The 1992 Los Angeles riots, sometimes called the 1992 Los Angeles uprising, were a series of riots and civil disturbances that occurred in Los Angeles County in April and May 1992.
Unrest began in South Central Los Angeles on April 29, after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King, which had been videotaped and widely viewed in TV broadcasts. The rioting took place in several areas in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, as thousands of people rioted over six days after the verdict’s announcement.
Widespread looting, assault, and arson occurred during the riots, which local police forces had difficulty controlling due to lack of personnel and resources. The situation in the Los Angeles area was only resolved after the California National Guard, the United States military, and several federal law enforcement agencies were deployed to assist in ending the violence and unrest.
By the time the riots ended, 63 people had been killed, 2,383 had been injured, more than 12,000 had been arrested, and estimates of property damage were over $1 billion, much of which disproportionately affected Koreatown, where the bulk of rioting occurred. LAPD Chief of Police Daryl Gates, who had already announced his resignation by the time of the riots, was attributed with much of the blame for failure to de-escalate the situation and overall mismanagement.
A pamphlet cover advertizing the Blue Ridge “restricted” neighborhood as “a beautiful place to build and own your home.” Blue Ridge was one of several neighborhoods developed by Bill and Bertha Boeing.
This Blue Ridge list of “protective restrictions” is included in the same pamphlet that described the Blue Ridge area as “a beautiful place to build and own your home.”
Lake Ridge was developed by the Goodwin Company and sold to the public as a “restricted” community. Click above to see the 1930 promotional brochure for the south Lake Washington neighborhood.
Restrictive covenants were a source of big profits for powerful real estate interests.
Capitol Hill Covenant Campaign
Capitol Hill Racial Restrictive Covenant.
27 property owners signed this 1927 petition to restrict property use on their block.
Plat map of Capitol Hill showing some of the blocks covered by the restrictive covenants filed by homeowners after 1927.
A letter from the Capitol Hill Community Club petitioning Capitol Hill residents to donate the funds necessary to protect Capitol Hill’s racial restrictive covenants.
The Campaign Against Racial Restrictive Covenant
The Christian Friends for Racial Equality (CFRE) Committee Against Discrimination appointed a cemetery committee to combat the problem of cemetery discrimination.
The Civic Unity Committee (CUC) issued this fact sheet on racial restrictive covenants in 1948 to educate others about the abuses of restrictive housing covenants.
This Christian Friends for Racial Equality (CFRE) Resolution to condemn Restrictive Covenants.
Carl Brooks, an outspoken civil rights activist, labor leader, and member of the Communist Party (CP), speaks out against racial restrictive covenants.
Civic Unity Committee (CUC) Meeting minutes from one of several meetings organized to combat racial restrictive covenants.
This January 1948 article from the New World argues that the race bans in Seattle’s restricted housing areas created the “ghetto” in the city.
Katharine I. Grant Pankey’s Report, “Restrictive Covenants in Seattle: A study in Race Relations.”
Windermere racial restrictive covenant.
Because restrictive covenants often pushed black people out of restricted communities, the National Association of Real Estate Boards issued this 1944 report about housing options for “Negroes.”
Realtors sometimes advertised housing developments to Black and Japanese families only to reject them when they applied, as revealed in this 1949 Civic Unity Committee letter.
With the help of the Seattle Urban League, one residential community sought to prevent an elderly Black woman from purchasing a home, all in the name of democracy.
Albert Balch, developer of View Ridge, Wedgwood, and several other areas was notorius for advertising them as “restricted neighborhoods.
Broadmoor: Developed by the Puget Mill Company, Broadmoor banned Jews along with Blacks and Asians. In this 1934 brochure it is called a “Restricted Residential Park”
Laurelhurst plat map.
Richard Ornstein, a Jewish refugee from Austria, contracted to purchase a home for his family in the Sand Point Country Club area of Seattle in late 1952. Unknown to both Ornstein and the seller, the property’s deed contained a neighborhood-wide restrictive covenant barring the sale or rental of the home to non-Whites and people of Jewish descent. In spite of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that deemed racial restrictive covenants unenforceable in 1948, Ornstein’s case reveals that this ruling yielded little power over the application of these restrictions on the individual level. Daniel Boone Allison, Head of the Sand Point Country Club Commission, approached the realtor negotiating the sale and announced: “the community will not have Jews as residents.”1 Over the next several weeks Allison campaigned to stop the sale by both citing the covenant barring the sale of homes to Jews and by threatening Ornstein with a list of ways intolerant area residents “could” respond to the presence of the Ornstein family in the neighborhood. Despite the willingness on the part of the home seller, despite the support of civil rights activists, and despite the 1948 court ruling, Ornstein eventually became a victim of Allison’s threats and “made it clear that he [had] no intention of moving” into an area that did not accept his presence. 2
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for a blockbuster 1939 movie, is published on this day in 1936.In 1926, Mitchell was forced to quit her job as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal to recover from a series of physical injuries. With too much time on her hands, Mitchell soon grew restless. Working on a Remington typewriter, a gift from her second husband, John R. Marsh, in their cramped one-bedroom apartment, Mitchell began telling the story of an Atlanta belle named Pansy O’Hara.In tracing Pansy’s tumultuous life from the antebellum South through the Civil War and into the Reconstruction era, Mitchell drew on the tales she had heard from her parents and other relatives, as well as from Confederate war veterans she had met as a young girl. While she was extremely secretive about her work, Mitchell eventually gave the manuscript to Harold Latham, an editor from New York’s MacMillan Publishing. Latham encouraged Mitchell to complete the novel, with one important change: the heroine’s name. Mitchell agreed to change it to Scarlett, now one of the most memorable names in the history of literature.
Published in 1936, Gone with the Wind caused a sensation in Atlanta and went on to sell millions of copies in the United States and throughout the world. While the book drew some criticism for its romanticized view of the Old South and its slaveholding elite, its epic tale of war, passion and loss captivated readers far and wide. By the time Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937, a movie project was already in the works. The film was produced by Hollywood giant David O. Selznick, who paid Mitchell a record-high $50,000 for the film rights to her book.
After testing hundreds of unknowns and big-name stars to play Scarlett, Selznick hired British actress Vivien Leigh days after filming began. Clark Gable was also on board as Rhett Butler, Scarlett’s dashing love interest. Plagued with problems on set, Gone with the Wind nonetheless became one of the highest-grossing and most acclaimed movies of all time, breaking box office records and winning nine Academy Awards out of 13 nominations.
Though she didn’t take part in the film adaptation of her book, Mitchell did attend its star-studded premiere in December 1939 in Atlanta. Tragically, she died just 10 years later, after she was struck by a speeding car while crossing Atlanta’s Peachtree Street. Scarlett, a relatively unmemorable sequel to Gone with the Wind written by Alexandra Ripley, was published in 1992.