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Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday, April 4, 1968

While the rest of the country was embroiled in riots in the aftermath, Maywood remained relatively calm.

Here are excepts quoted from Proviso Herald:

MAYWOOD, scene of repeated racial disorders during the year, remained comparatively quiet during the weekend until 9 p.m. Sunday.

At that time, Maywood police moved it to disperse several persons, holed up in a building at 10th and St. Charles, who were throwing bricks and bottles off a balcony.

"We blocked the area off," Maywood police capt. Berner Kellough said, "and asked the sheriff for a van to cart them away."

"They quit throwing things when they saw the area blocked off and the van coming."

Otherwise, the community was "fairly well-behaved," he said. Ten windows in the business and residential community were smashed, some in a "smash and grab operation, but we've had a wave of broken windows here lately," he said.

Reportedly, a group of Negro boys were stopping motorists at 19th ave. and St. Charles on the Melrose Park border and insisting that the drivers turn on their car lights in reverence to King.
Police trail youth bands here in wake of bombings, damage

Large groups of boys roamed Maywood Tuesday night, according to the police capt. Berner Kellough.

"All my men were on duty," he said, "and a squad car followed each group of five or more boys."

Kellough said two fires were set, one at 139 S. 11th ave. and one at 10th and Oak. Garbage cans in front yards along 9th st. between St. Charles and Washington were set ablaze.

Bricks and rocks were thrown at firemen putting out the blazes, Kellough said.

Several windows were broken, including a big plate glass window at Heinz Mueller co., 1306 Madison.

Monday night the Maywood police dept. had 40 men on duty, supported by county police, Kellough said.

"We saw known agitators driving around and we followed them," he said.

A series of five firebombs (gas filled pop bottles with wicks) were thrown about 9 p.m. Monday. Three exploded starting fires at Perry Graf. Corp., 15th and Madison; behind Burroughs at 19th and Madison, and in a garage at 15th and Washington.

No damage estimates were available from the Maywood fire department.

Behind a broken window at Irving school a firebomb was found that had failed to go off. Another one was found at the dist. 89 board of education building at 8th and Green.
Maywood leaders pay tribute to King; comment on future

Proviso clergymen and civil rights leaders paid tribute to the slain Rev. Martin Luther King this week.

Father John Tredrea, of Maywood's Holy Communion Episcopal church, former member of Maywood's Human Relations committee and now on the new Proviso Human Relations committee, said, "I hope the gospel he preached and lived will be lived by all men."

At a loss for words to express his feelings, Rev. Wallace Sykes, of Second Baptist church, 446 S. 13th, said he felt the tragic death would have no effect on future disorder. "By that time, people will hold his death in a more sensible way. There will perhaps be riots, but they will be caused by those who are far removed."

"If they do (riot), it probably won't have anything to do with the death of Martin Luther. By the summer, people should be looking at his death in a more sober manner," Rev. Sykes said.

The pastor of Maywood's First Christian church, Eighth and Madison, Dr. K. Everett Munson, said King's death was very tragic.

"My own personal feeling is that our country has responded to his message, the mesage of life and endeavor."

Dr. Munson said, "The irony has gotten through to the majority of people. Many of my Negro friends here in Maywood feel despair at his death. I personally feel a great deal of hope in the coming together of races. I Believe we're farther along in social help. The rebellious people have already acted."

"The rest want to nail down their demands. They won't be satisfied until they see action. I believe they must see a symbol of justice for the man who killed Martin Luther King," Dr. Munson said.

"Press, churches, synagogues have come together in a feeling of constant change. I know the city of Chicago has already begun plans for rebuilding.

"I recognize a threat in many instances that says these people will not let it happen unless they can hold a guiding hand in the rebuilding. Unless they can feel this, I'm afraid they will not let it happen."