Squad of Ohio National Guardsmen in formation during riot, Dayton, Ohio, 1966. 2,200 Ohio National Guardsmen were called in to reestablish order during the Hough Riots. Multiple racial disturbances occurred around the state in the 1960s.
In Cleveland, Ohio in June 1966, a series of racially-charged riots occurred in the Hough neighborhood.
The Hough Riots lasted several days, and the Cleveland police force proved ineffective in quelling the violence. It finally took 2,200 Ohio National Guardsmen to reestablish order. Arson fires destroyed several blocks of homes and businesses in the Hough neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland. Four African Americans died. A grand jury assigned to investigate the riots concluded that outsiders had caused the disturbance. Another panel determined that, "The underlying causes of the rioting are to be found in the social conditions that exist in the ghetto areas of Cleveland." Many African-American residents in this part of Cleveland believed that the city, state, and federal government officials were not meeting their needs. For much of the twentieth century, Cleveland's eastern neighborhoods had lacked business development and a declining population, as many residents, especially white ones, sought better lives in the suburbs. Many remaining residents developed a sense of hopelessness as their communities declined and the various levels of government failed to assist them.
The Hough Riots and Ohio's several other racial disturbances of the 1960s illustrate the lack of opportunity for many people, especially African Americans, in Ohio's major cities during this era.