Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsWatts Riots
IN THE NEWS

Watts Riots

FEATURED ARTICLES
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2005 | By Valerie Reitman and Mitchell Landsberg, Times Staff Writers
The divisions are still there, 40 years later. To many, the events that began in Watts on Aug. 11, 1965, remain a riot, pure and simple - a social breakdown into mob rule and criminality. To others, they were a revolt, a rebellion, an uprising - a violent but justified leap into a future of black self-empowerment. To mark the 40th anniversary of the riots, The Times asked nine people, all of whom witnessed the events firsthand, to recount their memories of six days that changed their lives and the course of the city.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2013 | By David Colker
Cecil Fergerson, an art curator and activist who advocated for minority artists, got his first job right out of high school in a major museum. As a janitor. That was just about the only work available to African Americans in 1948 at the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art. By the time the Los Angeles County Museum of Art had broken off as a separate entity in the early 1960s, he had fought his way up to the position of museum helper. He co-founded the influential Black Arts Council, and when he left the museum in 1985 it was as a curatorial assistant.
Advertisement
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
On a hot August evening nearly 48 years ago, Rena Price was at home in South Los Angeles when she was summoned with alarming news: A few blocks away, one of her sons, Marquette Frye, had been stopped by California Highway Patrol officers after driving erratically down Avalon Boulevard, near 116th Street. Price hurried to the scene. Her son, according to the arresting officer, had failed a series of sobriety tests but had been good-humored and cooperative until she arrived. Accounts vary on what set off the ensuing scuffle, but a patrolman hit Frye on the head with a baton and his mother jumped on another officer, tearing his shirt.
OPINION
September 11, 2013
Re "Car dealer with dog Spot," Obituary, Sept. 10 I remember as a young boy watching Sunday morning television on our fuzzy, black-and-white, 12-inch screen while waiting for my mom and dad to get ready for church. I'd watch lengthy car commercials, briefly interrupted with B-movie Westerns; that, or old movies frequently interrupted with commercial breaks for Worthington Dodge in Long Beach. Whatever it was Cal Worthington was doing in the era of early, evolving TV in the 1950s, it felt like a seat-of-the-pants, try-anything infomercial circus, complete with country bands, movies, cars, any number of animals - and good old Cal. Chuck Ayers Tulsa, Okla.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan and Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Eric Malnic, a former longtime Los Angeles Times staff writer who was part of the team that won The Times a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 1965 Watts riots and later specialized in aviation stories, has died. He was 73. Malnic, who underwent surgery for urinary tract cancer two years ago and suffered numerous complications and four more operations, died Tuesday night at his home in Altadena, said his wife, Martha. During a five-decade career that began as a Times copy boy in 1958, Malnic filled a variety of posts: He was a beat reporter, an assistant Metro editor and a facile rewrite man who was often called on to take dispatches from reporters at the scenes of earthquakes, train wrecks and other disasters and blend them into coherent Page 1 stories.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 1999 | DAVID SHAW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Brown vs. Board of Education. The Birmingham bus boycott. The march on Washington. Sit-ins and demonstrations in Southern cities large and small. In the mid-1950s and early '60s, the civil rights movement raised the aspirations and expectations of black America. But white America was slow to respond, and by 1964--a year after writer James Baldwin warned of "The Fire Next Time"--the riots began.
NEWS
May 10, 1992 | DAVID COLKER and MARC LACEY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
After the Watts riots came the celebrities. And the philanthropists, sculptors, industrialists, government officials, bankers, choreographers, social workers, union officials and even one man who gave dimes to youths who promised to be "good guys." It was 1965 and Los Angeles had just suffered the worst urban disturbances in U.S. history.
NEWS
June 8, 1990 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Thomas R. Sheridan, a prominent Los Angeles trial lawyer who served as executive director of the McCone Commission and special assistant to the U.S. attorney general, died Thursday. He was 60. Sheridan died of cardiac arrest at St. Vincent's Medical Center where he had been hospitalized for several weeks. He had also suffered a series of strokes. U.S. Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy had appointed Sheridan his special assistant in 1962.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2000 | KENNETH REICH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Robert Richardson, a Los Angeles Times classified advertising messenger who volunteered his services to the news department during the 1965 Watts riots and became the newspaper's only black employee reporting on the rioting, died Friday at 59, family members said. He died in a West Los Angeles hospital of an asthma attack, his wife, Alice, said Sunday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 1990 | DARRELL DAWSEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Twenty-five years ago, Marlen E. Neumann set out to heal a riot-torn city. Alongside seven other members of a state commission appointed to investigate the causes of the 1965 Watts riots, Neumann spent more than three months walking the scorched earth of the district--interviewing residents, scrutinizing conditions, gauging the anger that for six days had rocked Los Angeles. "That community needed answers," said Neumann, the sole woman appointed to the riot commission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
On a hot August evening nearly 48 years ago, Rena Price was at home in South Los Angeles when she was summoned with alarming news: A few blocks away, one of her sons, Marquette Frye, had been stopped by California Highway Patrol officers after driving erratically down Avalon Boulevard, near 116th Street. Price hurried to the scene. Her son, according to the arresting officer, had failed a series of sobriety tests but had been good-humored and cooperative until she arrived. Accounts vary on what set off the ensuing scuffle, but a patrolman hit Frye on the head with a baton and his mother jumped on another officer, tearing his shirt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2012 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Karl Fleming, a former Newsweek reporter who helped draw national attention to the civil rights movement in the 1960s - and risked his life covering it with perceptive stories about its major figures and the inequalities that fueled it - died Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84. The cause was related to a number of respiratory ailments, said his son Charles Fleming. Born and bred in the Jim Crow South, Fleming worked his way through small North Carolina newspapers to become chief of Newsweek's Atlanta bureau in 1961.
