Comments Off on APRIL 4, 1946-APRIL 4 1968 GOOD AND BAD DAYS


     April 4, 1968 was a BAD day.

Doctor King’s sudden assasination triggered the DC 68 riot, at which time, my drug store, Smith’s Phamacy was burned down. Also at the same time my brother Phil’s recently constructed building at 7th and S Street, N.W.that was leased to a liquor store proprietor, was burned down. My Sam’s 5 & 10 at Georgia Avenue and Lamont Street, N.W.that he had owned and operated for 20 years  was completely looted.

  According to Wikipedia, 1200 buildings were burned down,including more than 90 stores. Damages reached 27 million dollars (big bucks in 1968)

The most informative book on the DC 68 riot,  “Ten Blocks from the Whitehouse by Ben Gilbert and the Washington Post staff records that most of the riot victims were the merchants, most of whom were Jewish. Most of the riot victims did not reopen their businesses.

   Looking back, I feel and believe that the DC federal and local authorities could have done a better job of protecting the DC merchants. Although history records that many riots had occurred in many major cities, they made no plans  fora possible  similar major disturbance in the nation’s capital.

  Instead of summoning the National Guard on Thursday, evening, April 4th

when the riot began, the DC and federal government phoned the National Guard on Friday afternoon, from gas station pay phones. The Guard arrived Friday night, to a city already in flames.

   In response to many questions, how I made out on insurance, the answer is not good, because there was no insurance for loss of good will, the livelihood value of business. A suggestion to Mayor Washington, that merchants be reimbursed for losses not covered by insurance such as good will was completely IGNORED.This motion was suggested by the then DC Council head, President John Hechinger.

Innocent victims of floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires, also oil spills, farmers who had a bad year have received final assistance from the government.

The DC 68 riot victims are still waiting for a BONE from the federal and local goveernment. WE received 0000.

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