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Events of 1968
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Events of 1968


International Events Local  Films Sports U.S. Statistics Entertainment



International Events

January February March April
May June July August
September October November December




January 5
Dr. Benjamin Spock; William Sloan Coffin the chaplain of Yale University; novelist Mitchell
 Goodman; Michael Ferber, a graduate student at Harvard; and Marcus Raskin a peace
 activist are indicted on charges of conspiracy to encourage violations of the draft laws by a
 grand jury in Boston. The charges are the result of actions taken at a protest rally the
 previous October at the Lincoln Memorial. The four will be convicted and Raskin acquitted
 on June 14th.
January 10
The 10,000th. US airplane is lost over Vietnam.
January 17
President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) delivers the State of the Union Address.
January 23
North Korean patrol boats capture the USS Pueblo, a US Navy intelligence gathering vessel
 and its 83 man crew on charges of violating the communist country's twelve-mile territorial
 limit. This crisis would dog the US foreign policy team for 11 months, with the crew of the
 Pueblo finally gaining freedom on December 22.
January 31
At half-past midnight on Wednesday morning the North Vietnamese launch the Tet offensive
 at Nha Trang. Nearly 70,000 North Vietnamese troops will take part in this broad action,
 taking the battle from the jungles to the cities. The offensive will carry on for weeks and is
 seen as a major turning point for the American attitude toward the war. At 2:45 that morning
 the US embassy in Saigon is invaded and held until 9:15AM.





February 1
During police actions following the first day of the Tet offensive General Nguyen Ngoc Loan,
 a south Vietnamese security official is captured on film executing a Viet Cong prisoner by
 American photographer Eddie Adams. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph becomes
 yet another rallying point for anti-war protestors. Despite later claims that the prisoner had
 been accused of murdering a Saigon police officer and his family, the image seems to call
 into question everything claimed and assumed about the American allies, the South
February 2
Richard Nixon, a republican from California, enters the New Hampshire primary and
declares his presidential candidacy.
February 4
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers a sermon at his Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta which will
 come to be seen as prophetic. His speech contains what amounts to his own eulogy. After
 his death, he says, "I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to
 give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr.
 tried to love somebody... that I tried to love and serve humanity,. Yes, if you want to, say that
 I was a drum major for peace... for righteousness."
February 7
International reporters arrive at the embattled city of Ben Tre in South Vietnam. Peter Arnett,
 then of the Associated Press, writes a dispatch quoting an unnamed US major as saying,
 "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it." The quote runs nationwide the next
 day in Arnett's report.
February 18
The US State Department announces the highest US casualty toll of the Vietnam War. The
 previous week saw 543 Americans killed in action, and 2547 wounded.
February 27
Walter Cronkite reports on his recent trip to Vietnam to view the aftermath of the Tet
 Offensive in his television special Who, What, When, Where, Why? The report is highly
 critical of US officials and directly contradicts official statements on the progress of the war.
 After listing Tet and several other current military operations as "draw[s]" and chastising
 American leaders for their optimism, Cronkite advises negotiation "...not as victors, but as
 an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best
 they could."