OPINION
April 29, 2012
Re "The past still grips," April 23 and "King discusseshis 'Riot Within' at Festival of Books," April 22 For 20 years I have dreaded this time of year, when the 1992 L.A. riots and Rodney King are brought to the forefront. I am sorry King was beaten by police; I am sorry the jury brought back a verdict that was not popular with many people; I am sorry the riots ever happened. You see, my 24-year-old son was one of the 54 people who died because of the riots.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2012 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
The only woman in a sea of men in suits, Dorothy Townsend can't help but stand out in the official photograph of the Los Angeles Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for coverage of the Watts riots. The picture also inadvertently documents Townsend's other historic role at the newspaper. After insisting on being reassigned from "the women's pages" in early 1964, she became the first female staff writer to cover local news in a city room long populated only by men. Townsend, who wrote for The Times from 1954 to 1986, died March 5 of cancer at her Sherman Oaks home, said her cousin, Louise Hagan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2012 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Raymond L. Johnson Sr., an attorney, civil rights activist and former Tuskegee Airman, died Dec. 31 in Los Angeles of complications of pneumonia and heart failure, said his wife, Evelyn. He was 89. Johnson, who practiced law for nearly 50 years, was a leader of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People in the 1960s and 1970s. After the 1965 Watts riots, he provided free legal assistance to African Americans who were wrongfully arrested during the disturbances.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2011 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Art Rogers, an award-winning former longtime Los Angeles Times photographer best known for his sports coverage, has died. He was 93. Rogers, who suffered a heart attack Dec. 16, died Tuesday in a skilled nursing facility near his home in Morro Bay, Calif., said his grandson, Jerry Rogers. In a more than 40-year career with The Times that began in 1940 and included general assignment and feature photography, Rogers won the National Headliner Award, two Eclipse awards and a Look magazine award, among many others.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 1986 | BURT A. FOLKART, Times Staff Writer
Marquette Frye, whose arrest as a 21-year-old suspected drunk driver set off the Watts riots on Aug. 11, 1965, and whose later life was to become as tragic as the riots themselves, is dead of pneumonia, the coroner's office reported Wednesday. Frye, who was 42 and had been using his stepfather's name, Price, because of the notoriety that nagged at him for the last 20 years, was found dead in his home on West 102nd Street last Saturday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2004 | Myrna Oliver, Times Staff Writer
Bruce Cox, whose photographs of floods, fires, civil disturbances and lighter news events appeared in the Los Angeles Times for nearly four decades, has died. He was 86. Cox, who was a Times photographer from 1946 until 1980 and then an assignment photographer until his retirement in 1983, died Saturday at Huntington Memorial Hospital of cardiac arrest, said his son, Doug. He was hospitalized after injuring his head in a fall Friday night in his San Marino home.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2011 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
To organize his research on the Watts riots, journalist Robert E. Conot sketched out the hour-by-hour progress of events in 1965 on a 25-foot-long stretch of paper, then dressed the diagram in the exhaustive detail for which he became known. The timeline helped him write "Rivers of Blood, Years of Darkness," a 1967 study of the smoldering unrest behind the riots. Based on his eyewitness account and extensive interviews, the book was called "brilliant" by Times reviewers. In 1969, one of them wrote: "With honesty and soul," he revealed the "real, ordinary" people of the "ghetto.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2011 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Jack Jones, a longtime Los Angeles Times reporter who was part of a team that shared the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper's coverage of the Watts riots and their aftermath, has died. He was 86. Jones, who retired in 1989, died of lung disease Thursday at his Oceanside home, said his wife, Brie. The Times received the Pulitzer for local reporting for its coverage of the several days of bloodshed and destruction during the Watts riots in August 1965 and for a follow-up series that ran the following October.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|