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Unknown Photographer

Milwaukee policemen wade into a crowd swinging their riot clubs as the demonstrators, mostly Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council members and sympathizers, attempted a protest march, September 2, 1967
Vintage wire photograph on paper
7 1/16 x 9 5/8 in. (17.94 x 24.45 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.1210

Police Charge Demonstrators: Milwaukee policemen wade into a crowd of demonstrators swinging their riot clubs tonight as the group, composed mostly of Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council members and sympathizers, attempted a protest march. Police broke up the demonstration, which was held contrary to the Mayor Henry Maier's orders.

The 1967 Milwaukee Riot was one of 159 race riots that swept cities in the United States cities during the "Long Hot Summer of 1967." In Milwaukee, black residents were outraged by the slow pace of ending housing discrimination and police brutality. They began to riot on the evening of July 30. The inciting incident was a fight between teenagers, which escalated into full-fledged rioting with the arrival of police. The city put a round-the-clock curfew into effect on July 31. The Governor mobilized the National Guard to quell the disturbance that same day. Order was restored on August 3. Although the damage caused by the riot was not as destructive as in cities like Detroit and Newark, many businesses in the affected neighborhoods were severely damaged. Tensions between police and residents increased afterward. The July disturbance also served as a catalyst to additional unrest in the city; equal housing marches held in August often turned violent, as black demonstrators clashed with white residents.

On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: manuscript title.

Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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  • Image Dimensions: 7 1/16 x 9 5/8 in. (17.94 x 24.45 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8 x 10 7/8 in. (20.32 x 27.62 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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