Film Footage of D.C. After 1968 Riots

Here is some really sad and devastating film footage that we dug up showing the city after the riots of 1968.

Here’s another clip we dug up, which we believe is also from D.C.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • JJJ

    Awesome footage! Is the Stan’s business shown in this video, the original Stan’s bar, that now sits at 1029 Vermont Ave NW? I know the original was opened in ‘Upper NW’, so I’m assuming it’s current location isn’t where it once was. However, I cannot find much on the place except that it’s been open at least for 38 years or more. The current owner bought it in the early 90s. If that is the same Stan’s, that makes it even MORE cooler to know it came back after the riots. I love that bar.

  • Sheila Gilbert

    I was kept out of my home because of the riots. My son was 6 months old and I was coming home from a day out with my husband and two of our friends, and we were laughing at the smoke we saw, and said, Look, Washington is burning, only to find out, that it really was! The military would not let us pass over Southern Ave. on to Pennsylvania Ave. where we lived. So we had to go back to my mothers to stay. It took 3 days to be able to go back into DC. Military on the streets, with guns, are a lot more scary than most realize, and the destruction was just terrible. I have a real to real of the police and fire department with hours and hours of talk during the riots, that our friend taped while we all sat around and listened to it going on. There were military all over the place, many more than most ever knew about. Fire Departments from miles and miles away, were there too.

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    Now these were the Good ole’ Days.

  • asap329

    Our family was one of a very few white families still living in Brightwood, in 1968. My most vivid memory was sitting by the window in my kitchen, with my 3 babies, all under 4 years, watching the military use our yard to cut across from the street side of 14th and Rittenhouse Street, N.W., in order to patrol the alley.

  • Washington DC Girl

    In 1968, I was 4 years old during the riots living in the 4000 blk of 14th St NW. I remember seeing the smoke & fire of the few stores in the 3900 blk of 14th St NW. There was looting from the white owned stores in that block, however the black owned stores were left in tact. I will never forget seeing people running with the goods they were able to take. I also remember seeing the National Guard patrolling afterwards whom I referred to as the Japenese my Mother said. My Father tried to explain why we couldn’t go get candy/ice cream or go to the playground that evening as we went everyday after dinner. At the time I did not understand what was going on, but as I got older my Parents & history class allowed me to put the pieces together of what I witnessed. I will never forget those turbulent days in April 1968. I love this website, it glorifies my hometown that I love and cherish.