March 12
The New Hampshire primary election brings shocking results. The Eugene McCarthy
 campaign, benefiting from the work of 2,000 full-time student volunteers and up to 5,000 on
 the weekends immediately preceding the vote comes within 230 votes of defeating the
 sitting president Lyndon Johnson. These students, participants in what McCarthy refers to
 as his "children's crusade" have cut their hair, modified their wardrobes, and become
 "clean for Gene" to contact the conservative voters in the state.
March 16
Senator Robert Kennedy, former Attorney General and brother of former president John F.
 Kennedy (1961-63) ends months of debate by announcing that he will enter the 1968
 Presidential race.
March 16 (same day)
Although it will not become public knowledge for more than a year, US ground troops from
 Charlie Company rampage through the hamlet of My Lai killing more than 500 Vietnamese
 civilians from infants to the elderly. The massacre continues for three hours until three
 American fliers intervene, positioning their helicopter between the troops and the fleeing
 Vietnamese and eventually carrying a handful of wounded to safety. 
March 22
In Czechoslovakia Antonin Novotny resigns the Czech presidency setting off alarm bells in
 Moscow. The next day leaders of five Warsaw Pact countries meet in Dresden, East
 Germany to discuss the crisis.
March 28
Martin Luther King Jr. leads a march in Memphis which turns violent. After King himself had
 been led from the scene one 16 year old black boy is killed, 60 people are injured, and
 over 150 arrested.
March 31
President Lyndon Johnson delivers his Address to the Nation Announcing Steps To Limit
 the War in Vietnam and Reporting His Decision Not To Seek Reelection. The speech
 announces the first in a series of limitations on US bombing, promising to halt these
 activities above the 20th parallel.





April 4
Martin Luther King Jr. spends the day at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis working and
 meeting with local leaders on plans for his Poor People's March on Washington to take
 place late in the month. At 6pm, as he greets the car and friends in the courtyard, King is
 shot with one round from a 30.06 rifle. He will be declared dead just an hour later at St.
 Joseph's hospital. After an international man-hunt James Earl Ray will be arrested on June
 27 in England, and convicted of the murder. Ray died in prison in 1998.
Robert Kennedy, hearing of the murder just before he is to give a speech in Indianapolis, IN,
 delivers a powerful extemporaneous eulogy in which he pleads with the audience "to tame
 the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world."
The King assassination sparks rioting in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City,
 Newark, Washington, D.C., and many others. Across the country 46 deaths will be blamed
 on the riots.
April 11
United States Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford calls 24,500 military reserves to action
 for 2 year commitments, and announces a new troop ceiling of 549,500 American soldiers
 in Vietnam. The total number of Americans "in country" will peak at some 541,000 in
 August this year, and decline to 334,000 by 1970.
April 23
A rally and occupation of the Low administrative office building at Columbia University,
 planned to protest the university's participation in the Institute for Defense Analysis is
 scuttled by conservative students and university security officers. The demonstrators march
 to the site of a proposed new gymnasium at Morningside Heights to stage a protest in
 support of neighbors who use the site for recreation. The action eventually results in the
 occupation of five buildings - Hamilton, Low, Fairweather and Mathematics halls, and the
 Architecture building. It will culminate seven days later when police storm the buildings and
 violently remove the students and their supporters at the Columbia administration's request





May 3
The US and North Vietnamese delegations agree to begin peace talks in Paris later this
 month. The formal talks will begin on May 10.
May 6
In France, "Bloody Monday" marks one of the most violent days of the Parisian student
 revolt. Five thousand students march through the Latin Quarter with support from the
 student union and the instructors' union. Reports of the ensuing riot conflict, either the police
 charge unprovoked, or demonstrators harass them with thrown stones. The fighting is
 intense with rioters setting up barricades and the police attacking with gas grenades.
 Over-night the battle will subside, but only after engaging the sympathies of large numbers
 of French unionists.
May 11
Ralph Abernathy, Martin Luther King Jr.'s designated successor, and the Southern Christian
 Leadership Corps are granted a permit for an encampment on the Mall in Washington, DC.
 Eventually, despite nearly a solid month of rain, over 2,500 people will eventually occupy
 Resurrection City. On June 24th the site is raided by police, 124 occupants arrested, and
 the encampment demolished.
May 13
The actions taken by the students and instructors at the Sorbonne inspires sympathetic
 strikes throughout France. As many as nine million workers are on strike by May 22.
 President de Gaulle takes action to shore up governmental power, making strident radio
 addresses and authorizing large movements of military troops within the country. These
 shows of force eventually dissipate the French revolutionary furor.





