Another possibly unknown accomplishment of the late Senator Robert Byrd who passed away on June 28, 2010 at age 92, was his extensive interest in causes of the DC 1968 riot,that occurred on April 4, 1968.
While working on a research article for the DC Historical Society, I discovered that Senator Byrd
invited a large group of Americans who were in some way connected with the DC 68 riot, such as merchants who were riot victims, firemen, policemen,bus drivers, witnesses, for interviews concerning the riot.
I obtained a copy of the Senate Congressional Record, dated October 10, 1968,that contained the testimony of the invited group.that consisted of 1418 pages of testimony..
Senator Byrd’s thoughts and remarks are reflected in the above mentioned Senate Congressional record.
Some of the Senator’s thoughts can apply to our present society.
“Shortly after the April riots, I characterized our Nation’s Capital as a city of fear. Almost uniformly, these people told a story of fear and frustration. It is a story that ought to anger and outrage every citizen who understands that no society can exist except by the rule of law.That rule has gone down the dain in many areas of the city of Washington.
I believe in equal opportunity for all citizens. I believe in equal protection under the law for all citizens. But I also believe in equal responsibility and accountability under the law for all citizens. Justice can be little more than a meaningless word without an orderly society.
I became a victim of the DC 68 riot when my drug store on 14th Street, was burned down, and sincerely hope that no more riots will ever occur in any U.S. city.
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