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Photos: Detroit, the glory days

Updated 12:51 PM ET, Fri July 26, 2013
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Detroit has become the largest American city to declare bankruptcy. People who spend any time there grow accustomed to hearing the words "used to be," says Heidi Ewing, co-director of "Detropia," a documentary about the Michigan city and its uncertain future. An aerial view, circa 1950, of the old Tiger Stadium and the downtown skyline shows the Motor City in all its former glory. Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
The American automobile industry has been centered in Detroit. Rows of these behemoths in a city parking lot around 1960 show the industry at its height. Herbert/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Music also played an important role in the success of Detroit, where Motown Records was headquartered in the 1960s. Here Stevie Wonder, left, and Marvin Gaye record in a Motown studio in Detroit in 1965. Gilles Pétard Collection/Getty Images
A mother gives her child advice during a boxcar race in Livonia, Michigan, a Detroit suburb, circa 1955. The move to the suburbs accelerated, especially after rioting that devastated Detroit in 1967. Three Lions/Getty Images
Downtown Detroit is full of people on a rainy afternoon circa 1955. Looking at old photos of the Motor City, Ewing says she always was a bit envious of the city life that eluded her and her siblings who grew up in the suburbs. Three Lions/Getty Images
Tugboats race on the Detroit River in 1954. Fox Photos/Getty Images
Pete Babando, left, and Harry Lumley of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate in the locker room with the Stanley Cup after defeating the New York Rangers in the 1950 Stanley Cup finals in Detroit. Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images