| 1968 Life in the time of War
Analysis of Life for 1968 The year 1968 was a time of war, civil rights movements, and riots. Many big events took place during 1968. Many lives were changed by these events. Out if the 1960’s, 1968 stands out the most. In January of 1968 the United States thought that the Vietnam War was coming to a close, but President Johnson made a statement that changed the direction of Vietnam. President Johnson said the South Vietnamese could not win. This caused the South Vietnamese could not win. This caused the South Vietnamese to launch the Tet Offensive. This shocked the United States, and caused the war to linger on for several more years. The Tet Offensive spread from the cities of Mekong Delta, to Saigon, and north to the highlands. In February of 1968 major politicians spoke against the Vietnam War. New York senator Robert Kennedy, a Democrat, showed a blistering attack on the war by charging that there was not “any prospect” for victory. Another senator Jacob Javits, called military victory “illusory” he said, “it is time to end the Americanization of the war”. Vietnam caused many disagreements, and it broke up families due to men and women losing their lives to serve their country. During 1968 there were many questions about the presidency. On March 31, 1968 in a decision that stunned political friends and many others, President Johnson announced that he would not seek, nor would he accept the nomination of his party for president. Johnson said he was withdrawing in the name of national unity. This sparked many questions throughout the nation. People wondered who would become the next president of the United States. Their questions were answered very soon. In August of 1968, Richard Nixon, the “old pro” of the Republican Party, was nominated for president. On November 6, 1968 Richard M. Nixon was elected President of the United States. On April 5, 1968 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The death of the 39 year-old civil rights leader sent shock waves throughout much of the city and the nation. His death enraged the nation’s black society, triggering riots in major cities. Some people said that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was a “nonviolent man who drew violence to himself.” Later on in 1968 the blacks were gaining more and more attention. Black females were beginning to get involved in politics. On November 5, 1968 for the first time in American history a black female by the name of Shirley Chisholm, defeated James Farmer in the 12th Congressional District in Brooklyn for a seat in the House of Representatives. This encouraged many black females to become interested in politics. It also gave them hope to become something greater. Nineteen sixty-eight was also a time for the Summer Olympics. The Olympics were held in Mexico. They survived student riots, the banning of black militant demonstrations, and other obstacles. The American athletes brought home forty-five gold medals, twenty-eight silver, and thirty-four bronze medals. The United States continued its domination of basketball, but this time against stiff odds. This showed the United States that America could overcome any type of adversity to win. During 1968 there were many advertisements just as there are today. There were advertisements for cars, cigarettes, and beer. Today there are advertisements for the same things. A Chevrolet Tri-level, which looked like a station wagon, was popular in 1968. Today, instead of driving a station wagon people drive SUV’s or mini-vans. Another type of car that was widely advertised was the wide track 1968 Pontiac. The wide track car was made popular again in the nineties. There were many different types of cigarette advertisements. One type was the Bull Durham, which was a slow burning type of cigarette. Today this type of cigarette is no longer around. Another type that appeared often in advertisements was the Paul Mall brand. A type of beer that was popular in 1968 and is still popular today is Miller Beer. Nineteen sixty-eight was also when TV dinners became popular especially Swanson frozen dinners. Women were beginning to leave the home for the workforce and this caused the number of frozen dinner companies to go up. Another type of food advertisements was Wonder Bread for children. This type of bread had more iron and vitamins also. Just like today there were advertisements introducing new technological advances. For example, the sixty-second excitement Polaroid colored camera was very popular. It was priced fewer than fifty dollars. A colored Polaroid camera today costs over fifty dollars. In 1968, weight loss advertisements were starting to grow. There was at least one weight loss advertisement in every issue of Life magazine during this year. Today the hope of losing weight easily is just as popular. Art was also advertised. The mood and style of the middle age kingdom and era of restraint and dignity in art was expressed in many issues. Although the advertisements were rampant in sixty-eight they are even more so today in 2001. Entertainment such as music, movies, and books were popular in 1968 just as they are today. The Doors was a popular music group along with the Beatles. The record of the year was Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel. The album of the year was By the Time I Get to Pheonix by Glen Campbell. The best new artist of 1968 was Jose Feliciano. There were lots of actors who experienced beginner’s luck by landing parts in movies. Barbara Streisand, the twenty-six year old stage performer, made her film debut in the movie Funny Girl. She still is famous today. The best movie of the year was Oliver which was directed by Sir Carl Reed. Books were also popular in 1968. The best fiction book was The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder. The best nonfiction book of the year, which won the Pulitzer Prize, was Selected Essays Memoirs 1925-1950 by William Troy and George F. Keenan. The best poem of the year was The Light Around the Body by Robert Bly. The best book of science, philosophy, and religion was Death at an Early Age by Johnathan Kozal. There are more books written about these subjects today than there were in 1968. Entertainment has grown a lot since 1968. There are many artists, stars, and authors from 1968 who use their talents to entertain today. During 1968, family values and morals did not mean much to the younger generations. Close family relationships began to decline. In 1968, it was difficult for couples to get a divorce. Couples had to have a valid reason for seeking the divorce. Today in the year 2001 it is much easier for couples to get divorced. Couples can file for incompatibility, which means they cannot get along. The year 1968 was a time of great social change. It was a year that changed America. Even the Democratic convention was less notable for its politics than for its televised display of social unrest and national disunity. The country had reached the boiling point. Two American icons, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy’s brother, Bobby, had just been assassinated. Everyday, young American boys were being slaughtered in a war that, for many, had already lost its meaning. War protesters decided to gather in Chicago and send a message to candidate Hubert Humphrey and the Democratic Party. But Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was unsympathetic. He posted 12,000 police officers on the streets, and called in the Illinois National Guard. Television cameras recorded a bloody riot as police arrested over 500 people in clashes that injured more than 100 police officers and 100 demonstrators.