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New JerseyOn July 12, 1967, a taxi driver named John Smith was beaten by police after allegedly violently resisting arrest. He had driven around a double-parked police car. A crowd gathered outside the police station where Smith was detained. Due to miscommunication, the crowd believed Smith had died in custody, although he had been transported to a hospital via a back entrance to the station. This sparked scuffles between African Americans and police in the Fourth Ward, although the damage toll was only $2,500.
Subsequent to television news broadcasts on July 13 however, new and larger riots took place. Twenty-six people were killed; 1,500 wounded; 1,600 arrested; and $10 million in property was destroyed. More than a thousand businesses were torched or looted, including 167 groceries (most of which would never reopen). Newark's reputation suffered dramatically. It was said, "wherever American cities are going, Newark will get there first."
Newark is home to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, located near Military Park, which since its opening in 1997 has become one the most visited in the United States. Included among the artists appearing on NJPAC stages in its first thirteen seasons are the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Yo-Yo Ma; Bob Dylan; Ballet Nacional de Cuba; Lauryn Hill; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Twyla Tharp Dance; Dance Theatre of Harlem; Israel Philharmonic; the Berlin State Opera Orchestra; the Royal Danish Ballet; Hilary Hahn; Bill T. Jones; Itzhak Perlman; the Vienna Boys Choir; Midori; Sarah Brightman; Sting; Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo; Elvis Costello; National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique; Don Henley; the Afro-Cuban All-Stars; Audra McDonald; Buena Vista Social Club; Melissa Etheridge; the Czech Philharmonic; Bette Midler; The Chieftains; Herbie Hancock; Sweet Honey in the Rock; and Diana Krall. NJPAC is also the home of the Grammy-winning New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Each year, this...