Human Kindness Day

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Human Kindness Day was a series of annual outdoor concerts held in Washington, D.C. starting in 1972; the last Day was held in 1975 and was marked by extensive violence and crime, ending the tradition.

The first Human Kindness Day was held in 1972, to honor singer Roberta Flack, who had graduated from DC's Howard University. The 1972 event drew 25,000 people, while the 1973 event drew 35,000. The 1974 event drew 55,000 people and resulted in 24 arrests for robbery and assault.[1]

The 1975 Human Kindness Day was held on the National Mall, with Stevie Wonder as the headlining act, and was attended by approximately 125,000 people. [1] The National Park Service recorded 500 incidents of robbery alone;[2] The Washington Post noted that some 600 people were injured and 211 robbed.[3] The Chicago Tribune noted that 150 people were hospitalized, including one who lost an eye. Amidst the violence, the Metropolitan Police and Park Police arrested only 32 people.[4] A contributing factor in the violence is that the event organizers had arranged non-interference with law enforcement, promising to self-police with 800 volunteer marshals, of whom only 262 were working the event.[1]


  1. ^ a b c — Jenny Pike, Silver Spring (4 September 2011). "1975 Human Kindness Day's cruel violence". Washington Post.
  2. ^ "Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics (1994)".
  3. ^ Alan M. Schlein (21 January 1982). "COMPARED TO WHAT?". Washington Post.
  4. ^