1968 Kansas City, Missouri riot

The 1968 Kansas City riot occurred in Kansas City, Missouri, in April 1968. Kansas City became one of 37 cities in the United States to be the subject of rioting after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The rioting in Kansas City did not erupt on April 4, like other cities of the United States affected directly by the assassination, but rather on April 9 after local events within the city.[1][2]

1968 Kansas City riot
Part of the King assassination riots
DateApril 9, 1968
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Caused byAssassination of Martin Luther King Jr.


The first sign of disorder in the streets of Kansas City was a relatively stable student march, in response to the government failing to close schools across the city that day for the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr. This was seen as a lack of respect for King by the students.[1]

Mayor Ilus W. Davis decided to go to the marchers, meeting with them at Parade Park. After Davis joined several leaders from the Black community in talking with the marchers, he then joined the others to lead the march the remaining distance to City Hall. The crowd grew in size, slowly becoming more militant, more so when they arrived at City Hall to find a large contingent of Kansas City Police Department officers. As tensions rose, with verbal and physical actions escalating on both sides, a volley of tear gas by the KCPD into the crowd would be the final moment when the full riot was unavoidable. The students dispersed, but word of this spread through the city, and a riot erupted.[1][2]

The riot resulted in nearly 300 arrests, six deaths, and at least twenty hospital admissions.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Rhodes, Joel P. (2001). "It Finally Happened Here: The 1968 Riot in Kansas City, Missouri". The Voice of Violence: Performative Violence as Protest in the Vietnam Era. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 25–31. ISBN 0-275-97055-8 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b Burnes, Brian; Rice, Glenn E. (August 10, 2007). "Riots of 1968 were a watershed moment for KC". Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on April 9, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2008.
  3. ^ "Kansas City riots, April 1968". Kansas City Star. January 16, 2006. Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2008.

Further readingEdit