The Long Hot Summer (2020) : Throughline Things in the U.S. feel tense right now. Two years after a police officer killed George Floyd outside a Minneapolis corner store, videos of police violence still appear regularly – and protests follow. Maybe the closest parallel to what's happening today is the so-called "long hot summer" of 1967, when more than 150 cities across the country experienced civil unrest.

That year, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so-called "Kerner Commission" concluded — shocking to many Americans – was that the fires in America's cities could be traced back to inequality, white racism, and police brutality. This week, the Kerner Commission's report and its consequences, nearly six decades later.

The Long Hot Summer (2020)

The Long Hot Summer (2020)

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1111395239/1111440304" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Kerner Commission in session, in Washington DC, 1967. Underwood Archives/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Underwood Archives/Getty Images

The Kerner Commission in session, in Washington DC, 1967.

Underwood Archives/Getty Images

Things in the U.S. feel tense right now. Two years after a police officer killed George Floyd outside a Minneapolis corner store, videos of police violence still appear regularly – and protests follow. Maybe the closest parallel to what's happening today is the so-called "long hot summer" of 1967, when more than 150 cities across the country experienced civil unrest.

That year, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so-called "Kerner Commission" concluded — shocking to many Americans – was that the fires in America's cities could be traced back to inequality, white racism, and police brutality. This week, the Kerner Commission's report and its consequences, nearly six decades later.


If you would like to read more about the topic: