Monday, May 28, 2018

Remembering 1968 on this 2018 Memorial Day.

After the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the world changed. The Presidential campaigns of Nixon/Agnew and Humphrey/Muskie would continue. Hubert Humphrey had burdens of being seen as the war candidate despite having a progressive record on domestic issues. Nixon wanted to project a new image of himself, but he was still the same reactionary against the social activism of the progressives. By September 6, 1968, Swaziland becomes independent. Swaziland is in Africa. On September 7, 1968, about 150 women (members of the New York Radical Women organization) arrived in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They came to protest against the Miss America Pageant. They view it as exploitative against women. It was led by activist and author Robin Morgan. This was one of the first large demonstrations of Second Wave Feminism. First Wave Feminism was from the Susan B. Anthony days until the early 1960’s. Second Wave Feminism is from the early-1960’s (with NOW and Betty Friedan writing her historic book entitled, “The Feminine Mystique”) until the 1980’s. Third Wave Feminism is from the 1980’s to 2012. Fourth wave feminism is from 2012 to the present. The media covered the Second Wave Feminism and this protest. By September 7, 1968, the Banana Splits Adventure Hour begins airing on NBC. It would went on to 2 seasons, ending on December 13 a Year Later in the middle of season 2. Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware, World War II Medal of Honor recipient, was killed when his helicopter is shot down in Vietnam on September 13, 1968. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. On the same day, Albania officially withdraws from the Warsaw Pact upon the Soviet Union-led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, having already ceased to participate actively in Pact activity since 1962. On September 20, 1968, Hawaii Five-O debuts on CBS, and eventually becomes the longest-running crime show in television history, until Law & Order overtakes it in 2003. The Tet Offensive ends on September 23, 1968. 60 Minutes debuted on CBS on September 24, 1968. Operation Sealords occurred on October 8, 1968 in dealing with the Vietnam War. The United States and South Vietnamese forces launch a new operation in the Mekong Delta. This operation caused a massive break up of North Vietnamese communication and supply systems. The Detroit Tigers won the 1968 World Series on October 11, 1968. They defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3.

On October 2, 1968, there was the Tlatelolco massacre: A student demonstration ends in bloodbath at La Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, Mexico, 10 days before the inauguration of the 1968 Summer Olympics. 300-400 are estimated to have been killed. By October 5, 1968, Police baton civil rights demonstrators in Derry, Northern Ireland, marking the beginning of The Troubles (which took place in Northern Ireland and the fight to either make Northern Ireland to be in the UK or be part of the larger area of Ireland in independence. More than 3,500 people were killed in the conflict, of whom 52% were civilians, 32% were members of the British security forces, and 16% were members of paramilitary groups). On October 7, 1968,  at the height of protests against the Vietnam War, José Feliciano performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Tiger Stadium in Detroit during Game 5 pre-game ceremonies of the 1968 World Series between the Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals. His personalized, slow, Latin jazz performance was innovative. He opened the door for later interpretations of the national anthem. As part of the Apollo program, NASA launched Apollo 7 on October 11. It was the first manned Apollo mission (the astronauts involved were Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham). Mission goals include the first live television broadcast from orbit and testing the lunar module docking maneuver. October 12 was the time when Equatorial Guinea received its independence from Spain. By October 14, 1968, the United States Department of Defense announced that the United States Army and United States Marines will send about 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours. On October 16, 1968, something inspirational happened. It was when in Mexico City, track athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos (who are 2 black Americans competing in the Olympic 200-meter run) raised their arms in a black power salute after winning the race with respectively the gold and bronze medals for 1st and 3rd place. Ironically, the 2nd place was an Australian athlete named Peter Norman who agreed with the salute. Both Tommie Smith and John Carlos were praised by the black community and progressive communities worldwide. They were hated by the far right and suffered unjust punishments until recently for their heroic act of opposing racial oppression. Former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis on the Greek island of Skorpios on October 20, 1968. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was enacted on October 22, 1968.

By October 25, The Jimi Hendrix Experience releases Electric Ladyland. Jimi Hendrix was a great guitar player who was ahead of his time in terms of his musical expression. Citing progress in the Paris peace talks, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1. Hubert Humphrey publicly calls for an ending of the bombing. His polls increase and he almost defeated Richard Nixon. Yet, on November 5, 1968, Republican challenger Richard M. Nixon defeated the Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey.  Also, American Independent Party candidate George C. Wallace lost the election too. On that day, Luis A. Ferre was elected Governor of Puerto Rico. On November 11, 1968, The Vietnam War had Operation Commando Hunt. It was initiated to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through Laos into South Vietnam. By the end of the operation, 3 million tons of bombs are dropped on Laos, slowing but not seriously disrupting trail operations. Yale University first admitted women at November 14, 1968.

On November 17, 1968, there was the Heidi game. This was when NBC cuts off the final 1:05 minutes of an Oakland Raiders–New York Jets football game to broadcast the pre-scheduled Heidi. Fans are unable to see Oakland (which had been trailing 32–29) score 2 late touchdowns to win 43–32; as a result, thousands of outraged football fans flooded the NBC switchboards to protest. The Farmington Mine Disaster of Farmington, West Virginia killed 78 men on November 20, 1968. The Beatles release their self-titled album popularly known as the White Album on November 22, 1968. By November 24, 4 men hijack Pan Am Flight 281 from JFK International Airport, New York to Havana, Cuba. On November 26, 1968, United States Air Force First Lieutenant and Bell UH-1F helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescues an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire, earning a Medal of Honor for his bravery. Elvis Presley returns to concert via the NBC special If I Can Dream on December 3, 1968. During an airing of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, NBC Renews the Banana Splits Adventure Hour for a second season on December 6. By December 9, 1968, Douglas Engelbart publicly demonstrates his pioneering hypertext system, NLS, in San Francisco. The film Oliver!, based on the hit London and Broadway musical, opens in the U.S. after being released first in England. It goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is also filmed on this date, but not released until 1996. This occurred on December 11. On December 20, 1968, the Zodiac Killer is believed to have shot Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday on Lake Herman Road, Benicia, San Francisco Bay, California.  David Eisenhower married Julie Nixon, the daughter of U.S. President-elect Richard Nixon on December 22. By December 24, 1968, something historic happens. U.S. spacecraft Apollo 8 enters orbit around the Moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders become the first humans to see the far side of the Moon and planet Earth as a whole. The crew also reads from Genesis. The end of 1968 caused many monumental changes in human history as 1968 was one of the most revolutionary years in world history.
By Timothy

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