Sheldon Beck


Sheldon Beck


Sheldon writes about what he experienced during July 1967.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI






In 1967 I lived on the northwest side of Detroit. Our family lived on Schaefer Rd between 6 and 7 Mile rd. On the day the riot began several of us were returning from spending the day at Kensington State Park. We returned to a friend's house near Livernois and 7 Mile Rd. We could see smoke billowing and we heard sirens wailing. Because of what was a perceived dangerous situation all of us remained overnight.
During the period the National Guard was on duty I was stopped by a guardsman along 7 Mile rd. returning from visiting my girlfriend. We were about 2 miles apart along 7 Mile, I was stopped because I was violating the 8:00 curfew in place. I remember this very young guardsman yelling out 'halt.' Nothing came of it and I was allowed to go home. My girlfriend had warned me that I was out too late. I didn't listen as was my nature for the most part back then.
In September my friends and I saw 2 Tiger----Red Sox games at Tiger Stadium. Both games had an impact on the American League pennant race. The Tigers lost twice ---very close games---and never recovered. It was heart-breaking since we were starved for a pennant winner. None of us had experienced this and we were all in our early 20s. I recall spending several weeks moaning about this----all the while trying to keep up with my classes at Wayne St.
In addition to attending Wayne State I also subbed in the Detroit Public Schools. I worked at times in the neighborhoods affected by the riots. Later in the early 70s I was hired to teach full-time at Northern High.
During the summer before and after the beginning of the riots I worked for the Stroh Brewery Co. We were affected by the riots----there were days we didn't work in spite of the fact it was hot which meant the company needed us because demand was high.
My father who owned a grocery store away from the center of the insurrection----Forest---Rivard area--- was impacted. His store was broken into.
He was able to sell to the city about a year later. After 20 years it was time for him to move on. The property became part of what was called 'urban renewal.'

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Submitter's Name

Sheldon Beck

Submission Date


Search Terms

Michigan National Guard, northwest, Kensington State Park, Livernois, Tiger Stadium, Northern High




“Sheldon Beck,” Detroit Historical Society Oral History Archive, accessed April 13, 2021,

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