Photo Friday: Then and Now, Washington, DC 1968-2014

Composite photo: 1968 – and November 29, 2014. From the documents and photos of that era, it seems it wasn’t recognized that this would set the city back at least 40 years. Maybe good to recognize the lasting effects of conflict today and work to prevent them.

Soldiers pass Scurlock Studio at 900 U Street NW, Washington, D.C. after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968.

This viewpoint is looking toward the east along U St/Florida Ave. At this intersection Florida Avenue runs to the East and U Street runs to the West while 9th Street runs north and south.

The city exploded in anger at the news and experienced among the greatest property damage of the more than 110 cities that erupted April 4-7, 1968 and set a then U.S. record for mass arrests when more than 6,100 were detained.

Twelve died, mostly due to becoming entrapped in burning buildings and over 1,100 were injured. Property damage was extensive as corridors and 14th Street NW, 7th Street NW, U Street NW, H Street NE and Nichols Ave SE (later Martin Luther King Jr. Ave) were set afire. 1,200 buildings were burned.

For more information and related images, see

Photograph is probably by George Scurlock, Scurlock Studio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History: Archives Center.

Ted Eytan, MD