1968 - Turning Point
Caeleb Payne, Mitchel Snyder
The Tet Offensive was launched on January 31, 1968. 70,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops carried out attacks hundreds of South Vietnam cities. General Vo Nguyen Giap started his attack to convince the U.S. to stop its support of South Vietnam. The communist attacks were held off, but news coverage decreased U.S. citizen's support of the war. The Tet Offensive was the turning point that started the U.S. to slowly back out of the Vietnam War.
The Convention was held from August 26-29th. Anti-war riots in Chicago caused the Democratic Convention. Democrats wanted to move the convention from Chicago to Miami. The Mayor of Chicago wouldn't move the conference until the problems were solved by peace. The worst day of rioting was called the Battle of Michigan Avenue. The rioting lasted 4 days. Over 25,000 troops, police, and national guardsmen were needed to stop the riots.
Assassination of Robert Kennedy
Robert Kennedy was shot on June 5, 1968 in Los Angeles. He died the next day. He was campaigning for presidential nomination and was 42 years old. He was buried in Virginia nearby his brother John. He was shot in a hotel in Los Angeles. Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was convicted of the murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. Edward Kennedy gave the eulogy for his brother. Robert Kennedy was given a rare night time burial.
Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in April of 1968, after supporting a sanitation workers' strike. MLK arguably played the biggest role in the Civil Rights Movement. King was in Memphis, Tennessee at an SCLC meeting when he was shot on the 2nd floor of the Lorraine hotel when he was shot by sniper riffle. On the other end of the riffle was James Ray. As word spread, over 100 cities rioted in memory of King. Ray would later be sentenced to 99 years in prison.
Election of 1968
Richard Nixon ran for the Republican party. Hubert Humphrey ran for the Democratic party. George Wallace ran as an independent party. President Johnson didn't run for office. Eugene McCarthy almost upset Johnson, so Johnson dropped out. Nixon started out with a big lead. However, Humphrey became more critical of President Johnson and the closed the gap. Nixon came out with a narrow victory over Humphrey. Nixon received 43.4% of the votes. Humphrey got 42.7% of all votes. Wallace only received 13.5% of the votes.