I was perusing ebay when I came across these photos for sale (so mad that I missed this auction - who bought them?) concerning a three day "riot" in Albuquerque in June 1971.

A google search yielded the very interesting recollection at http://www.jamrent.com/coa/riot1971.htm

In a nutshell: a series of misunderstandings beginning at Roosevelt Park (is this place built on Indian Burial Grounds or something?), youth and police bravado led to a 3 day "riot' where several business were looted and/or burned down. Several people shot (one innocent bystander supposedly killed by a Circle K owner or employee, the first business burned down), arrested and/or hospitalized. The National Guard was eventually called in to help the subdue the rioters AND police.

Amazing stuff, I had no idea. Do any Fixers have any connection?

Tags: 1971, albuquerque, hippies, narcs, riot

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I was just a kid when the riots happened, but I still remember it. Wasn't part of the destruction in downtown Albuquerque? I remember something about a fire at American Furniture at their downtown store. It really marked the beginning of the great exodus of businesses from downtown. Before the riot there were quite a few department stores in downtown-- J C Penneys, Fedway, American Furniture. I always remembered that part of it because my sister wanted to go to a Clark Gable movie that was showing downtown either that week or the next weekend and she wasn't allowed to go because of the riot.

Also us school kids at the time may remember the one good thing to come out of all of it was that APS's audio visual warehouse was torched. All those awful movies and documentaries we'd had to watch every year were destroyed! They really were pretty bad. Kind of like the ones they made fun of on That 70's Show.

I really only remember two other 'riots' in Albuquerque, and both involved Manzano Basketball games. One was after the State Championship game between Manzano and Albuquerque High. It was probably in 1974 or 1975. The other was in 1976 or 1977 at Valley High School. Someone was shot at that one. I was at that one, trapped in the gym. Although there were several concerts at the old Civic Auditorium that went crazy and the crowd wound up getting maced.

The end of the 60's and early 70's was a really different time. I remember hippies living in the canyons in the foothills, using the whitewash as a shower. Kind of hard to imagine it now.
I still kick myself that I didn't try to talk my parents into buying land in Placitas or Corrales that was dirt cheap in those days. It was mostly inhabited by homesteading hippies back then.
Yep - where my grandma rented in Corrales had the beginnings of the old Ocha Food Coop next door to her - they would be out in their garden with their tanned bare backs and long hair. That was summer of 70.
The hard part would have been eventually getting the hippies off of your land.
Some of those "hippies" are now driving Volvos and Eddie Bauer signature Subarus, shopping at Whole Foods.
"It really marked the beginning of the great exodus of businesses from downtown."

No, not so much. The exodus of businesses from downtown began at least a decade earlier and involved forces far more concrete - like construction of the I-40, I-25 and Winrock and Coronado Malls.
I agree, Coco. I remember my grandmother lamenting the demise of downtown along with the growth of the malls.
Okay, but the Riots brought about the closure of several stores downtown that had been hanging on. There was a marked difference before and after. Many of those stores became workplaces... such as the old Fedway that turned into a Mountain Bell building. Downtown really changed at that time.

It's funny now to think of the malls killing off the old department stores downtown when you see where Winrock has ended up. I guess everything has it's time.

Someone who had lived in Albuquerque long before all of this told me how Nob Hill "did in" downtown. I remember him telling me how anything was just so much better if you could say you bought it at Nob Hill. We've all seen Nob Hill go through changes to become in style again. But when it was first built it was a really big deal that it was outside of downtown.
Thanks for the memories! My favorite store in the 1960s was Fedways and their windows at Christmas!

I believe the Manzano Basketball riots were in 1974 (I graduated from MHS in 1975). I don't remember why, but I did not go to that game and was glad that I missed it.

I lived a couple of blocks from the Civic Auditorium and would always go over and sneak into the Ice Capades or whatever was happening. There was a door on the side closest to the freeway that didn't always latch!
The Living Batch was right next to a smaller Frontier Restaurant on Central and the riot (destructive part) stopped almost right at our doorstep (no damage to the bookstore) . . .
The Living Batch ranks right up there in my happy memories with Rodey Theater, Casa Luna Pizzeria, the Vortex Theater, Frontier of course, and (bowing head) Yale Park.
I was a disk jockey on KRZY-AM radio that summer, and was dating a girl who had just graduated from the medical technology program, still living at home in a tiny apartment on Silver, a couple of blocks south of the UNM Drug Store at Central and Yale. She was interning at the VA Hospital. Anyhow, I had gone to San Francisco for a week...and one evening on the TV news in my motel room, one of the "teasers" prior to a commercial break was "The city of Albuquerque is in flames tonight. More when we come back."

Well, suffice it to say that drove me crazy...and the film they showed during the story did show a lot of people running around and some damage to businesses and homes. I didn't find out until I got home what it was all about, and that the national media had blown it up out of proportion. My girl did tell me that there were National Guard troops all over the campus and some of the side streets. It's funny, because Roosevelt Park isn't all that close to the UNM campus.

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