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  • In this Aug. 12, 1965 file photo, demonstrators push against a police car after rioting erupted in the Watts district of Los Angeles. It began with a routine traffic stop 50 years ago this month, blossomed into a protest with the help of a rumor and escalated into the deadliest and most destructive riot Los Angeles had seen. The Watts riot broke out Aug. 11, 1965 and raged for most of a week. When the smoke cleared, 34 people were dead, more than a 1,000 were injured and some 600 buildings were damaged.
    AP Photo
  • In this Aug. 14, 1965 file photo, firefighters battle a blaze set in a shoe store that collapses in flames during rioting in the Watts district of Los Angeles.
    AP Photo
  • National guardsmen take up positions along the now quiet street in the west Watts section of Los Angeles after they were called in to help quell riots which have raged there for 3 consecutive nights, August 1965.
    Corbis
  • In this Aug. 13, 1965 file photo, men carry items from a looted store during the rioting that enveloped the Watts district of Los Angeles.
    AP Photo
  • In this August, 1965 file photo, police detain a man as buildings burn during rioting that swept the Watts district of Los Angeles.
    AP Photo
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., right, tells a news conference in Los Angeles, Aug. 19, 1965 that he has asked Gov. Edmund Brown Sr., left, to visit the Watts area of the city and talk to the people. Brown said he would, perhaps next day. The news conference followed an hour and a half of discussions by King and the governor about problems facing the city and state as a result of the Los Angeles riots.
    Harold P. Matosian/AP Photo
  • An unidentified man, pushing 2 brooms, tries to tidy up the sidewalk following rioting in the Watts section throughout the night, Aug. 12, 1965 in Los Angeles, Calif.
    Corbis
  • This Aug. 18, 1965 file photo shows a bulldozer clearing debris during cleanup in the Watts section of Los Angeles after riots.
    Ellis R. Bosworth/AP Photo
  • Armed police stand by as rioters lay face down in the street during the Watts race riots, Los Angeles, Calif., August 1965.
    Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  • These National Guardsmen, exhausted after long hours, catch some sleep under the "battery quick charge" sign in a gas station, Aug. 18, 1965 in Los Angeles, Calif. The men were called in to fight the violence which racked the Watts district for six days.
    Corbis
  • Two men hold their hands up against the wall of a dry cleaners while being arrested by state troopers during the Watts race riots, Aug. 16, 1965 in Los Angeles, Calif.
    Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  • Armed National Guardsmen march toward smoke on the horizon during the street fires of the Watts riots, Los Angeles, Calif., August 1965.
    Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  • In this Aug. 13, 1965 file photo, the burned-out hulk of an overturned automobile and other burned cars during rioting in the Watts district of Los Angeles.
    Harold Filan/AP Photo
  • A makeshift sign urging drivers to 'Turn Left Or Get Shot' during the race riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles, August 1965.
    Getty Images
  • An armed National Guard patrolman leans against a street sign, smoking a cigarette and standing in rubble following the Watts riots, Los Angeles, California, August 1965.
    Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  • This Aug. 14, 1965 file photo shows several burned-out structures after fires started by fires started rioters destroyed a business block in the Watts district of Los Angeles.
    AP Photo