Events Of 1968 Essay, Research Paper
During the year 1968, there were many new ideas, and events that have effected the history of the U.S. and even the world in big ways. For instance the Tet Offensive, RFK (Robert Kennedy) is assassinated, and the Democratic National Convention riots. I feel that 1968 was the most turbulent year politically of the twentieth century.
On June third, a woman shot Andy Warhol, the famous painter by a woman named of Valerie Solanis who was a struggling actress, and writer of the S.C.U.M. manifesto in Warhol’s New York City loft. On June forth and fifth, Robert Kennedy was addressing a large crowd of supporters at the Ambassador Hotel in San Francisco during his California Primary. As he left the stage a twenty-four year old Jordanian by the name of Sirhan Sirhan shot him. (Chronicle Of The 20th Century p.984) The motive was apparently anger at several pro-Israeli speeches that Kennedy had made during his campaign. The next morning forty-two year Robert Kennedy died. Robert Kennedy’s funeral was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Senator Edward Kennedy, the youngest brother of John and Robert delivered the eulogy.
In August, The Republicans nominate Richard Nixon to be their presidential candidate at their Party convention in Miami Beach. The next day Nixan appointed Spiro Agnew of Maryland as hi running mate. Nelson Rockefeller of New York, and Ronald Reagan of California challenged Nixan in his campaign. On August twenty-sixth Mayor Richard Daley opened the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. While the convention moves haltingly toward Hubert Humphrey for president, the city’s police attempt to enforce an eleven o’clock curfew. On that Monday night demonstrations are widespread, but generally peaceful. The next two days, however, bring increasing tension and violence to the situation. Two days later, On Wednesday.the Chicago police took action against crowds of demonstrators without provocation. (Chronicle Of The 20th Century p.987) The police beat some marchers unconscious and sent at least one hundred to emergency rooms including children, elderly, and members of the press, while arresting one hundred and seventy five. Mayor Dayley tried the next day to explain the police action at a press conference. Eighteen years later, when the Democrats next held a convention in Chicago, some police officers who were still on the force, wore T-shirts proclaiming, “We kicked their father’s butt in ‘68 and now it’s your turn.”(www.something.com)
On September seventh Woman’s Liberation groups, joined by members of New York NOW, target the Miss America Beauty Contest in Atlantic City. The protest includes theatrical demonstrations including ritual disposal of traditional female roles into the “freedom ashcan.” While nothing is actually set on fire, one organizer’s comment – quoted in the New York Times the next day – that the protesters “wouldn’t do anything dangerous, just a symbolic bra-burning,” lives on in the derogatory term “bra-burning feminist.”(www..com)September eighth Huey Newton, leader of the Black Panthers, was convicted of volunteer manslaughter in the death of John Frey, an Oakland police officer. His attorney Charles Garry felt that it was unfair and said “I am prepared to take (this case) to the highest court in the land,” he said. We are tremendously disappointed. The verdict makes no sense.” The case received national attention; many activists felt the Oakland police engage in brutality towards blacks. A “Free Huey” movement was generated by Newton’s supporters. (Chronicle Of The 20th Century p.988)
On October second Police and Military troops in Mexico City react violently to a student-led protest in Tlatelolco Square. Hundreds of the demonstrators are killed or injured. Then on October twelfth the Summer Olympic Games open in Mexico City. The games were boycotted by 32 African nations in protest of South Africa’s participation. On the eighteenth Tommie Smith and John Carlos, U.S. Athletes and medalists in the 200-meter dash disrupted the games by performing the black power salute during the “Star-Spangled Banner” at their medal ceremony. Congratulations are in order when President Johnson announces a total halt to U.S. bombing in North Vietnam on October 31. (Chronicle Of The 20th Century p.989) November 20th former Jacquelin Kennedy wed Millinaire Aristo (Chronicle Of The 20th Century p.989)
November fifth “Election Day” The results came in on the Nixan, Humphey election. While Humphrey had about forty-two percent of the total votes, Nixan won by a nose with about forty-three percent, only winning by about five hundred thousand votes. On November seventeenth, TV viewers were interrupted from a Jets-Raiders game to a little Swiss orphan named Heidi, with only one minute left. The viewers were so appalled and angry that many of them called the station, jamming the switchboards, causing one to break down. Those who couldn’t get through called the police depart or local newspapers. (Chronicle Of The 20th Century p.992)
On December sixteenth Spain lifted a law banning Jews. Over four hundred years ago Queen Isabella banished Jews from Spain. On the sixteenth over seven hundred Spanish, Jewish and other officials heard the proclamation at the opening of a Madrid synagogue-the first built in Spain in 600 years. (Chronicle Of The 20th Century p.994)
In Conclusion I found that the year 1968 was a very turbulent year. People were just starting to ask the question “why?”, a question that was rarely asked before. With that came riots, protesting, and freedom. Without the protesting then, we might not be where we are today.