June 3
Andy Warhol is shot in his New York City loft by Valerie Solanis, a struggling actress, and
June 4/5
On the night of the California Primary Robert Kennedy addresses a large crowd of
 supporters at the Ambassador Hotel in San Francisco. He has won victories in California
 and South Dakota and is confident that his campaign will go on to unite the many factions
 stressing the country. As he leaves the stage, at 12:13AM on the morning of the fifth
 Kennedy is shot by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24 year old Jordanian living in Los Angeles. The
 motive for the shooting is apparently anger at several pro-Israeli speeches Kennedy had
 made during the campaign. The forty-two year old Kennedy dies in the early morning of
 June sixth.
June 8
Robert Kennedy's funeral is held at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Senator Edward
 Kennedy, the youngest brother of John and Robert delivers the eulogy. After the service, the
 body and 700 guests depart on a special train for the burial at Arlington National Cemetery
 in Virginia.
June 27
As the "Prague Spring" continues in Czechoslovakia Ludvik Vaculik releases his manifesto
 "Two Thousand Words". This essay, criticizing Communist rule in Czechoslovakia and
 concluding with an overt threat to "foreign forces" trying to control the government of the
 country was seen as a direct challenge to the Soviet Administration who extended ongoing
 military exercises in the country, and began planning for their invasion later in the summer.
June 28
A bill adding a 10 percent surcharge to income taxes and reducing government spending is
 signed by President Johnson. The president effectively admits it has been impossible to
 provide both "guns and butter."





July 7
Abbie Hoffman's "The Yippies are Going to Chicago" is published in The Realist. The
 yippie movement, formed by Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Paul Krassner, all committed
 activists and demonstrators, is characterized by public displays of disorder ranging from
 disrupting the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange to the destruction of the Clocks
 at Grand Central Terminal, the main commuter station for workers in New York City. The
 Yippie's will be in the center of action six weeks later at the Chicago Democratic National
 Convention, hosting a "Festival of Life" in contrast to what they term the convention's
 "Festival of Death."
July 24
At the Newport (Rhode Island) Folk Festival singer Arlo Guthrie performs his 20 minute
 ballad "Alice's Restaurant" to rave reviews.





August 8
At their Party convention in Miami Beach the Republicans nominate Richard Milhouse Nixon
 to be their presidential candidate. The next day Nixon will appoint Spiro Agnew of Maryland
 as his running mate. Nixon has been challenged in his campaign by Nelson Rockefeller of
 New York, and Ronald Reagan of California.
August 20
The Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia with over 200,000 Warsaw pact troops, putting
 an end to the "Prague Spring," and beginning a period of enforced and oppressive
August 26
Mayor Richard Daley opens the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. While the
 convention moves haltingly toward nominating Hubert Humphrey for president, the city's
 police attempt to enforce an 11 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.
August 28
By most accounts, on Wednesday evening Chicago police take action against crowds of
 demonstrators without provocation. The police beat some marchers unconscious and send
 at least 100 to emergency rooms while arresting 175.  Mayor Daley tried the next day to
 explain the police action at a press conference. He famously explained: "The policeman
 isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder."
Twenty-eight years later, when the Democrats next held a convention in Chicago, some
 police officers still on the force wore t-shirts proclaiming, "We kicked their father's butt in
 '68 and now it's your turn."





September 1
Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey kicks off his presidential campaign at New York
 City's Labor Day parade.
September 7
Women'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." 
September 29
This date marks the thirtieth anniversary of Neville Chamberlain's Munich agreement ceding
 Czechoslovakia's Sudatenland to Hitler. This action widely seen as a major contributing
 factor to the devastation of World War II. The domino theory which underlay so much of
 American action in Vietnam can be seen as a direct response to the failure of international
 response to the German dictator.





