STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu
Document A (Modified)
Near-martial law in L.A. riot zones
Los Angeles Daily News
June 9, 1943
Harold Tabor, 32, Long Beach sailor, was severely beaten by a gang of zooters at
103rd and Graham St. He suffered a broken nose and serious facial cuts.
"I was passing a poolhall on the way to a grocery store when the gang hopped (jumped)
me, " he said.
Two soldiers and a Negro zoot suiter were taken into custody after a riot at the corner of
Second and Spring streets. Police continued to search for others. Police ordered
groups of more than three to "break it up" everywhere in the downtown area. Police
officers were stationed on every corner and the city resembled martial law rule. Squads
of riot breakers roamed the city, trying to solve the zoot suit problem.
Navy shore patrol officers walked in and out of bars, dancehalls, drugstores, bus
One of the most serious outbreaks of terrorism occurred in Watts. There, three trains
were stoned by pachucos. One person was cut seriously. A few minutes later, nearly
every window of an outbound Long Beach two-car train was smashed when it was
caught in a crossfire of pachuco stoning.
Gangsterism in Watts continued into the early hours of today. Twelve Negroes
ambushed a 17-year-old white high school student, asked him if he was a "zoot suiter"
and when he said "no" the fight started. The victim, Joe M. Steddum of 8834 Banders
St., Watts, received a five-inch cut on his left forehead.
A Navy commander of the 11th Naval district in San Diego stated the following:
"Until further notice, except for special occasions approved by the commanding officer,
the city of Los Angeles will be out of bounds for all enlisted personnel of the naval
services not attached to the stations within this city, or in travel status.
Zoot suiters are being arrested in all parts of L.A. County. Many have been caught with
weapons such as knives hidden in their pants. Many sailors and servicemen have
victims of violence and casualties from the pachuco hoodlums.
pachuco: Mexican-American zoot suiter