The 1968 Project aims to highlight some of the historic events of the year. From protests and famous battles to chart-topping popular hits and box office smashing film, 1968 was a huge historical year with reverberations that we still feel today. The 1968 Project looks to grab snippets of these events on a monthly basis and list them here with links for further exploration.
Canada begins to replace their currency containing silver, with nickel.
Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House is published.
Hang ’em High, starring Clint Eastwood is released in theaters.
A protest against the discrimination of Black citizens turned violent after police arrived to disperse the crowd in the neighborhood of Liberty City, outside of Miami. The protest was arranged to coincide with the Republican National Convention being held in Miami.
The Republican National Convention is held in Miami where former Vice President Richard Nixon, is nominated as the Republican candidate for President.
The Beatles release their own record label, Apple Records.
Big Brother and the Holding Company releases Cheap Thrills.
The 170 members of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee decide to invade Czechoslovakia.
Saundra Williams of Pennsylvania, becomes the first Miss Black America. Miss Black America was created in protest to the Miss America Pageant as they saw a disproportionate amount of minorities in that pagent.
Physicist and science writer, George Gamow passed away at age 64.
The Prague Spring ends as 500,000 Soviet troops, 6,300 tanks, 550 combat aircraft and 250 transport planes cross the border into Czechoslovakia. This was the largest military exercise since the end of WWII.
Etta James releases her album, Tell Mama.
During the convention, protests against the Vietnam War start outside of the convention. 10,000 protestors were met by 23,000 National Guardsmen and police. Four days of protest passed and 668 people were arrested and close to 500 protestors were injured, mostly by law enforcement. Organizers of the protest, dubbed The Chicago Eight, were charged with the intent to start a riot. Members of the Eight included Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale.
Nigeria launched its final assault against secessionist Biafra. Over the next several months, thousands of civilians were slaughtered as troops were instructed to “shoot anything that moves.”
Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American to win the tennis US Singles Tournament.
The Beatles release Hey Jude, which becomes their highest selling single ever.
Tom Wolfe publishes his counter culture non-fiction title, The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test.
The Byrds release Sweetheart of the Rodeo.