Devil's Night--a history lesson
Once, while living out east, I was talking about birthdays with a friend. When I told him that my birthday is on October 30th, I quickly said, "ha ha, yeah I know...Devil's Night...how fitting, right?" This programmed response was due to the fact that whenever I had told anyone when my birthday was, they made some crack about how it was perfect that someone like me (prone to evil--insert Dr. Evil's voice here--behavior) should be born on Devil's Night.
My friend however, looked at me like I was nuts, and said, "What the hell is Devil's Nights?"
So, today a mini history lesson about Devil's Night. Devil's Night is the night before Halloween (October 30th), and starting around the end of WWII it was a night of mischief when people would go out and soap windows or tee pee houses or something. Somehow those foolish shennanigans turned into something more mean spirited sometime around the 1970s. People began to set buildings (vacant and occupied) on fire and thus began a sad tradition in Detroit's history. After the especially bad night in 1994, then mayor Dennis Archer began a crusade to stop the burning of Detroit. His administration set about changing the night, even renaming it "Angel's Night," though us old school people still call it Devil's Night. Now it is a night were volunteers and police patrol the city looking for anyone who is out on the streets, breaking the the city imposed curfew.
It was interesting to be in Detroit until after dark on the 30th. There were cops everywhere. I even saw them busting homeless people for violating curfew--um, hi, where the hell are they supposed to go?
So, that in a nutshell is Devil's Night, yea of non-knowing. Go forth, feeling like you now understand a slice of Detroit-lingo, or as the natives call it, "Detroit linguity, home slice."
In my searching I also came across this fun article: Detroit Legends.