shows the 7th & O street market, I was mainly referring to there. It was remarkable to see how the neighborhoods looked during this period historically. I’ve lived in DC long before the economic boom. Its amazing to see the historical glory of these neighborhoods (despite them being on fire) because that was the last time until now that they were developed and inhabited neighborhoods.

        Barnes & Noble has books detailing (in pictures) neighborhoods in historic days versus now, its amazing (for me at least) to look at them to identify things that still exist despite years of change and destruction.

      • I guess it depends on what your definition of “glory” is. To the people who lived in these neighborhoods before they were torn down by the riots, there was plenty of glory. There were vibrant communities that were decimated and remained in that state for years. The new stuff isn’t necessarily better, or worse for that matter.

  • Hauntingly beautiful. Living in a house located a block from 14th and U I always wondered what the former residents of my house did during these riots. Did they evacuate? Were they guarding the house with a garden hose? How long did the smell of smoke linger?

  • Wow, this is utterly chilling.

    (I watched it without sound though!)

  • I feel like the music is meant to make you feel somberly contemplative and to make you take stock. There’s also the interesting quality that having this surreal footage juxtaposed with such a tranquil soundtrack brings to the video. Kind of a Ken Burns thing, maybe. I could totally picture this music over panning stills of dead Civil War soldiers.

    Not saying it hits the mark, but maybe that’s what they were going for.

    • Maybe that’s what they were aiming for, but all I got from it was a feeling of the violence being romanticized.

  • Does the street pavement look better than it is today?

  • :43 to 1:07 is the old whitman clinic where the JBG project is rising across from Black Cat and I think 3:48 is the gas station at 14th and W. Any other “moments” that you recognize today?

  • That would actually be film footage, not video footage.

  • Very interesting but yes the music is an odd choice. Then again, not sure what the “right” music would be to this video. Never understood the pathology of communities that chose to burn their own neighborhoods down.

  • 1:07 – 1:17 is the East side of 14 street near florida avenue. 1:07 was a beautiful building,but it isnt there anymore. The curent building is a two story building where a new gym opend earlier this year. around 1:16 is the auto shop now View 14.

  • Pretty wild. I have to wonder what my plan would be if DC suddenly turned lawless llike this again.

  • 2:21 – 2:26 is 14th Street from Florida Ave (where the liquor store is now at 14th/FLA) to W Street (when it pans you can see where Judy’s and Mova is now)

  • RIOT – a word used to control the dominant culture and create otherness among groups that if united, would destroy the real oppressors.

  • I keep learning about the history of this area, but video like this, and understanding why those fires were burning really make it come alive.

  • Allison

    Smokey Safeway, anyone?

    Heh. Heh. Because we needed some more alliterative names for Safeway.

  • Good morning.

    The only humor I can remember was the weather forecast:


    Seriously, there was no humor to the Riots of 1968.

    Most importantly, they were not “disturbances” as the revisionists and today’s politically correct like to call them.

    They were riots.

    There was violence.

    Big time.

    Even our city firemen were attacked with rocks, bottles and trash. Many thousands were arrested, more than a thousand Washingtonians were injured, a dozen died, while more than 1,200 buildings burned, few being able to be put out with such persistent violence for days.

    Nor was there much humor about it for the many years that followed throughout the late 1960’s and the 1970’s with the immediate collapse of the local private sector economy, a thousand store fronts burned down, seeing our neighbors and local merchants flee, as many of these charred and burned out buildings stood empty and boarded up for years and years, and the urban blight that ensued thereafter for all of us Washingtonians.

    We were abandoned to fend for ourselves that long weekend, our personal and professional lives so disrupted and altered without notice or warning, with no police and no protection from authorities for some long smoke filled days and fire lit nights that very long weekend that started on the first Thursday evening, April 1968 in Washington, D.C.

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