What made 1968 a memorable year?

By Katie Hayes

The 1968 Election

The election of 1968 was very intense. The United States was suffering due to the Vietnam War and violence across the nation. Citizens wanted someone to take charge in America and get them on the right track and away from war. The original candidates were Richard Nixon (R) and Robert Kennedy (D), but because of Kennedy's assassination, Hubert Humphrey took his place. There was also a strong third party candidate, George Wallace. Because Wallace was in favor of segregation, he was deemed favorable in the deep south. No other third-party candidate has won the votes of a whole state since then. Richard Nixon won, despite the popular votes being very close.

Vietnam Turning Points

The Tet Offensive

The Tet Offensive was surprise attacks all over South Vietnam issued by the Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces. The South Vietnamese and the U.S. fought off the attacks, but the huge number of attacks showed the United States that the war was far from over. It caused Americans to lose hope in the U.S. winning.

The antiwar movement

Many people were against the war by 1968. Some young people would become hippies as a form of counter culture. Hippies supported individual freedom, nonviolence, and communal sharing. Others did not go so far as to become hippies, but were doves, opponents of the war- in contrast to hawks who were in favor of it. Hippies and doves held nonviolent protests against the war

Assassinations

Martin Luther King Jr.

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at 6:01 pm on April 4, 1968. He was 39 years old. His death caused violence and outrage across the nation. Many black Americans took to the streets in riots of his death. The alleged assassin was James Earl Ray, a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary.

Robert Kennedy

United States Senator and Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968 in Los Angeles, California. At the time, he was a candidate in the 1968 Presidential election and was campaigning for votes. Hubert Humphrey took his place in the election. The perpetrator was 24-year-old Palestinian/Jordanian immigrant, Sirhan Sirhan