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> Michigan City North End Civil Riot in Summer of 1970
taxthedeer
post Mar 22 2015, 09:39 PM
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The police sure could have used the MRAP 45 years ago.

http://www.mclib.org/genealogy/chronology.html

QUOTE
1970 - Two days of riots/civil disturbances occur in the city's North End following the Summer Festival Parade. The disturbances were sparked by an incident in which three black men were arrested and subdued with mace by police in front of a local tavern, in what began as a parking violation. For the next two days, windows were broken, firebombs and rocks were thrown, stores were looted, and sporadic shots were fired. Fourteen-year-old Emmett Wright was shot in the left leg, and eight other people were injured. The Star Laundry was destroyed in a fire, and Henry Lumber and Kaeding Boats were damaged by fire. A state of emergency was declared and a force of 150 police and 150 National Guardsmen patrolled the city (July 11-12, 1970).



http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1970/8/4...couldnt-happen/

QUOTE
Michigan City, Indiana: It Couldn't Happen Here
By LIBERATION NEWS SERVICE, August 4, 1970
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind.-Blacks have taken to the streets in this quiet All-American city (1966 Look Magazine award).

Michigan City, a lakeside resort east of the few Indiana sand dunes saved from industrial destruction, is one of those places where people say, "it could never happen here" no matter what the issue. The main street has a new mall. The police wear American flags over their right shirt pockets.

Many of the city's 39,000 people work in local factories ranging from heavy industry (like Pullman Bethlehem Steel) or small, light manufacturing (such as Arno Tape).

Unlike the cities around Gary, Michigan City is not just a workers' town: there's a sizeable local bourgeoisie. Also, there are fewer blacks, about 13 per cent, virtually all of them segregated off into a corner of the north side of town where the houses are old and deteriorating.

Sammie's

Sammie's is a crowded bar and pool-room that is a favorite northside hangout. It is located within a couple of blacks of the NAACP office (the only black political organization in town). The local newspaper and the police station are also located near Sammie's.

On the afternoon of Saturday, July 11, while the city was still crowded with some of the 100,000 visitors who had come for the annual Summer Festival parade, Walter Gipson. a 27-year-old black factory worker, was heading from Sammie's to his car when a white policeman pulled up.

"I walked across the street," Gipson said. "He was pulling over. I said something to one of the fellows sitting on mycar and asked what was going on. He stopped his car, jumped out and asked me what I said to him. I said, 'Nothing, what did you hear me say?'

"I didn't hear you say anything but I read your lips." He told me to move my car and park it right (it was parked legally but improperly). I was on my way back into the poolroom and he said, 'Hey boy, if you think you're so bad you come back here.' He invited me outside for a fight. I said, 'Take your gun off and I'll fight you."

The policeman allegedly started to push into the crowded poolroom but was shoved back. More cops arrived. Suddenly they sprayed Gipson and two bystanders, Adolph Banks, 27, a welder, and James Henley, an insurance salesman, with Mace. All three were arrested.

Later that evening a few windows were broken. Part of a lumber yard and a cleaner's across from Sammie's burned, probably from molotov cocktails. Dozens of windows in local business of fices were trashed. Mayor Courad Kominiarek panicked and declared a state of emergency under a statute passed last year.

Sunday Festival activities were canceled, and the mayor and some local black representatives met, but as the curfew was enforced ??? evening, more skirmishes erupted; ???indows were broken, a few rocks were thrown at autos. Several more buildings suffered fire damage, and a few shots were fired at the police.

The governor sent in 150 guardsmen to back up state troopers, sheriffs and 73 city police. Roads were blocked off. One 14-year-old black youth was shot in the leg by police, and several dozen arrests were made.

For all the fuss, the rebellion was restrained and it seemed blacks had the situation more in hand than did the frenzied authorities. "They made it sound like a big thing," one young worker hanging out by Sammie's said later in the week, "but it wasn't shit." He pointed to a big pile of rubble from a building destroyed by urban-renewal, saying television cameramen had been photographing it as "riot damage."

