Henry B. Lick


Henry B. Lick


Henry B. Lick recalls memories of the actions of some officials and government presence in Detroit, July, 1967.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI






Written Story


Detroit, Michigan


In 1967 I was employed as an Industrial Hygiene and Safety Engineer for Michigan Mutual Liability Company at 28 West Adams in Detroit and lived in Warren on Hayes and 13 Mile Rd. When I was discharged from the Air Force at the 1st USAF Hospital, I stayed in the Active Air Force Reserve in the 436th Medical Service Unit. In July 1967 my unit was on Summer Encampment. On the Sunday of the start of the Riot I was returning from taking my wife and son to stay with her parents in Cleveland. Upon approaching the Lodge and the Ford I could see clouds of smoke. When I checked into my Unit I learned of the riot.

There are a couple memories that stick in my mind. The first involves President Johnson on the evening network news saying there were no Federal Troops committed to Detroit. I watched that newscast while sitting in the Selfridge NCO Club with members of the 101st Airborne who were deployed to Detroit…so much for truth from Washington that day. My second memory is of the 101st helicopters leaving Selfridge and flying over my house in Warren. It was like a scene from Apocalypse Now with Robert Duvall playing Wagner. My last memory was returning to work at Michigan Mutual and coming down Oakman Blvd into Detroit. I remember seeing business districts burned out and in subsequent days seeing areas also destroyed.

Fast forward to today and I see that much of the areas of destruction were never rebuilt and vibrant Detroit neighborhoods are now in decay. It is nice to see Downtown coming back, but the City is still a shell of its once vibrant self.

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Submitter's Name

Henry B. Lick

Submission Date


Search Terms

101st Airborne, Active Air Force Reserve, Oakman Boulevard, Selfridge Air Force Base




“Henry B. Lick,” Detroit Historical Society Oral History Archive, accessed December 8, 2023, http://oralhistory.detroithistorical.org/items/show/23.

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