The Hough Riots (July 18-24, 1966)
The economically depressed and predominantly black Hough neighborhood in Cleveland was a powder keg of racial tension the summer of 1966, and it finally exploded the evening of July 18 when an African American man was denied a glass of water at the white-owned Seventy-Niners Cafe at Hough Ave. and E. 79th St. The police proved unable to handle the rioting and violence that ensued, and on July 19 Cleveland City Mayor Ralph Locher asked Ohio Governor James Rhodes to send in the National Guard. The National Guard arrived later that evening and into the next morning to restore order.
By July 25th, the rioting had ceased but the toll it took on the neighborhood was enormous. Four people were killed, about 30 people were injured, and close to 300 people were arrested. The vandalism, looting, and arson from the riots caused more than a million dollars of property damage, and many businesses, as well as residents who could afford to, left the neighborhood for good.
Learn More About the Hough and the Riots
- Hough Riots, 1966 (streaming video) - Film footage taken during the riots from the Northeast Ohio Broadcast Archives (NOBA).
- City Club Forum: The Negro Looks at Cleveland (streaming audio) - Four leaders of the black community in Cleveland weigh in on the Hough riots less than two months after the upheavel.
- The Hough Riots of 1966 by Marc E. Lackritz, 1968.
- "No Water for Niggers": The Hough Riots and the Historiography of the Civil Rights Movement by Olivia Lapeyrolerie, 2015.
- Promises of Power: A Political Biography by Carl Stokes, 1973 - Go to page 95 to see Stokes' comments about Mayor Ralph Locher's handling of the crisis.
- Related links:
- Cleveland's Hough Neighborhood Endures Amid 50 Years of Change by Nick Castele- From ideastream.
- District 5: Hough - From the Cleveland Planning Commission.
- Hough - From Cleveland Historical.
- Hough Riots - From the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
- Hough Riot, 50 Years Ago, Couldn't Destroy a Neighborhood by Brian Albrecht- Plain Dealer article from July 24, 2016.
- The Spark that Set Hough on Fire in July 1966 by Mark Urycki - From ideastream.