Civil Rights Hecklers Burn Cars
25 Hurt, 18 Arrested in Marquette Park
15 Autos are Set on Fire, Others are Damaged
Excerpts: Chicago Tribune, August 1, 1966
Hundreds of policemen were rushed into Marquette Park last night as disorders broke out
in the wake of a civil rights march. Cars were burned and overturned in the park. Burning autos
sent up columns of smoke and lighted the sky, attracting additional thousands of persons to the
park as police sought to restore order. All entrances to the park were closed. The park is
bounded by 67th and 71st streets and California and Central Park avenues. The civil rights march
was largely thru the park area.
Hit by Bottles and Stones -- At least 25 persons were injured, most of them being hit
with bottles, stones, or broken glass thrown by white hecklers at white and Negro civil rights
marchers. At least 18 were arrested on charges which included resisting arrest, attempted battery,
disorderly conduct, and possession of fireworks.
Police said at least 15 cars were set on fire. Two were pushed into a lagoon in the park.
Windows and windshields were smashed on at least 30 cars. Dozens of tires were slashed.
One woman was arrested ... carrying two cartons of book matches. She was lighting
individual books of matches and tossing them into cars parked along the curb.
Stone, Bottle Throwing -- The cars of most of the civil rights marchers carried an
emblem which made them an easy target. The campaign of destruction had already started when
the marchers reached the south end of the park. They left their cars and kept on marching, under
police protection, back to the New Friendship Baptist Missionary Church at 544 W. 71st Street.
The violence was preceded by a civil rights march that was marked by stone and bottle
throwing by crowds of white persons, mostly young persons and teen-agers, as the demonstrators
moved thru the park in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood.
18 Arrested, 25 Hurt in Demonstration -. The demonstrators gathered at New
Friendship Church and in the late afternoon drove to the park. They parked their cars along
drives in the south end of the park, marched a short distance thru the park to Kedzie avenue, and
Crowds of white persons jammed traffic in the streets and on the opposite sidewalk.
About 200 white youths sat on the walk and linked arms, blocking the route of the 400 marchers.
Police removed the youths.
Cherry bombs and firecrackers were tossed among the marchers. Bottles and bricks flew
thru the air. A crowd assembled at the intersection of 63rd street and Kedzie avenue, but the
demonstrators turned west in 63rd place, avoiding a head-on meeting.
Board Bears Message -- They marched to St. Louis Avenue, where the outside bulletin
board of the First Methodist church bore this message: "If everyone thinks alike, somebody is
The march was led by Albert Raby, convener of the Coordinating Council of Community
Organizations. It was one of a series of marches being made by the Rev. Martin Luther King's
followers in Chicago to put the spotlight on housing segregation in the community.
Police and representatives of the Chicago commission on human relations met with
ministers of the Chicago Conference on Religion and Race at a neighborhood church to talk over
means of helping preserve the peace before the march was started. Some ministers took part in
[Bernard J. Kleina participated in this march and was injured when the police protection
broke down. After the marchers discovered they couldn't get to their cars because some were
burning, some turned over and others were pushed into the lagoon, they continued on to the New
Friendship Baptist Missionary Church.]