Riots in L.A., Roosevelt opens World's Fair: News Journal archives, week of April 30

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"Pages of history" features excerpts from The News Journal archives including the Wilmington Morning News and the Evening Journal.

April 30, 1992, The News Journal

L.A. officers acquitted in Rodney King beating

Four white Los Angeles police officers were acquitted of all but one assault charge Wednesday in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King.

Violence, including looting and fires, broke out on the largely black south side of Los Angeles a few hours after the verdict. As the violence spread across the residential and business areas, Mayor Tom Bradley asked Gov. Pete Wilson to send in the National Guard….

Front page of The News Journal from April 30, 1992.
Front page of The News Journal from April 30, 1992.

The verdict, in the seventh day of deliberations, came after a year of political uproar sparked by the graphic videotape of a black man being beaten by white officers, denounced in many quarters as brutality. The backlash brought down the Los Angeles police chief.

“My client and I are just outraged,” said King’s lawyer, Steve Lerman. “It sends a bad message. It says it’s OK to go ahead and beat somebody when they’re down and kick the crap out of them.”

Bradley blasted the jury’s decision….

Several hours after the verdicts were announced, several hundred demonstrators rushed the main doors at the police department’s Parker Center headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. They backed off as helmeted officers blocked the doors….

May 1, 1939, Wilmington Morning News

President Roosevelt opens World’s Fair

President Franklin Roosevelt officially opened the New York World’s Fair yesterday by pledging the nation anew to a policy of peace and international good will….

He made no reference to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s rejection of peace guarantee proposals submitted by him to Berlin and Rome two weeks ago….

Front page of the Wilmington Morning News from May 1, 1939.
Front page of the Wilmington Morning News from May 1, 1939.

A parade of more than 25,000 artisans, officials and representatives of the foreign exhibitors in their colorful dress led off the day’s events….

At 6 p.m., the fair’s president announced that more than 600,000 persons had passed through the gates….

The exhibit area with its wide, asphalt-paved avenues, clipped cedar hedges, lawns and fountains was about 90 percent completed. A number of the pavilions owned by the 60 foreign nations participating lagged behind, but this was said to be due to the unsettled European conditions.

The pavilion of one of the nations which had planned to take part, Czechoslovakia, will be manned by Czech officials who refused to surrender it when their country was occupied by Germany….

Twenty-eight warships of the Atlantic squadron stood in New York Harbor on opening day and 11 others were to arrive next week….

May 3, 1898, The Morning News

Dewey in hot battle with the Spanish at Manila

On the basis of press dispatches and advices from Ambassador Hay in London, President McKinley and Secretary Long are confident that Commodore Dewey won a great victory in Manila harbor, totally destroying the usefulness of the Spanish fleet….

The Laffan News Bureau reported that the American fleet under command of Commodore Dewey anchored in the Manila bay at 5 o’clock Sunday morning….

Front page of The Morning News from May 3, 1898.
Front page of The Morning News from May 3, 1898.

Dewey then ordered his squadron to close in and delivered an awful cannonade, using guns of all calibers for 30 minutes. Both fleets were soon at it, while the forts took a hand in the melee, keeping up a steady fire at the American ships. Dewey maneuvered his ships continuously, thus rendering the marksmanship of the Spanish gunners less effective….

Dewey’s fleet then withdrew beyond the range of the smaller guns and poured shells from his big guns upon the Spaniards, inflicting hideous damage….

After the fight had continued an hour and a half, the Spanish squadron was practically annihilated and all the forts were silenced. Three of the Spanish warships were on fire, one had sunk and the others were riddled and helpless….

May 3, 2011, The News Journal

How U.S. got enemy No. 1

After nearly a decade of anger and fear, America rejoiced Monday at the demise of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind behind the horrific 9/11 attacks. Navy SEALs who killed the world’s most-wanted terrorist seized a trove of al-Qaida documents to pore over, and President Barack Obama laid plans to visit New York’s ground zero.

Front page of The News Journal from May 3, 2011.
Front page of The News Journal from May 3, 2011.

Killed in an intense firefight in a daring raid at his fortified hideout in Pakistan, bin Laden was hunted down based on information first gleaned years ago from detainees at secret CIA prison sites in Eastern Europe, officials disclosed.

His body was quickly taken away for burial at sea, but not before a DNA match was done to prove his identity. A U.S. official said there also were photos showing bin Laden with the fatal wound above his left eye, a gunshot that tore away part of his skull….

May 5, 1970, The Morning News

Four slain in Ohio war protest

Four students were killed and 11 other persons were wounded at Kent State University yesterday when National Guardsmen broke up an unauthorized rally.

President Richard Nixon said the incident should remind everyone that “when dissent turns to violence it invites tragedy.”

Front page of The Morning News from May 5, 1970.
Front page of The Morning News from May 5, 1970.

The shooting came after guardsmen moved in with tear gas to disperse a rock-throwing crowd of 400 to 500 students at an antiwar rally….

Meanwhile a continuing wave of antiwar demonstrations, focusing on U.S. involvement in Cambodia, swept many of the nation’s colleges….

Reach reporter Ben Mace at

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Riots in LA, FDR opens World's Fair: News Journal archives, April 30