After the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther Luther King, Jr., the intersection of 14th and U streets NW saw rioters smashing windows, starting fires, and throwing bricks and rocks at firefighters. Businesses were lost, buildings crumbled, and many lost their jobs because of the riots. From the U.S. Capitol, residents could see the smoke rising from the distance. In an interview with Washingtonian, Virginia Ali, owner of Ben's Chili Bowl, recalled the riots, saying, "I remember the sadness more than anything else. The radio stations were playing hymns, and people were coming in crying." Since then, the District has slowly but surely healed from the wreckage. As Washington, D.C. continues its transition into a bustling retail and residential district, see what the District once was during this historic moment in five photos.
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