"They wouldn't have sent for no troops if they weren't scared," a Vietvet home on leave said. "Police ain't shit in Michigan City. The pigs think it's all over now but it ain't even started. This is just letting the pigs here know we aren't satisfied, and we aren't afraid. We want our rights or we'll burn the place down."

Lack of jobs, bad and segregated housing, u?ban destruction with little reconstruction, and harassment from police were the basic grievances. With blacks hanging out in the parks on hot night, police had decided to enforce the evening cunfew. Any job is hard to find because of the recession, but the good jobs are almost always denied to blacks.

By Tuesday, July 14, the Guard was pulled out and the curfew cut back. Eight white city officials (there is one black city councilman in the local government and a few black police) received a middle-class community delegation in the tidy new brick courtroom in the police station.

The officials' response ranged from befuddlement to obstructionism as the community delegation presented 12 demands, including a "hot line" on community problems, regulations on police conuct, suspension of the cop who arrested Gipson, appointment of several black city officials, tenants representation on the public housing board, and pressure from the mayor on the banks to make loans for housing available to blacks.

Not only were the demands weak, but a large segment of the community noted that the middle-class blacks and whites who had long made NAACP so weak were the "spokesmen" the mayor heard.

"I don't recognize any of them," shouted one worker as he stomped out of a meeting where the argument had centered on which ministers to include on the negotiating committee.

In response to demands for regulation of police conduct, the deputy prosecutor (also the attorney for the Human Relations Commission) read off the standard police instructions to be courteous, respect property, and so on.

"Everybody has these rules," one man challenged. "That doesn't interest me as much as who punishes them if they break the rules."

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outsider
post May 18 2015, 01:08 PM
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QUOTE

1970 - Two days of riots/civil disturbances occur in the city's North End following the Summer Festival Parade. The disturbances were sparked by an incident in which three black men were arrested and subdued with mace by police in front of a local tavern, in what began as a parking violation. For the next two days, windows were broken, firebombs and rocks were thrown, stores were looted, and sporadic shots were fired. Fourteen-year-old Emmett Wright was shot in the left leg, and eight other people were injured. The Star Laundry was destroyed in a fire, and Henry Lumber and Kaeding Boats were damaged by fire. A state of emergency was declared and a force of 150 police and 150 National Guardsmen patrolled the city (July 11-12, 1970).

********************************************************************************


The three white officers were drunk and were hassling one of the black men for dating the daughter of a white officer.
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Groucho
post May 18 2015, 01:37 PM
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QUOTE(taxthedeer @ Mar 22 2015, 10:39 PM) *


I remember this summer. It was a hot one and I remember that end of town. If you were white you basically stayed out of there. Sammies was the corner tavern at Michigan and 2nd. It was a rough place. That whole end of town was a rough place.

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Oscar Gurtgorter
post May 27 2015, 12:02 PM
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"Sammies was the corner tavern at Michigan and 2nd."

I think you mean Spring & Michigan. BTW - At that particular time, Owens Motor Suppy was located there.
Sammies Tavern was pretty much where the front lawn of City Hall is today.
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Groucho
post May 28 2015, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE(Oscar Gurtgorter @ May 27 2015, 01:02 PM) *

"Sammies was the corner tavern at Michigan and 2nd."

I think you mean Spring & Michigan. BTW - At that particular time, Owens Motor Suppy was located there.
Sammies Tavern was pretty much where the front lawn of City Hall is today.


you may very well be correct. I don't live in MC anymore and that area of town changed after I had moved away. I seem to recall a three way intersection. Spring, Michigan Blvd, and Second but my memory may not be correct.
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ECMayo
post Mar 29 2016, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE(Groucho @ May 28 2015, 06:00 PM) *

you may very well be correct. I don't live in MC anymore and that area of town changed after I had moved away. I seem to recall a three way intersection. Spring, Michigan Blvd, and Second but my memory may not be correct.


