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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

The summer of 1967 was a hot one, and not just because of the weather. Across the United States, frustration and anger simmered in many African American communities. Issues like poverty, lack of jobs, poor housing, and police brutality had reached a boiling point. Newark, New Jersey, became the epicenter of this unrest, erupting in violence that left a lasting scar on the city.

On July 12th, the spark that ignited Newark came from a seemingly minor event. John Smith, a black cab driver, was arrested by white police officers near a housing project. Rumors quickly spread that Smith had been beaten and even killed while in police custody. A crowd gathered at the precinct, demanding answers and justice.

The situation escalated rapidly. Bottles and bricks were thrown, met by police with nightsticks and tear gas. The anger, fueled by years of pent-up frustration, spilled onto the streets. Newark, a city already grappling with racial tension and economic hardship, became engulfed in flames.

For five long days and nights, the riots raged. Stores were looted and burned, buildings were damaged, and the streets became a battleground. The National Guard was called in to restore order, but their presence only seemed to intensify the violence. Snipers fired from rooftops, adding to the chaos and fear.

Residents, black and white, found themselves caught in the crossfire. Some risked their lives to help others, offering shelter or medical aid. Others took advantage of the lawlessness, furthering the destruction.

By the time the riots subsided on July 17th, the toll was devastating. Twenty-six people lost their lives, hundreds were injured, and property damage reached millions of dollars. The scars of those five days went beyond the physical destruction. The riots exposed the deep racial and economic divisions within Newark, leaving a legacy of mistrust and resentment.

The Newark Riots were not an isolated incident. They were part of a larger wave of urban unrest that swept across the United States during the “Long Hot Summers” of the 1960s. Cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, and Chicago also experienced similar explosions of anger and violence.

#1 A youth group protesting the use of Federal Troops to control.

A youth group protesting the use of Federal Troops to control.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#2 Members of the National Guard join the local police in searching for rooftop snipers

Members of the National Guard join the local police in searching for rooftop snipers

.#3 Two soldiers sit in a shop doorway amid broken mannequins during riots in Newark, New Jersey, 1967.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#3

The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#4 A Black woman peers from beside a gate in the door of a store with a sign in the window reading ‘Negro owner,’ 1967

A Black woman peers from beside a gate in the door of a store with a sign in the window reading 'Negro owner,' 1967

#7 A young man sits handcuffed in the back of a police wagon during a riot

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#5

The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#6 A Black man gestures with his thumb down to an armed National Guardman, during a protest

A Black man gestures with his thumb down to an armed National Guardman, during a protest

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#7 LeRoi Jones leaves a police station bloodied and in chains after being arrested

LeRoi Jones leaves a police station bloodied and in chains after being arrested

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#8 Police officers hold rifles out of the windows of a police cruiser on Springfield Avenue

Police officers hold rifles out of the windows of a police cruiser on Springfield Avenue

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#9 A policeman arrests a suspect during riots, 1960s.

A policeman arrests a suspect during riots, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#10 National Guardsmen rest in front of a hairdressers shop

National Guardsmen rest in front of a hairdressers shop

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#11 A National Guardsman stands behind a corner and holds a Garand rifle

A National Guardsman stands behind a corner and holds a Garand rifle

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#12 A shotgun and an elbow protrude from the window of a police cruiser

A shotgun and an elbow protrude from the window of a police cruiser

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#13 A young boy walks down the sidewalk past shuttered storefronts towards a furniture store

A young boy walks down the sidewalk past shuttered storefronts towards a furniture store

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#14 A soldier of the National Guard stands next to a mannequin’s legs and a sign reading ‘Uniforms Sold Here’

A soldier of the National Guard stands next to a mannequin's legs and a sign reading 'Uniforms Sold Here'

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#15 Soldiers of the National Guard shelter behind a stack of boxes

Soldiers of the National Guard shelter behind a stack of boxes

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#16 Smoke rises from the city

Smoke rises from the city

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#17 Smoke rises from the city

Smoke rises from the city

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#18 A young African American boy passes a National Guardsman in an alley of Springfield Avenue

A young African American boy passes a National Guardsman in an alley of Springfield Avenue

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#19 A Newark man holds his injured eye as he is admitted to hospital during the riots taking place in

A Newark man holds his injured eye as he is admitted to hospital during the riots taking place in

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#20 Suspected rioters place their hands on the roof of their car after they had been stopped by police during the riots

Suspected rioters place their hands on the roof of their car after they had been stopped by police during the riots

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#21 Newark police briefing officers in a warehouse before they head out into the riots taking place in Newark, New Jersey, 1960s.

