Next month, Academy Award-winning film director Kathryn Bigelow will release Detroit, a recounting of the city’s devastating 1967 race riot, the most destructive period of civil unrest in American history. The riot marks its 50th anniversary this week. Lasting for a total of five days (July 23 through July 27), the riot literally tore the once gleaming Midwest metropolis, apart at the seams resulting in 43 deaths, over 7,000 arrests, the burning, looting and destruction of more than 2,000 buildings and pieces of property with a damage bill ranging in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Detroit opens on August 4. Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker) directs a cast highlighted by John Boyega (Star Wars franchise), Will Poulter (The Revenant, We’re The Millers), Anthony Mackie (8 Mile, The Hurt Locker, Captain America franchise) and John Krasinski (TV’s The Office). The film focuses on the notoriously-tragic July 26, 1967 Algiers Motel Murders.

Using The Detroit Free Press newspaper Twitter feed and its brilliantly-crafted #Detroit67 thread as a guide, below is a timeline of the first day of the infamous uprising in the Motor City.

Detroit 1967 Race Riot Timeline – Day 4 & 5: July 26 & 27, 1967

July 26

12:15 a.m. – An emergency riot task force comprised of the Detroit Police, the Michigan State Police and the U.S. National Guard respond to reports of possible sniper activity near the Algiers Motel on Woodward

1:00 a.m. – Connecticut woman Helen Hall, who was in Detroit on business, is shot to death watching the riot unfold through the window of her New Center motel room

1:20 a.m. – Tonia Blanding, just 4, is accidentally killed by machine gun fire from National Guardsmen

2:15 a.m. – The DPD Homicide Division is notified of three dead bodies at the Algiers Motel, later identified as African-American teenagers Carl Cooper, Aubrey Pollard and Freddy Temple (recently graduated from high school, Temple was spending the summer as a member of Motown music act the Dramatics’ entourage). The three teens and several others were involved in an encounter with the riot task force that remains cloudy to this very day.

7:00 a.m. – The Detroit Free Press sets up a phone line to register displaced citizens in an attempt to divert calls from the flooded Detroit Police Department dispatch center

1:00 p.m. – The Detroit Police Department’s 10th Precinct comes under sniper fire

5:02 p.m. – Unarmed civilian George Talbert is shot to death by National Guardsman walking on LaSalle

9:30 p.m. – Vaughn’s Book Store on Dexter Avenue is torched

11:06 p.m. – Factory worker Albert Robinson is shot and bayonetted to death by a National Guardsman in front of his apartment building at Davidson and LaSalle.

July 27

11:31 a.m. — Looter Willie McDaniels dies at the hospital from bullet wounds suffered at the hands of police the day before

12:00 p.m. — Mayor of Detroit Jerry Cavanaugh announces lifting of citywide curfew

1:34 a.m. — UAW union President Walter Reuther pledges his union’s support for city rebuild at press conference

7:15 a.m. — Governor of Michigan George Romney reinstates citywide curfew


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