The Police Strike of 1977 was an event quite significant because of its effect on both American society and the lives and crime-fighting careers of the story's main characters.
Fearing that their jobs were being threatened by costumed adventurers, police officers engaged in a general strike. Consequently, costumed heroes were forced to deal with rioting crowds in major cities. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Manhattan and Laurie Juspeczyk dealt with an increasingly hostile crowd outside the White House grounds. When the demonstrators refused to leave at Manhattan's request, he teleported them to their individual homes. Manhattan later read a news report that two of the demonstrators suffered heart attacks. Manhattan concludes that "More surely would have died during a riot."
In New York City, Nite Owl and the Comedian work together to quell a large group of violent rioters. The Comedian, standing at the front of Nite Owl's Owlship, tosses a riot gas bomb into the crowd, causing them to disperse, then goes after a few stragglers with more gas bombs, shooting one of them directly.
The strike was eventually settled; however, one of the results was the Keene Act, which outlawed costumed crime-fighting.
- ↑ Though not shown in the story, Nite Owl tells that to the Comedian