Baltimore '68: Riots and Rebirth Overview


For two weeks in April 1968, beginning in the dark hours following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the city of Baltimore was devastated by a series of civil disturbances that left six dead, dozens injured and hundreds of properties, both private and public, burned, shattered and in ruins. The events, which culminated in the deployment of thousands of armed National Guard troops across the city on the orders of Gov. Spiro Agnew and the addition of regular Army troops by Pres. Lyndon Johnson, riveted the attention of the nation, which already was reeling from similar riots in other cities across the country.

In 2008, the 40th anniversary of King's death, the University of Baltimore offered a close-up examination of the riots—their causes and the short- and long-term consequences—in a series of public events called "Baltimore '68: Riots and Rebirth." The highlight of the events was a conference exploring the effects of the riots and the many efforts at civic healing that followed. This national gathering of experts, included scholars across disciplines as varied as race relations, civic engagement and 20th-century history, takinge place on the campus April 3-5, 2008, 40 years to the date of King's murder and the unrest that followed.

About This Site

To advance the scholarship, encourage civil discourse and simply shed light on this important topic, the University of Baltimore has established a Web presence for its work on "Baltimore '68." This site should be considered a work in progress: Its only constant will be change, as more is discovered about what happened in the city in April 1968, and a better understanding of that time is reached 40 years later.