Magazine September 19, 2011, Issue

Houston, We Have a Solution

Detroit, June 21, 1943 (Bettmann/Corbis)
A tale of two cities

On a warm Saturday evening in June 1943, crowds were relaxing on Belle Isle, a retreat slightly larger than New York’s Central Park nestled in the Detroit River, which separates Canada and the United States. Belle Isle’s landscapes and structures were a showcase of great American architecture: Frederick Law Olmsted, Albert Kahn, and Cass Gilbert all were represented. Its botanical garden, yacht club, memorial fountain, golf course, and opulent marble lighthouse offered a serene testament to the grandeur of Detroit.

Exactly what started the riots that night, we’ll never know for sure. There seems to have been a confrontation between a

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Mario Loyola is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the director of the Environmental Finance and Risk Management Program of Florida International University, and a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute of George Mason University. The opinions expressed in this column are his alone.

In This Issue

Articles

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Books, Arts & Manners

Books

Reality Shows

A review of Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy–Nixon to Obama–McCain, by Jim Lehrer.

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