April 4, 1968 was the unfortunate date the CVL chose to announce the beginning of their programs for Lawndale. The good news of the CVL was swallowed in the angry response to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Almost all the white owned stores in Lawndale were burned to the ground. Daley called up the National Guard and issued his "shoot to kill order." The CVL opened their offices up as a relief station, passed out food and clothing and tried to keep the peace. The aftermath, however, was disaster, as these two CVL photos symbolizes. View rare footage of CBS news reports of that day.

Riots broke out in over 100 cities and fury took days to subside in Lawndale, where King had made his home for six months two years before.

The date the CVL had chose to launch their offensive against racism and poverty only underscored the urgency of their task. What transpired over the next two years is an amazing tale of renewal... and official resistance.


1. National Guard Patrol
2. Burned out Building
3.Rubble from Riots


National Guard Patrols Lawndale