Jack Remembers: When the governor made a beeline here to quell MLK rioting

By Jack Hackley

On April 9, 1968, I had a ringside seat to the historic Kansas City riots, caused by Martin Luther King’s assassination.
I was in Bill Morris’ office, located on the second floor of the Hotel Phillips at 12th and Baltimore.  Morris was Jackson County Public Administrator at the time, but was also manager of the Hotel Phillips.
Mayor Ilis Davis had agreed to go out several blocks south on Main Street to meet several hundred young black people and lead a march to the lawn of city hall located at 12th and Oak Street.
Morris and I were looking out the window east toward city hall.  When this large group got there, they didn’t stop.  They kept marching right on down 12th Street west toward the Phillips Hotel.
A wave of humanity was breaking windows, looting and knocking people to the sidewalk.  When they got to 12th and Baltimore, they knocked an old woman down and I saw her glasses fly into the street.  Morris picked up the phone and called Governor Hearnes’ office in Jefferson City.

For the compete story, see the July 31 print edition of the Richmond News

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