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Collection of 1967 Newark Rebellion newsclippings

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Mss 0037

Scope and Contents

The Collection of 1967 Newark Riots newsclippings contains photocopied newspaper and journal articles on the riots and their aftermath, as well as reactions in Newark, NJ to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The clippings were primarily taken from New Jersey and Newark area publications, but also include some national publications. Publications represented include the Star-Ledger, the New York Times, the Daily News, Time magazine, Life magazine, Newsweek, the Newark Evening News, and the Advocate, a Catholic newspaper. With the exception of pages from Life magazine, all clippings are photocopies and the originals are not included.

The collection also includes a letter requesting assistance from the Chaplain of the Essex County Youth House dated 18 July 1967 and a program from a church assembly marking the 20th anniversary of the riots on 13 September 1987 held at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark.


  • Creation: 1967-1987
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1967 - 1968

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

The 1967 Newark Riots were a period of violence and civil disturbance in Newark, New Jersey, from 12 July 1967 - 17 July 1967. Sparked by the arrest and rumored death of an African American cab driver named John Weerd Smith by two white Newark police officers, the riots are considered to be the result of neglect, powerless, and disenfrachisement of the city's African American population, as well as police brutality towards African Americans, general unemployment, poverty, and housing concerns.

On 12 July 1967, two white police officers, John DeSimone and Vito Pontrelli, arrested an African American cab driver, John Weerd Smith. After crowds observed Smith being dragged into the Newark Police Station, rumors began that he had died in police custody. Crowds of African Americans gathered at the Police Station in protest, and the station was stoned. Mayor Hugh Addonizio initially released a statement that the incident was isolated.

Later on 13 July, crowds gathered in downtown Newark outside the police station and violence and looting erupted. Escalating violence and rumors of firebombings prompted Mayor Addinizio to request assistance from New Jersey Governor Richard Hughes, who called in the National Guard in the early morning hours of 14 July. By 17 July, violence had subsided and the National Guard departed.

During the six days of rioting, 26 people were killed, more than 700 injured, and property damage done that totalled between $10-15 million. Many stores were looted, particularly on Springfiled Avenue and the downtown area, and extensive damage was done in the primarily African American Central Ward area. Gunfire was exchanged between police and civilians, and there was significant sniper activity by African American civilians targeting police and fire fighters. National Guardsmen and police also did significant damage to the stores and property of African American citizens regardless of their involvement in the riots.

In February of 1968, the Commission on Civil Disorder, set up by Governor Hughes to investigate the riots and events leading up to them, cited neglected social ills and frustrations as the cause and called for sweeping social and governmental reforms to correct these and "a pervasive feeling of corruption" in Newark.

During the Newark riots, race-related violence also erupted in Plainsfield, New Jersey and some other surrounding areas.


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Language of Materials



The 1967 Newark Riots were a period of violence and civil disturbance in Newark, New Jersey, from 12 July 1967 - 17 July 1967. The Collection of 1967 Newark Riots newsclippings contains photocopied newspaper and journal articles on the riots and their aftermath.


The collection has been arranged by format, then chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was assembled by the Archives and Special Collections center in approximately 1968 and 1988.

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Beth Morris, 2011, and Dana Kappel, 2012.

Collection of 1967 Newark Riots newsclippings, 1967-1987 (bulk 1967-1968)
Tracy M. Jackson
July 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US