The Watts Riots: 50 Years Later

(FOX 11) On a hot evening in August of 1965, a 21-year-old African-American man named Marquette Frye was pulled over for reckless driving, then arrested, by a white C.H.P. officer in what would be the inciting incident leading to six days of arson, looting, and death in South L.A. On this 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots, the Los Angeles City Archives has published some photos from the Los Angeles Fire Department of those six days.

The City Archivist Michael Holland tells me that the photos were taken by three staff photographers. They were stored in a city facility that was damaged during the Northridge Quake and had to be moved. The city lost track of the negatives until they turned up in a couple of boxes. For the past three years, an intern has been sorting through them and found photos showing the L.A.F.D. at work during those turbulent days.

Holland put together a video of the photos and put it on the City Clerk's YouTube channel.

You can also search the Civil Rights Digital Library here for more archival collections and reference articles.

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