Newark police briefing officers in a warehouse before they head out into the riots taking place in Newark, New Jersey, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#22 Armed officers of the National Guard patrol the streets

Armed officers of the National Guard patrol the streets

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#23 Robert Curvin, Core official, uses bullhorn to ask crowd to calm down as they gather in front of the Fourth Precinct Police station

Robert Curvin, Core official, uses bullhorn to ask crowd to calm down as they gather in front of the Fourth Precinct Police station

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#24 An African-American storekeeper stands outside his shop, which has a sign reading, ‘This store is owned and operated by Negroes.

An African-American storekeeper stands outside his shop, which has a sign reading, 'This store is owned and operated by Negroes.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#25 Police take cover behind parked cars during the riots in Newark, New Jersey, 1960s.

Police take cover behind parked cars during the riots in Newark, New Jersey, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#26 A group of women in a police station as they wait to pick up relatives picked up by police for looting during riots

A group of women in a police station as they wait to pick up relatives picked up by police for looting during riots

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#27 National Guard troops start to deploy into Springfield Ave., the scene of heavy rioting, 1960s.

National Guard troops start to deploy into Springfield Ave., the scene of heavy rioting, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#28 A man resisting arrest is taken from the area near where police officer Frederick Toto was fatally shot

A man resisting arrest is taken from the area near where police officer Frederick Toto was fatally shot

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#29 Newark children pass National Guardsman during riots, 1960s.

Newark children pass National Guardsman during riots, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#30 LeRoi Jones in a police station, bloodied and in chains after being arrested.

LeRoi Jones in a police station, bloodied and in chains after being arrested.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#31 Helmeted police riot argue with an African american man as Newark witnessed its second night of rioting, 1960s.

Helmeted police riot argue with an African american man as Newark witnessed its second night of rioting, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#32 National Guardsmen frisk a suspect at bayonet point during the third consecutive night.

National Guardsmen frisk a suspect at bayonet point during the third consecutive night.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#33 Police officers and National Guardsmen round up looters on a major thoroughfare following a second night of rioting in Newark, New Jersey, 1960s.

Police officers and National Guardsmen round up looters on a major thoroughfare following a second night of rioting in Newark, New Jersey, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#34 An aerial view shows a looted section, 1960s.

An aerial view shows a looted section, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#35 National Guardsmen try to ignore heckling of protestors on Newark’s Springfield Ave.

National Guardsmen try to ignore heckling of protestors on Newark's Springfield Ave.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#36 Helmeted police riot guards drag a wounded rioter away from the scene of violence

Helmeted police riot guards drag a wounded rioter away from the scene of violence

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#37 A National Guardsmen stands with a rifle atop a personnel carrier vehicle, blocking traffic leaving the area

A National Guardsmen stands with a rifle atop a personnel carrier vehicle, blocking traffic leaving the area

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#38 Soldiers in an armored personnel carrier patrol the streets of Newark

Soldiers in an armored personnel carrier patrol the streets of Newark

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#39 A Newark police officer shelters from a sniper

A Newark police officer shelters from a sniper

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#40 Newark police officers and state troopers exchange fire with a sniper

Newark police officers and state troopers exchange fire with a sniper

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#41 Police and state troopers return the fire of a sniper

Police and state troopers return the fire of a sniper

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#42 A member of the National Guard sits with his rifle on the steps of a closed convenience store

A member of the National Guard sits with his rifle on the steps of a closed convenience store

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#43 Newark Police and National Guardsmen search for looting suspects outside stores

Newark Police and National Guardsmen search for looting suspects outside stores

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#44 National Guard soldiers armed and on alert.

National Guard soldiers armed and on alert.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#45 National Guard soldiers taking cover behind a fallen store sign

National Guard soldiers taking cover behind a fallen store sign

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#46 National Guard soldiers taking cover behind a car, guns pointed towards the street

National Guard soldiers taking cover behind a car, guns pointed towards the street

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#47 A group of National Guard soldiers taking cover behind a US Army armored car

A group of National Guard soldiers taking cover behind a US Army armored car

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#48 National Guard soldiers taking cover under the awning of a building, guns pointed towards the street

National Guard soldiers taking cover under the awning of a building, guns pointed towards the street

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#49 National Guard soldiers on the roof of a building overlooking the streets

National Guard soldiers on the roof of a building overlooking the streets

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#50 A National Guard soldier crouched behind a car, gun pointed towards the street at night

A National Guard soldier crouched behind a car, gun pointed towards the street at night

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#51 A young African American man walking on a sidewalk looks at a group of National Guard soldiers, 1960s.

