California riots file

Cover of Foreign Office file on Washington reaction to California riots, August 1965 (FO 371/179611)


American Department

SUBJECT: Racial Discrimination

Comments from Washington angle on Californian riots. Apprehension on possibility of similar outbreak in capital itself.


The long term effects of the Los Angeles riots have yet to appear; but it is encouraging that President Johnson has so swiftly reacted in a positive sense, drawing the conclusion that the momentum of his drive to the Great Society would be accelerated rather than slackened off.

2. In so far as the riots were an expression of purely nihilistic feelings without a positive political aim it seems unlikely that extremist negro political groups would attempt to stage a similar explosion in Washington or would be likely to succeed if they did. The effect would surely be the alienation of much international sympathy for their cause.

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