Interview with Cyrus Vance

--What was the hardest part of being in Detroit--


Well, I remember at one point, John Throckmorton, General Throckmorton and I decided that, ah, something had to be done to indicate to people that the streets could be walked on, that people shouldn't be afraid, that, ah, although there were some snipers around, that, this situation was getting under hand. So, John and I decided that we would go to the most difficult part of town over on 12th Street and walk down the middle of the street, just the two of us, to indicate that, ah, we had confidence that, ah, the matter was coming under control. So we did that. I must say we weren't quite sure what was going to happen when we made that walk of several blocks. But, ah, fortunately nobody decided to, ah, ah, try to take a shot at us and, ah, I think that was one of the most memorable parts of it. Another memorable aspect of it was, was really the, the, ah, complete breakdown of law and order and the loss of self-confidence by citizens and, ah, officials to a degree. It's almost like, ah, ah, any regiment that you see that's been through a battle situation and it comes out with a sort of a shell-shocked kind of reaction, and that clearly was the case and that's why, ah, we suggested to the city fathers and the business community that they should hold a meeting, ah, which they did to bring the city leaders together and, ah, make a public declaration that they were going to rebuild what had, ah, been torn down during the early days of the riot. And that, ah, ah, the city would, ah, be restored and be a vibrant, ah, ah, metropolis again. And that was done. Joe Hudson, as I recall it, was put in charge of this, he ran the big department store in, in the city.