October 2
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.
October 3
George Wallace, who has been running an independent campaign for the presidency which
 has met significant support in the South and the Midwest, names retired Air Force Chief of
 Staff Curtis E. LeMay to be his running mate. At the press conference, the general is asked
 about his position on the use of nuclear weapons, and responds: "I think most military men
 think it's just another weapon in the arsenal... I think there are many times when it would be
 most efficient to use nuclear weapons. ... I don't believe the world would end if we exploded
 a nuclear weapon."
October 11
Apollo 7 is launched from Florida for an eleven day journey which will orbit the Earth 163
October 12
The Summer Olympic Games open in Mexico City. The games have been boycotted by 32
 African nations in protest of South Africa's participation. On the 18th Tommie Smith and
 John Carlos, US athletes and medallists in the 200-meter dash will further disrupt the
 games by performing the black power salute during the "Star-Spangled Banner" at their
 medal ceremony.
October 20
Jacqueline Kennedy is married to Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate on the
 private island of Skorpios.
October 31
President Johnson announces a total halt to US bombing in North Vietnam.





November 5
Election Day. The results of the popular vote are 31,770,000 for Nixon, 43.4 percent of the
 total; 31,270,000 or 42.7 percent for Humphrey; 9,906,000 or 13.5 percent for Wallace;
 and 0.4 percent for other candidates.
November 14
National Turn in Your Draft Card Day is observed with rallies and protests on college
 campuses throughout the country.
November 26
After stalling for months, the South Vietnamese government agrees to join in the Paris
 peace talks.





December 11
The unemployment rate, at 3.3 percent, is the lowest it has been in fifteen years.
December 12
Robert and Ethel Kennedy's daughter, Rory, their eleventh child is born.
December 21
The launch of Apollo 8 begins the first US mission to orbit the Moon.


The above information came from 1968:Timeline at http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/1968/reference/timeline.html




Local Events


Grave of Nick Adams
Nick Adams was an actor (1931-1968) who appeared in "Rebel Without a Cause." Saints Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Church Cemetery
Berwick, PA 18603





  • Bullitt  113 minutes, D: Peter Yates 
    • One of the screen's all-time best car chase sequences (at up to 110 miles per hour), a 10-minute sequence filmed with hand-held cameras up and down the narrow, hilly streets of San Francisco as police lieutenant Frank Bullitt  (Steve McQueen) chases after criminals in his car through hazardous intersections. Bullitt's car was a Highland Green, 1968 four-speed Ford Mustang Fastback GT (California yellow-on-black license JJZ 109) powered by a 390/4V big block engine, in pursuit of a black, 1968 four-speed Dodge Charger 440 R/T. (Continuity errors in the sequence include an oft-viewed green VW Beetle, and the 6 hubcaps that fall of the Charger's wheels.)
  • Charly , 103 minutes, D: Ralph Nelson. 
  • Funny Girl,  151 minutes, D: William Wyler
  • if... , 110 minutes, D: Lindsay Anderson
  • The Lion in Winter , 134 minutes, D: Anthony Harvey
  • Night of the Living Dead , 90 minutes, D: George Romero
  • Oliver! , 153 minutes, D: Carol Reed
  • Once Upon a Time in the West , 165 minutes, D: Sergio Leone
  • Petulia , 105 minutes, D: Richard Lester
  • Planet of the Apes , 112 minutes, D: Franklin Schaffner
  • Pretty Poison , 89 minutes, D: Noel Black
  • The Producers , 88 minutes, D: Mel Brooks
  • Rachel, Rachel , 101 minutes, D: Paul Newman
  • Romeo and Juliet (1968), 138 minutes, D: Franco Zefferelli
    • Romeo and Juliet (1968) is Florentine director Franco Zeffirelli's beautiful modern interpretation of Shakespeare's enduring, classic yet tragic love story of "star-crossed lovers." Filmed on location in Italy, it was the most commercially successful Shakespeare film and its most entertaining, refreshing and natural rendition - a passionate celebration of young love.
    • The film won four Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Director, Cinematography (Pasqualino De Santis), and Costume Design (Danilo Donati), winning two Oscars - Best Cinematography and Costume Design. Nino Rota's evocative musical score, including a period ballad "What is a Youth" (with lyrics by Eugene Walter) was un-nominated.
  • Rosemary's Baby (1968), 136 minutes, D: Roman Polanski
    • Rosemary's Baby (1968) is Polish director Roman Polanski's first American feature film and his second, scary horror film - following his first disturbing film in English titled Repulsion (1965) - about a mentally-unstable, sexually-terrified woman (Catherine Deneuve) left alone in her apartment. Polanski served as the scriptwriter and based the darkly atmospheric film upon Ira Levin's best-selling novel of the same name. [Levin also wrote another horror tale about voyeurism in a Manhattan apartment building that inspired the film Sliver (1993), starring Sharon Stone.] The film was produced by Paramount Studios and veteran, low-budget horror film maker William Castle, best known for gimmicky, cheesy films such as Mr. Sardonicus (1961), Homicidal (1961), House on Haunted Hill (1958), Macabre (1958), and The Tingler (1959).
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), 102 minutes, D: Norman Jewison
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), 139 minutes, D: Stanley Kubrick
    • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is a landmark, science fiction classic - and probably the best science-fiction film of all time. It was released, coincidentally, at the height of the space race between the USSR and the US. Here is an epic film containing more spectacular imagery and special effects than verbal dialogue. Director Stanley Kubrick's work is a profound, visionary and astounding film (a mysterious Rorschach film-blot) and a tremendous visual experience. Viewers are left to experience the non-verbal, mystical vastness of the film, and to subjectively reach into their own subconscious and into the film's pure imagery to speculate about its meaning. Many consider the masterpiece bewildering and annoying, but are still inspired by it.
  • Yellow Submarine (1968), 85 minutes, D: George Dunning





