1968: The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. II

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

Content: In early April 1968 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. flew back to Memphis, Tennessee where, in his absence on March 28th, protests in support of a garbage workers strike had turned violent. He had been leading the protests and was determined to cool things off and enforce his brand of non-violent agitation.

Read more →

1968: The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. I

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

Content: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his short career fighting for equality for blacks and for the poor. By the late 1960’s he had endured attacks from nearly every entrenched part of the American establishment. He was under relentless surveillance by the FBI. Director J. Edgar Hoover saw him as a threat to the nation’s stability and, inaccurately, as a closet communist. The Bureau went so far as to send King fabricated death threats and regularly spied on his private life.

Read more →

1968: Democratic National Convention I

 

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control

Content: As the hot summer of 1968 ground to a close, the Democrats prepared to descend on Chicago for their quadrennial gathering. The year had taken its toll. Assassination, riot, an unpopular war and a divided leadership left the Democrats in disarray. Richard Nixon was in the wings ready to take advantage of the Party’s malaise with his Republican arms flung wide in welcome to southerners disdainful of black demands, Americans sick of anti-war hippies, and a segment of society increasingly receptive to his hard-line message of law and order.

Read more →

1968: Democratic National Convention II

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

Content: From August 26-29, 1968, the eyes of the political world were fixed on Chicago and nominating convention of the Democratic Party. It was not a pretty sight. Inside the Chicago Amphitheater where the Convention met, the bright divisions within the Party were laid bare for all to see. The issue animating the struggle of course was the Vietnam War. It was seen as Lyndon Johnson’s war, but he was not there to contend for the nomination. Having recognized his unpopularity and problem re-election prospects, in the Spring he had declined to run for a second full term. His heir apparent was Vice-president Hubert Humphrey, former Senator from Minnesota and early champion of civil rights. An old-line liberal, he had been abandoned by many of his colleagues on the left because of his steadfast support for Johnson’s war policy.

Read more →

1968: Democratic National Convention III

Introduction: A Moment in Time, 1968: A special series on the 40th anniversary of a year of upheaval, in a world seemingly out of control.

                Content: Jerry Rubin was a Yippie, the nickname for members of the Youth International Party of which he was a founder. He and his troops descended on Chicago determined to protest the Vietnam War and racism in America. Denied permits to assemble and camp in city parks, the Yippies joined thousands of other activists on the streets of Chicago. In typically purple prose, Rubin warned of momentous events to come: "On Wednesday night the shit is really going to hit the fan 'cause we bust out of this park and go down to Grant Park and then go out to the amphitheater. There're going to be some right strange theatrical events. And you'd better have your theater thing down pretty pat."

Read more →