In 1969, The Military Thought It Had Eliminated Racism In Its Ranks. Then Troops Began Rioting

On a hot summer night 50 years ago, while other U.S. troops were fighting in Vietnam, dozens of Marines on Camp Lejeune, N.C. were fighting each other.

The explosion of racial violence on the Marine Corps’ main East Coast infantry base left one white Marine dead and more than a dozen others injured − some seriously. Dozens were charged with crimes, including homicide.

There had been outbreaks of racial violence in military jails, but this was a major escalation.

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