Interview with George Romney
QUESTION 29
INTERVIEWER:

Okay. Can you, I, I know I've asked you this again but I need to, to ask, um, Detroit was really a city that people, they had put down a near riot the year before. And it was a city that people really thought was going to be immune from the long hot summers that were hitting so many other cities in the country. Can you talk about that? What was, what was going right in Detroit, and, and right, what the sense was when it turned out that Detroit was actually hit with the worst riot of all?

GEORGE ROMNEY:

Detroit was receiving special treatment really, from the, uh, Johnson Administration. Cavanagh was a very popular mayor, and he was very popular with the federal official as well as in the community here. And consequently, uh, when the Great Society program was started, Detroit was given really special treatment, and they giv--given larger support than other cities were given, given. So it was rather surprising to people when this occurred. Also, uh, the city had dealt previously with a s--smaller incident that had occurred earlier in the year. And I think that's why they were over confident in dealing with this, and why they didn't bring the State in earlier than they did. Ah, if the State had been brought in earlier, of course, we would have the National Guard and the State Police dealing with the situation earlier. But they felt that they could handle it, and that was a mistake as you look back because they couldn't handle it. And it wasn't until the middle of the afternoon, that we were asked to give State assistance.