1968 in the United States

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1968 in the United States was marked by several major historical events. It is often considered to be one of the most turbulent years of the 20th century.[1]

The year began with the Tet Offensive in the midst of the Vietnam War, which reached its climax after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation allowing for an increased maximum number of troops on the ground at one time (549,500). Likewise, it was the most expensive year of the war, costing $77.4 billion. Antiwar sentiment continued to grow after the occurrence of the My Lai Massacre (though the public did not learn of this until the following year) and an increasing number of Americans considered intervention in Vietnam to be a mistake. Nonetheless, the war persisted.

Following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, the country erupted in violent riots, the most severe of which occurred in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Baltimore. More than 40 people were killed during the month of protest, which led to greater racial tensions between white and black Americans. Despite this, a landmark piece of legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, was passed in April, effectively prohibiting housing discrimination based on race.

The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June led to uncertainty in the race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. After Hubert Humphrey was declared the nominee at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, another wave of violent protests emerged, this time between antiwar demonstrators and police. The tumult within the Democratic Party helped launch Richard Nixon, a Republican and former vice president, to the presidency in November. A particularly strong showing by segregationist George Wallace of the American Independent Party in 1968's presidential election highlighted the strong element of racism that continued to persist across the country, particularly in the South.

In culture, 2001: A Space Odyssey was the most profitable film of the year, earning $56.7 million, while Oliver! won the Academy Award for Best Picture. "Hey Jude" by the Beatles was the hottest single of 1968 in the U.S. according to Billboard, demonstrating the continued popularity of bands associated with the British Invasion that began in 1964.

Incumbents[edit]

Federal Government[edit]

Events[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

March 16: My Lai Massacre

April[edit]

May[edit]

June[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

December[edit]

Undated[edit]

Ongoing[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/31/us/1968-important-events/index.html
  2. ^ Lyndon B. Johnson (March 11, 1968). Memorandum Approving the Adoption by the Federal Government of a Standard Code for Information Interchange. The American Presidency Project. Accessed 2008-04-14.
  3. ^ Mitchell K. Hall (2008). "Chronology". Historical Dictionary of the Nixon-Ford Era. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6410-8. 
  4. ^ Pickrell, John (September 4, 2006). "Timeline: HIV & AIDS". New Scientist. 

External links[edit]