Super Bowl

Green Bay d. Oakland (33-14)

World Series

Detroit d. St. Louis Cardinals (4-3)


NBA Championship

Boston d. LA Lakers (4-2)


Stanley Cup

Montreal d. St. Louis (4-0)



Women: Billie Jean King d. J. Tegart (9-7 7-5)

Men: Rod Laver d. T. Roche (6-3 6-4 6-2)


Kentucky Derby Champion

Forward Pass



NCAA Basketball Championship

UCLA d. North Carolina (78-55)


NCAA Football Champions

Ohio St. (10-0-0)




U.S. Statistics

President: Lyndon B. Johnson Vice President: Hubert H. Humphrey
Population: 200,706,052 Life expectancy: 70.2 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 33.7 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 30.7
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 7.3







  • 60 Minutes airs on CBS, beginning its reign as the longest-running prime-time newsmagazine.
  • The motion picture rating system debuts with G, PG, R and X.
  • The rock musical Hair opens on Broadway.



  • William H. Gass, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country
  • Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes

Fiction: The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron

Music: Echoes of Time and the River, George Crumb


Oscars awarded in 1968

Academy Award, Best Picture: In the Heat of the Night, Walter Mirisch, producer (United Artists)


Emmy Awards

Outstanding Dramatic Series Mission: Impossible (CBS)
Outstanding Comedy Series Get Smart! (NBS)


Tony Awards

Play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Musical Hallelujah, Baby!



  • Record of the Year: "Up, Up and Away," 5th Dimension
  • Album of the Year: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (Capitol)
  • Song of the Year: "Up, Up and Away," Jimmy L. Webb, songwriter


Miss America: Debra Dene Barnes (KS)





Name Date
1. Hurricane Abby June 1- 13
2. Hurricane Brenda June 17-26
3. Tropical Storm Candy June 22 - 26
4. Hurricane Dolly August 10 - 17
5. Tropical Storm Edna September 11-19
6. Hurricane 1 September 14-23
7. Tropical Storm Francis September 23-30
8. Hurricane Gladys October 13-21



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