It was the assassination of Martin Luther King and riots across American cities; Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, the peace movement and student protests from one end of the country to the other.
It was Apollo 7 and the first TV from space.
It was The Who, Moody Blues, the Band, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, and the Beatles White Album.
It was In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Mony Mony, White Rabbit, Born to Be Wild, Mrs. Robinson and Judy in Disguise (With Glasses). It was rock and roll’s finest hour.
More importantly, it literally ended the way many perceived the 1940s and 1950s.
In my case, having graduated Waukomis High School in the spring of ’68, I headed off to the University of Oklahoma to study history and journalism with a completely different twist. It was a time of tremendous upheaval and social unrest. Suddenly, you felt the trust of government you had pre-1968 was diminished. Government had lost control over events. Heroes from American history class faded and weren’t as sharply defined. Dropping out was “in.”
It seemed at the time every event, from space exploration to the assassination of Robert Kennedy, was bigger than life. And it must have been, for we still talk about these events today amidst our iPods, lattes and Wi-Fi.
For me, 1968 could never be described in 300 words. No year before or since has been more alive, more relevant, more rewarding.
The Summer of ’68 was something else.
U.S. could land man on moon but not find peace?
I was in the Marine Corps stationed in the central highlands of Vietnam during 1968, I remember hearing about the assassinations of MLK Jr and RFK but the memory that sticks in my mind was when the astronauts landed on the moon (1969).
I was in reconnaissance and on a patrol in the jungle and we paused to listen to the Eagle land on the moon and we looked at each other and wondered out loud that if mankind could do that, why were we there trying to keep from getting killed?