a headline history of the 1955 richard riot: destruction et pillage (couldn’t happen in toronto)

March Madness: Montreal’s Sainte-Catherine Street bore the brunt of the rioting (and a flood of toe-rubbers) on the night of Thursday, March 17, 1955.

March went out with a roar in Montreal in 1955 after NHL President Clarence Campbell suspended Canadiens’ superstar Maurice Richard for the remainder of that NHL season and the playoffs after a melee in Boston in which he fought with Bruins’ defenceman Hal Laycoe and knocked down a linesman, Cliff Thompson. The rest, of course, was history, wherein the events of the week that followed are remembered as the Richard Riot. A review from those eventful days 68 years ago this week by way of headlines culled from newspapers of the day, from across North America and around the world: 

Monday, March 14

Richard Goes Insane
Boston Daily Record

Richard Stick Duels Laycoe, Fights With Official
Boston Daily Globe

Rocket Goes Wild At Boston, Clouts Laycoe, Linesman
Gazette 

Richard’s Boston Rampage May Hit Habs’ Playoff Hopes
Montreal Star

Tuesday, March 15

Boston Brawl Principals Meet Here Wednesday Morning
Gazette

‘Rocket’ Is Rushed To Hospital For Head X-Ray, Stomach Upset
Toronto Daily Star

Les éliminatoires débuteront à Montréal et Détroit mardi le 22

Montréal-Matin

Punish The Rocket? Decision Tomorrow
Globe and Mail

Wednesday, March 16

Hockey Hearing To Start Today: Richard of Canadiens Will Leave Hospital to Attend Investigation of Fight
New York Times

Décision attendue aujourd’hui dans le cas de Maurice Richard
La Presse

‘Dead’ By Weekend Threat To Campbell
Ottawa Journal

Vive Le Rocket: Montreal fans protest Richard’s suspension in March of 1955.

Thursday, March 17

Richard Banni Par Campbell
Montréal-Matin

Campbell Bans Richard From Playoffs
Detroit Free Press

Ban Against Richard Severe Blow To Canadiens’ Hopes
Montreal Star

Suspension De Richard: Campbell Est Menacé De Mort
La Patrie

Richard May Retire From Hockey
Ottawa Journal

Rocket Not Likely To Retire
Ottawa Citizen

Richard Faces Bleakest Era Of His Colorful Career
Ottawa Journal

Réaction multiples en marge de la suspension de M. Richard
L’Action Catholique

Had Fans Are Bitter; Threats Of Violence
Globe and Mail

La punition jugée trop forte: Le maire Drapeau espère une revision du verdict
La Presse

Ired Fans Threaten Reprisal
Gazette

Forum Warns Spectators
Ottawa Journal

Trouble And Fame Have Gone Hand In Hand For Rocket
Ottawa Journal

Adams Says Rocket Got Light Deal
Montreal Star

School Sports Head Praises Campbell
Gazette

‘Pas d’appel,’ dit Selke; Campbell au Forum ce soir
La Presse

Friday, March 18

La foule s’attaque au président Campbell
La Patrie

Campbell Chassé Du Forum
Montréal-Matin

Émeute sans précédent
La Patrie

Pire Émeute Depuis La Conscription, À Montreal
Le Droit

U.S. Tear-Gas Bomb Sold Here In 1941
Montreal Star

74 arrestations, 46 vitrines brisées pendant l’émeute
La Patrie

Défi Et Provocation De Campbell
La Presse

Montreal Mayor Criticized In Riot
Ottawa Citizen

Destruction Et Pillage
La Presse

Couldn’t Happen Here
Ottawa Citizen

‘Couldn’t Happen In Toronto,’ Smythe
Ottawa Journal

A Disgrace To Canada
Toronto Daily Star

‘Never … Anything So Disgraceful’ Jack Adams Says
Ottawa Journal

‘It’s Unbelievable’ Says Bruins’ Boss
Ottawa Journal

Seven-Hour Rampage By Ice Hockey Fans
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

New York Papers Front Page Hockey Riot
Ottawa Journal

Jail 100 Hockey Fans
Boston Evening Globe

Bullets, Eggs Fly At Riot In Montreal
St. Petersburg Times

‘Our Population Is Enthusiastic,’ Montreal Official
Ottawa Journal

A Disgraceful Spectacle
Gazette

Innocent Storekeepers Pay Huge Toll In Vandals’ Wake
Montreal Star

Ottawa Russians Peeved As ‘Rocket’ Under Suspension
Toronto Daily Star

Councillor Seeks Warrant For Arrest Clarence Campbell
Ottawa Journal

Hooliganism In Montreal
Ottawa Journal

Good For President Campbell!
Ottawa Journal

New York Rangers Not Scared
Ottawa Journal

Campbell démissionnerait
Le Devoir

Collared: Press photo of an unidentified demonstrator apprehended on March 17, 1955 by Montreal police constables (from left) Charles Hynes and Jacques Belanger.

Saturday, March 19

This Isn’t Montreal
Gazette

Majority Of Fans Sickened By Riot
Ottawa Journal

Selke Blames Few Hooligans Not Real Fans
Toronto Dailey Star

Montreal Rioting ‘Premeditated’
Times (U.K.)

Montreal Cops Amazed No One Killed In Mad Violence After Game
Toronto Daily Star

Firm Says Bomb Not Sold To Public
Gazette

Council Lauds Police For ‘Preventing’ Riot
Gazette

Police To Prevent New Riots
Ottawa Journal

Richard Begs Fans Behave
Boston Daily Globe

Richard, Mayor Ask For Orderly Game
Gazette

Stores Rush Mop-Up; Loss Set At $50,000
Gazette

Rioters Allowed Bail On Various Charges
Gazette

Campbell Right In Suspending Rocket, Richard’s Cousin
Lethbridge Herald

Montreal Riot Latent Hostility To Law, Order
Gazette

Riot May Have Sobering Effect, Says Campbell
Globe and Mail

Campbell Announces He Won’t Attend Game Tonight
Gazette

Riots Could Happen Anytime, Anywhere Says Specialist
Lethbridge Herald

Police Ban Parades, Public Assemblies Near Forum
Gazette

Hockey Players ‘Spring Lambs’ Compared To Fans
Ottawa Journal

Tuesday, March 22

Boston Writers Travel By Pairs In Montreal
Boston Daily Globe

Friday, March 25

Campbell Says Forum Riot Could Have Prevented
Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, March 30

Campbell Finds Solace In Vilifying Mail, Wires
Globe and Mail

Campbell Squashes Proposal To have Rocket Play In Britain
Globe and Mail

Thursday, April 7

27 Men Fined $25 to $100 For Forum Demonstrations
Gazette

Friday, April 15

Wings Beat Habs 3-1, Retain Stanley Cup
Gazette

We Can’t Work It Out: Montreal Gazette cartoon from March 19, 1955.