Patricia Stoppella

Title

Patricia Stoppella

Description

Patricia Stoppella was dating a Detroit Fireman in July of 1967. They spent the day on the river and came back to the city to find fires and National Guardsman.

Publisher

Detroit Historical Society

Date

09/16/2016

Rights

Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI

Format

Text

Language

en-US

Type

Written Story

Text

Detroit Riots of 1967
It was July 1967 in a very hot & humid Detroit. I was 24 years old, dating a Detroit fireman. On that particular Sunday, a group of us went “down to the River” for a day of boating. Although the radio had been on all day, there was never a word mentioned about what was happening in the City. We were unaware of any problem until driving down Woodward Avenue. There was a National Guard on every street corner with their guns “at the ready”. The fellow driving in the car behind ours was shot! It was terrifying!
Remember … I was with a fireman. We saw a fire at the Boulevard just the other side of the John R Freeway, and drove to it. He couldn’t understand why there was no fire truck on the scene. (Later, we learned firemen were being shot when they responded to a call.) A group of rioters had gathered around the fire … they started rocking our car, chanting “burn, baby, burn”. It was terrifying!
Later that evening, a few blocks away, I heard gunfire from the Howard Johnson Motel (seen on tv). The shootings and gunfire destroyed the Motel.
I was staying with friends at 6 Mile and Woodward, as random shootings were not uncommon; and, the public was warned to stay inside. It was 3 days before I was able to get home. When my fireman went to work, he was shot at … the fellow next to him was hit.
The scuttlebutt at the time, was rioters from Pontiac would meet rioters from Detroit in the Northland parking lot, a shopping center, near my home. That did not happen.
I do not recall when the City went back to work. However, the first day back, as we were leaving the Argonaut Building (where I was employed), a sniper on the General Motors Building (across the street) was shooting at, and, trying to hit us.
I left Detroit the following February 1968.

Original Format

Email

Submitter's Name

Patricia Stoppello

Submission Date

09/10/2016

Files

!Twitter_Profile_2.jpg

Collection

Citation

“Patricia Stoppella,” Detroit 1967 Online Archive, accessed September 21, 2019, http://detroit1967.detroithistorical.org/items/show/386.

Output Formats