Rare Photos Capture 1968 D.C. Riots

The D.C. riots that erupted in the wake of the 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination resulted in more than 1,000 burned down buildings, dramatically changing the District’s landscape. Such damage altered the course of the city’s development, and the riots are still brought up in current discussions over gentrification and revitalization.

But exactly how did the city look during the four days of rioting? Yale University has released a collection of rare negatives documenting the riots and the government response. They were taken by part-time Associated Press photographer Alexander Lmanian, and the images he captured show soldiers mobilizing in D.C. streets, people looting and damaged storefronts. See our gallery below:

  • Anaz

    I think the captions are out of sync with the pictures. One picture of H st has some hella large buildings on it, and one picture of a burnt out pawnbroker is labeled a church.

  • Anonymous

    The captions are the ones that appear with the photos from Yale’s database. The H Street photo. But you’re right — one caption does read “Luther Place Memorial Church, and cityscapes that show the aftermath of the 1968 riots.” I believe this particular photo reflects “the cityscapes” description rather than the church.