On August 11, 1965 the Watts Rebellion started with Marquette Frye being arrested for driving while intoxicated. The community outrage led to a week-long protest of burning and looting, with 34 deaths, over 1000 people injured, and $40 million in property damage. It was the first of the urban riots in the sixties, and led to Ronald Reagan being elected Governor of California over incumbent Pat Brown who was perceived as not being able to maintain law and order in the state.
Nathaniel “Magnificent” Montague was an American R&B disc jockey who not only help promote soul music records on KGFJ Los Angeles and WWRL New York City but also whose trademark catch-phrase, “Burn, baby! Burn!” became the rallying cry of the 1965 Watts riots. Following criticism that his trademark phrase had inadvertently stirred up rioters, Montague …
Soldiers of California's 40th Armored Division direct traffic away from an area of South Central Los Angeles burning during the Watts riot, August 11-17, 1965. Whole city blocks were gutted by arson and mob set fires that the fire department was powerless to control due to sniper attacks
On August 11, 1965, LA's Watts Riots began in reaction to the arrest of a Black man for drunk driving, triggering days of rampage that damaged or destroyed more than 600 buildings and cost 34 lives. Proposition 14, overwhelmingly passed in 1964, banned attempts to desegregate housing and added to the desperation felt by many of LA's 650,000 African Americans, as racial equality was all but nonexistent and housing strictly segregated.