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1964 Rochester race riot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Rochester 1964 race riot was a riot that occurred in 1964 in Rochester, New York, in the United States.

1964 Rochester race riot
Date July 24–26, 1964
Location Rochester, New York
Caused by police brutality against blacks
Parties to the civil conflict
Black rioters
Death(s) 4
Injuries 350
Arrested 1,000

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Beyond Rochester's '64 Riots
  • Rochester Black Freedom Struggle Oral History Project
  • Rochester 1964


[Phyllis Andrews] We titled the exhibit "Beyond Rochester's '64 Riots: 50 years Seeking to Make One City Out of Two." We wanted to observed and remember what happened in the summer fifty years ago but we did not want to leave it there. We wanted to move forward see efforts that were made to recover at that time and how even today we're still working only very same issues. Many in the documents that you see in the exhibit are from the archives of Dr. Walter Cooper, who has been a lifetime archivist in addition to an activist and humanitarian. [Walter Cooper] "We Do Not Apologize" came out at the Monroe County Committee of the Liberal Party. This was the post comments of the riot itself. the riot itself was the accumulation of events that leadership of the community should have known about. [Phyllis] The riots were a sudden burst and the damage was significant. Over a million dollars, a thousand people were arrested. It just was a very grim period in Rochester and it preceded riots that were in other cities as well. [Walter] I came here in 1952 to pursue a PhD and chemistry I was the only African American in the graduate department at that time. Every African American had a housing problem. In 1954, while still a graduate student, my wife was a scientist at Eastman Kodak. We looked at 69 apartments for houses, outside of the ghetto. We were refused for all of them. Education was an issue, employment was an issue, but I think the tipping point was the relationship with the community to the police. [Phyllis] As we all know photographs are powerful, and when I was putting this exhibit together I honestly didn't want to include them because they are still so very painful. Take this gentleman here. I mean the pain on face there and you can imagine what might be going on. Or the record of the use of fire hoses Or the overturned chief of police car is just very, very powerful just to view these. [Walter] Some changes have taken place for the better, but I think there's much to be done especially in education because I see it as the pivotal up issue in determining a person's adult lifetime. [Phyllis] When I'm talking, working with students who are interested themselves in working in communities and being community activists of a sort, they need to understand what it took to start initiating the huge changes that this community needed.



In the early evening of Friday, July 24, 1964, the Rochester Police Department attempted to arrest a 19-year-old intoxicated black male at a street block party and dance.[1] A member of the group "Mothers Improvement Association of the Eighth Ward" concerned with the male's behavior was the first to contact the Rochester Police Department.[2]

Police observed 21 year old Randy Manigault, acting unruly and disorderly. They determined he was intoxicated and attempted to arrest him. Manigualt became combative, and resisted arrest. Bystanders felt police were too forceful and began to interject themselves, and started throwing bottles and bricks at police. Other R.P.D. units were dispatched, including K-9 units.

The riot broke out in two of Rochester's predominantly black wards, near the location of the intersection of Nassau Street and Joseph Avenue, as well as downtown.


Peace was restored after three days, and only after Governor Nelson Rockefeller called out the New York National Guard, the first such use of troops in a northern city since the Civil War. By the time the disturbance was over, four were dead (three in a helicopter crash) and 350 injured. Almost a thousand people were arrested and 204 stores were either looted or damaged.

A police officer lost his eye when hit by a bottle and Dick Baumbach a reporter for ABC News was shot in the face, but it only grazed his facial structure.

Although the riot was initially blamed on "outside agitators," almost all the rioters arrested were from the local area, with only 14 people arrested who resided outside Monroe County. Third Ward Supervisor Constance Mitchell stated, "I know the kids here. I know the hard ones and the good kids. And it was the good kids in my ward who first threw the bricks through the windows. Then the adults stepped in. This community just went insane."[3] This led to a reappraisal of policies and practices which had not changed in face of a tripling of the black population in the previous 10 years.

At that time, most blacks held low-pay and low-skill jobs and lived in substandard housing, and Rochester was the last city in the State of New York to implement a public housing program.

Throughout the decade following the riot, the City of Rochester acquired the land blighted by the riot, leveled remaining buildings, and removed or repositioned many of the streets. One of the first housing projects built after the riots was the Chatham Gardens Apartments, which opened in 1965.

See also


  1. ^ Mangione, Jerre. Mount Allegro A Memoir of Italian American Life, 1989. Syracuse University Press.
  2. ^ Hosmer, Howard C. A Panoramic History of Rochester and Monroe County, New York, 1979. Windsor Publishers.
  3. ^ Democrat & Chronicle: Study a year later disputed image of ‘ lawless' rioters

External links

This page was last edited on 30 August 2018, at 05:09
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