By August 1969 when the annual Apprentice Boys parade took place in Londonderry, politics and community relations in Northern Ireland were already unstable. The after shock of the events of 5 October 1968, followed by growing and serious political and sectarian violence in Derry and Belfast during January, April and July 1969 did not present a favourable backdrop for the parade.
In the event the parade was attacked for reasons that are still open to debate today. The missiles thrown at marchers as they made their way through Waterloo Place drew the RUC into the area and sparked the battle of the Bogside and serious sectarian violence in Belfast. Within three days soldiers were on the streets.
What followed is a matter of copious historical record and commentary. It informs the past many aspects of which shape our present.