A young African American man walking on a sidewalk looks at a group of National Guard soldiers, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#52 National Guard soldiers in ambush behind a jeep armed with a light machine gun

National Guard soldiers in ambush behind a jeep armed with a light machine gun

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#53 National Guard soldiers in ambush behind a jeep armed with a light machine gun

National Guard soldiers in ambush behind a jeep armed with a light machine gun

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#54 A National Police officer searches an African American man in front of a parked car

A National Police officer searches an African American man in front of a parked car

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#55 A National Police officer searches an African American man in front of a parked car

A National Police officer searches an African American man in front of a parked car

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#56 National Guard soldiers take cover behind a jeep armed with a light machine gun

National Guard soldiers take cover behind a jeep armed with a light machine gun

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#57 National Guard soldiers gathered behind a jeep armed with a light machine gun

National Guard soldiers gathered behind a jeep armed with a light machine gun

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#58 Two police officers in riot helmets take cover behind a parked car

Two police officers in riot helmets take cover behind a parked car

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#59 A shop window belonging to the African-American community, protected from looting, with the inscription ‘Soul Brothers’, 1960s.

A shop window belonging to the African-American community, protected from looting, with the inscription 'Soul Brothers', 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#60 A troop of armed National Guard soldiers on patrol on a sidewalk of Springfield Avenue

A troop of armed National Guard soldiers on patrol on a sidewalk of Springfield Avenue

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#61 A troop of armed National Guard soldiers and police officers on patrol

A troop of armed National Guard soldiers and police officers on patrol

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#62 A National Guard soldier stands guard in front of a looted and gutted store

A National Guard soldier stands guard in front of a looted and gutted store

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#63 A troop of armed National Guard soldiers patrol near a jeep armed with a light machine gun

A troop of armed National Guard soldiers patrol near a jeep armed with a light machine gun

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#64 A National Guard soldier stands with a gun pointed towards the street next to a police officer crouched behind a jeep

A National Guard soldier stands with a gun pointed towards the street next to a police officer crouched behind a jeep

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#65 An African-American man in a hat under arrest, standing in front of a counter surrounded by Newark police officers, 1960s.

An African-American man in a hat under arrest, standing in front of a counter surrounded by Newark police officers, 1960s.

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#66 National Guard soldiers on guard at night on a sidewalk

National Guard soldiers on guard at night on a sidewalk

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#67 Riots at Newark

Riots at Newark

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#68 National Guard soldiers in riot helmets with bayonets raised, exhibiting flashlights

National Guard soldiers in riot helmets with bayonets raised, exhibiting flashlights

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#69 State Police officers in uniform and armed are at the counter in a cafeteria, among them an elderly African-American man

State Police officers in uniform and armed are at the counter in a cafeteria, among them an elderly African-American man

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#70 Three young African-American men arrested, chained and handcuffed, one of them wearing a bloodstained white shirt

Three young African-American men arrested, chained and handcuffed, one of them wearing a bloodstained white shirt

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#71 A group of residents disperses under the direction of armed police officers on a sidewalk

A group of residents disperses under the direction of armed police officers on a sidewalk

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#72 An African-American man is arrested by police officers and National Guard soldiers

An African-American man is arrested by police officers and National Guard soldiers

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#73 A young African-American man lying on the hood of a parked car is searched by a group of National Police officers

A young African-American man lying on the hood of a parked car is searched by a group of National Police officers

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#74 Two young African American boys in t-shirts and Bermuda shorts near broken mannequin busts on the sidewalk

Two young African American boys in t-shirts and Bermuda shorts near broken mannequin busts on the sidewalk

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#75 Newark Police arrest a looter at Springfield Ave. and Mercer St. during riots

Newark Police arrest a looter at Springfield Ave. and Mercer St. during riots

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#76 Young African Americans on the sidewalk of an avenue lined with brick houses

Young African Americans on the sidewalk of an avenue lined with brick houses

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#77 A regiment of the federal guard and state police driving jeeps in single file on an avenue

A regiment of the federal guard and state police driving jeeps in single file on an avenue

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#78 A regiment of the federal guard and state police driving jeeps in single file on an avenue

A regiment of the federal guard and state police driving jeeps in single file on an avenue

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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#79 Military jeeps and trucks occupied by soldiers of the federal guard on an avenue

Military jeeps and trucks occupied by soldiers of the federal guard on an avenue

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The Newark Riots of 1967: Historic Photos Documenting the Rage, Destruction, and the Aftermath of Urban Unrest

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Written by Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson is an archaeologist and historian who specializes in the study of war and conflict. He writes about the brutal history of warfare, including the World Wars and other significant conflicts. Through his work, he aims to deepen our understanding of the human cost of conflict and inspire us to work towards a more peaceful future.

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