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Riots in Jacksonville

Mar. 24, 1964 - Rioting marked by numerous injuries and considerable property damage plagued Jacksonville, Fla., for the second consecutive day.

The worst outbreak today came at a Negro high school. Students and bystanders hurled stones and other missiles at the police, firemen, school officials, and newsmen. A car owned by The Florida Times-Union and The Jacksonville Journal, the city’s two daily newspapers, was overturned and burned. Three newsmen in the car escaped. But Mike Durham, a 28-year-old Life magazine reporter, was cornered by a mob of Negroes and beaten. He was treated for a sprained wrist and head cuts at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

There have been more than 260 arrests during the past two days.

During the rioting last night, a Negro mother of 11 was killed when shot by an unidentified person in an automobile. The violence appeared to be leaderless mob action rather than acts in support of specific integration demands.

Yesterday, a Negro woman was shot to death by an unidentified man in an automobile, a white man was tied to a tree and tortured with razor slashes, and at least three other whites were injured by gunfire.

Police sealed off the Negro section during the night, but violence flared again this morning outside New Stanton High School when the building was emptied because of a bogus bomb threat.

After hostilities commenced, police tried to break up the mob by arresting one of the ringleaders, but this only served to infuriate the youths. They freed the Negro youth from a patrol car and continued their assault on police with rocks and bottles, despite pistol shots fired into the air by police.

In hopes that the Negro youths would quiet down if they left, the police turned and walked away from the crowd. This left about a dozen newsmen facing the angry youths, and the youths quickly switched their attack to the reporters.

A short time later, police said, a group of young Negroes attempted to set fire to James Weldon Johnson Junior High, an all-Negro school. Firemen doused the blaze before it could take hold, but the Negroes then started stoning the firefighters.


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