June 3 8, 1943. In Los Angeles, CA, simmering racial uneaseexploded as 200 white sailors stormed into East LA and began beating Hispanics in response to an earlier altercation between a few sailors and some street kids. The sailors targeted Zoot Suiters youths outfitted in the defiant, exaggerated suit of their community (long jackets, wide trousers andankle-length watch chains). The rioting grew as police either stood by or arrested the victims. The media, antagonistic to the Hispanic community, spurred on the violence with sensational headlines. Finally, military brass declared Los Angeles off-limits to its personnel and the LA City Council banned zoot suits. There were no deaths, but the injuries and mayhem were such that a special state committee was convened and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in her newspaper column that the riots were symptomatic of a problem with deep roots.
June 3, 2023 all-day