40 Years Later, A Neighborhood's Comeback

<p>The U street corridor in Washington D.C. was a flash point during the 1968 riots. Four decades later, the neighborhood is finally recovering from the aftermath.</p>
April 8, 2008, 12pm PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"The 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sparked rioting across many American cities. In Washington, D.C., the chaos began on the corner of 14th and U streets, as people smashed store windows and began looting and setting buildings on fire."

"After calm was restored, residents thought the government would rebuild the city, much as it did Europe after World War II. Forty years later, the community that was the riots' flashpoint is slowly beginning to come back.

"Even looking at the way things were, [there] was a belief on the parts of most of the people in the community that the Congress and the president would not allow Washington, D.C., to remain in tatters.

"We know what happened with the Marshall Plan ... , so we saw this from Dresden and we know what they did. They came back and they rebuilt it."

Residents thought, "this was the nation's capital and they would rebuild this quickly," Mayes says. "Little did we know it would take so many years for that to happen."

But in recent years this neighborhood has gradually come back."

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Published on Monday, April 7, 2008 in National Public Radio
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