Sammie's Tavern was originally located at the corner of W. Michigan & Pine St. directly across from Star Dry Cleaners. to the right, was Tri-State Electric. Which had a lot of electronics and stereo equipment. It was looted, the Star Cleaners was destroyed by fire. Sammie's Tavern was owned by my cousin, Sammie Cain, and his wife Melvina Glover-Cain.

The tavern moved to larger location directly that the T of the W. Mich Blvd, E. Mich Blvd where US20 & 35 meets going north were 2 houses, then Tonn & Blank offices. Later sold and became what was called Rich Man, Poor Man then owned by Melvina Cain (after Sammie died) and run my Ozell Corley.

As far as the original being dangerous place, I never saw any danger as a kid. Frequently getting a free burger in the back at Pat's Kitchen. If you mix alcohol, abuse, and frustration that what you will get with any race. The blacks at the North End/Patch (which later became Harborside) were poorly treated and grew up right in that area. Remember Pullman was shutting down and it was the largest employer in MC.

I remember the 'so-called' riot, as I was walking home to the south side 2100 block of Ohio St. Me and Howard was walking along Franklin Sq and just talking, tossing pebbles into the planters as we walked. A K-9 police car pulled up the sidewalk and accosted me and my friend, and dragged us into the car with the dog behind the cage slobbering on our shoulders. When we arrived at the front desk the Desk Sargent Zachary Shia recognized me (I was his daughter's classmate and kinda fond of her, but it couldn't happen back then and being the first black family to move that far south) anyway, He said "Carl what you doing here?" I told him "We were walking home, and they just dragged me into the car" he made the officer take me and Howard home.

I do have additional insight to some of the particulars of the riot because I was a wide eyed kid, that knew a lot of people, and what was happening in the middle of the mess.
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ECMayo
post Mar 29 2016, 09:57 AM
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QUOTE(Oscar Gurtgorter @ May 27 2015, 12:02 PM) *

"Sammies was the corner tavern at Michigan and 2nd."

I think you mean Spring & Michigan. BTW - At that particular time, Owens Motor Suppy was located there.
Sammies Tavern was pretty much where the front lawn of City Hall is today.


------
And I think you mean W. Michigan & Pine St.

The 'OK Used Car' lot (Enyert Chevrolet Used Cars) was at W. Michigan & Spring. Between the OK and Enyert Chevy place was a 2 story plumbing supply store that had a fire escape tube slide on the west side of the building that I often played in. At that alley intersection the Matthews family lived there.

There was nothing much on 2nd Street, from Franklin going north toward Canada. On the north side of 2nd Street The B&K Root Beer stand then two 2-story apartments building (my first girlfriend lived on the top floor of the second apartment building), then an empty lot where the old Donnelson Hotel used to be in the 60's, then another empty lot. Then the lumber yard itself (Might have been Pioneer Lumber).
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Oscar Gurtgorter
post Apr 1 2016, 11:51 AM
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QUOTE(ECMayo @ Mar 29 2016, 10:57 AM) *

------
And I think you mean W. Michigan & Pine St.

The 'OK Used Car' lot (Enyert Chevrolet Used Cars) was at W. Michigan & Spring. Between the OK and Enyert Chevy place was a 2 story plumbing supply store that had a fire escape tube slide on the west side of the building that I often played in. At that alley intersection the Matthews family lived there.

There was nothing much on 2nd Street, from Franklin going north toward Canada. On the north side of 2nd Street The B&K Root Beer stand then two 2-story apartments building (my first girlfriend lived on the top floor of the second apartment building), then an empty lot where the old Donnelson Hotel used to be in the 60's, then another empty lot. Then the lumber yard itself (Might have been Pioneer Lumber).


Nope. I was referring to what the OP said. He thought Sammies was in its latter location. Spring & Michigan. (Hosey Metcalf's street) Enyeart was across the street - catty-cornered.
1st location - Pine & Michigan - Front Lawn City Hall.

I surely don't remember any danger at least in the daytime. I had to walk to N-D every 2 weeks and pay Herb for my paper bill.

Oh yeah and who DIDN"T have a crush on that red haired girl!
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