Greg Smigielski


Greg Smigielski


Greg Smigeilski was a manager at the A&P on West Grand Boulevard and Linwood the summer of 1967.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society






Written Story


The following are the answers to the questions that were sent to me:
1. I was born at the Dearborn Hospital on February 11, 1945, which was Sunday, the 7th Day of the week. 11th day of the month, born at 7:11 a.m, weighed 7 lbs 11 oz., and the seventh child of eleven born to Pelagia & Stephen Smigielski. When the doctor that delivered me found out that I was the 7th child, he followed my Dad home, for the delivery charge of $75.00 (my Mother's regular doctor was on vacation).

2. I grew up at 8682 Smart which was an ethnic Polish neighborhood, three blocks from the Desoto plant, which was at McGraw & Wyoming. It was a five bedroom home, and in an all white Polish neighborhood. i graduated from St. Vincent High School in 1963, went into the military in May of 1964 came home in May of 1966, lived there at 8682 Smart until August of 1967 when i got married on August 5, 1967.

3. I was transferred to the A&P supermarket in September of 1966 and promoted to produce manager, to clean up that store, which was in terrible shape.It took me a couple of weeks, and the customers really enjoyed the job that I did for that store. It was clean, had fresh vegetables and fruit, and I increased sales 100%. I also enjoyed great relationship with the African-American neighborhood. they knew me by my first name, "Greg".
4. On July 23, 1967, I attended the 2:30 a.m. Mass at Holy Trinity (6th & Michigan) before going into work at 4:00 a.m. at the A&P Store at W.Grand Blvd. & Linwood. I had keys to the store, and always opened up at 4:00a.m., locked myself in, set up the store, and let the rest of the employees in at 8:00 a.m, store opened for business at 9:00 a.m, the Store Manager came in at noon to relieve me.

5. After the store closed at 6:00 pm., it was vandalized, windows were broken out, and the looting began. 15,000 businesses and homes were vandalized, looted, and set on fire. Governor George Romney had called in the National Guard to help the Detroit Police Dept., and the State Police patrol the streets.

6. The city of Detroit has never recovered from that fateful day in July. There are still 40,000 homes that have to demolished, which has been going downhill ever since. The population is only one-third of what it was 50 years ago, with an 80% African-American population, yet a white write-in candidate was elected Mayor, and who has been doing an outstanding job, but will never reach the population that it was in 1967.

Original Format


Submitter's Name

Greg Smigielski

Submission Date





“Greg Smigielski,” Detroit Historical Society Oral History Archive, accessed March 7, 2021,

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