1869- A turning point

By: Aija Vance & Infiniti Twiley

Tet Offensive

The Tet Offensive of 1968 proved to be the turning point of the Vietnam War and its effects were far-reaching. It changed the entire way that the United States approached the war: before the Tet Offensive the U.S. objective in Vietnam was to win the war; after the Tet Offensive, the U.S. objective shifted toward finding a face-saving way to get out of Vietnam.

Democratic Convection

Demonstrators came to Chicago in August 1968 to protest the U.S. war on Vietnam outside the Democratic Party's national convention, and they were met by the brutality of the city's police force, acting on the orders of Mayor Richard J. Daley, one of the most powerful leaders of a party responsible for the war in Vietnam.
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Assassination of Robert Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy’s short-lived, insurgent bid for the presidency in 1968 -- which ended with an assassin’s bullet -- was launched largely because of his opposition to the Vietnam War, which he had come to believe was immoral. In a 1967 "Face the Nation" debate, Kennedy asked: “Do we have the right here in the United States to say that we’re going to kill tens of thousands, make millions of people, as we have, refugees, kill women and children, as we have?.… I very seriously question whether we have that right.”

Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King died April 4, 1968 becauseIn the last years of his life, King faced mounting criticism from young African-American activists who favored a more confrontational approach to seeking change. These young radicals stuck closer to the ideals of the black nationalist leader Malcolm X (himself assassinated in 1965), who had condemned King’s advocacy of non-violence as “criminal” in the face of the continuing repression suffered by African Americans. As a result of this opposition, King sought to widen his appeal beyond his own race, speaking out publicly against the Vietnam Warand working to form a coalition of poor Americans–black and white alike–to address such issues as poverty and unemployment. King and other SCLC members were called to Memphis, Tennessee to support a sanitation workers’ strike. On the night of April 3, King gave a speech at the Mason Temple Church in Memphis. In it he seemed to foreshadow his own untimely passing, or at least to strike a particularly reflective note, ending with these now-historic words: “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Election of 1968

The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 5, 1968. The Republican nominee, former Vice President Richard Nixon, won the election over the Democratic nominee, incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Nixon ran on a campaign that promised to restore law and order to the nation's cities, torn by riots and crime.

Analysts have argued the election of 1968 is a realigning election as it permanently disrupted theNew Deal Coalition that had dominated presidential politics for 36 years. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, the election saw the incumbent president forced out of the race and a Republican elected for the first time in twelve years. It was a wrenching national experience, conducted during a year of violence that included the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and subsequent race riots across the nation, the assassinationof Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, widespread opposition to the Vietnam War across university campuses, and violent confrontations between police and anti-war protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention as the Democratic party split again and again.