The city had no debt whatsoever, but Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh saw the beginnings of the Great Society in Washington.
argued effectively that Detroit should be made a "model city," and, according to historian Sidney Fine, from 1962 to 1967 Detroit was given $230,422,000 in federal cash for an array of programs.
That huge sum made Detroit the envy of other cities-$230 million was almost one percent of the entire U.S. national debt in 1967.
As Mayor Cavanaugh said, "We had a very receptive Administration in Washington, one that was looking for programs that would make them look good.
added, "Well, what we used to do was come up with an idea, take it to Washington, sell it to the Administration, and at the same time have a stack of applications ready on their desk for the moment the legislation was passed.
The idea was to get there the fastest with the mostest."
Mayor Cavanaugh and everyone else assumed that more money into a "model city" like Detroit would make a good city even better.