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SPECIAL EVENT | 1964 Riot Events


Thursday, July 24, marks the 50th anniversary of Rochester's 1964 Riots. A number of events will take place across the city to commemorate the three days of rioting that shaped the community. All of the events are free.

For more information about the riots and their impact on Rochester, check out CITY's July 16 cover story by Mark Hare at

Through Thursday, July 31, "Now and Then — Remembering the Race Riots/Rebellion of 1964" will be shown at the Local History and Genealogy Division of the Rundel Memorial Library (115 South Avenue). The exhibition is created by St. John Fisher College students and presents the impact of the riots, both in Rochester and worldwide. The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for Thursday, when the exhibit is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Running until August 1, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., an exhibition of photographs from the archives of the City of Rochester and Gannett Rochester will be presented at the City Hall Link Gallery (30 Church Street). The exhibit, "July '64 – Rochester Remembers," presents images taken before, during, and immediately after the riots.

On Tuesday, July 29 and Thursday, July 31, walking tours of Joseph Avenue will be held at 4 p.m., beginning at the Lincoln Branch Library (851 Joseph Avenue). The tour, hosted by MCC Professor Verdis Robinson, will focus on points of interest relevant to the riots' history in the surrounding area.

The Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library (115 South Avenue) will host a screening of the film "July '64" and a panel discussion from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23. Christine Christopher, the film's producer, will join Carvin Eison, its director, and Darryl Porter, a former gang leader who went on to become president of the Rochester City School Board, to discuss the movie.

A ceremonial lighting of the High Falls to commemorate the riots will take place on Wednesday, July 23, at 8:30 p.m. on the Pont de Rennes bridge. The ceremony will accompany a reading of a proclamation in remembrance of the 1964 events.

On Thursday, July 24, activist, author, politician, and teacher Ruth Holland Scott will present a civil rights talk at noon in the Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library (115 South Avenue). Scott, the first female African-American member of the Rochester City Council, will discuss civil rights in Rochester in the time following the 1964 riots.

The commemorative events will conclude with "July '64 Revisited: Rochester and Race Relations with the Black Storytelling League of Rochester" at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 25. The event, held in the Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library, will feature local storytellers presenting accounts of the 1964 events.