By Dave Kinnamon
To Frank Baker, a 17-year-old senior to be at Enid High School during the summer of 1968, the tension which developed between he and his father over the protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, were a microcosm of the tensions developing within the U.S. as a whole — mostly between the older and younger generations, but also between hawks and doves, peaceniks and patriots.
“I always refer to 1968 as the year of my political awakening, becoming part of really being aware of the greater culture,” Baker reminisced.
Baker, the director of Eagle Marketing, worked that summer hauling hay for his uncle on his farm in Cherokee. Baker lived with his parents on their family farm near Kremlin.
Baker had always had a very close relationship with his father, Corbin, but noticed a developing rift between them during the summer of 1968.
“For me the culmination of realizing things were changing was the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. And my father, who was 61 at the time, and I were both political junkies. We would watch gavel to gavel coverage of politics. For us, it was just like a horse race; we loved it,” Baker recalled.
The Chicago convention, which went on from Aug. 26-29, 1968, became a divisive subject for Baker and his dad — for the first time in their lives.
“When the riots erupted outside the Democratic National Convention, and I saw Chicago police beating up kids who looked a lot like me, it was the springboard for my father and I to discover how much we disagreed. In microcosm, what we discovered that evening watching that riot and coverage was a cultural divide between the two of us which ended up being representative of the cultural divide which was starting to occur in America,” Baker said.
By Dave Kinnamon
- Summer of '68
BREAKING NEWS: Escaped inmates caught
Police say 8 inmates escaped but six were recaptured shortly after.
- Canton principal to do double duty as football coach
Summer of '68 videos
- Enid woman focused on her family in ’68 Barbara Finley was 15 years old and was looking forward to her sophomore year at Booker T. Washington High School — Enid’s segregated high school for black students — when she was abruptly called into the principal’s office one day in 1958.
- Enid man wore many different hats in 1968 Nay was an Oklahoma Army National guardsman. He was a full-time worker: a professional photographer. And he was a musician with a popular traveling rhythm and blues group called The Preachers, “Enid’s premier rhythm and blues show band,” Nay remembers.
- Native son, former Enid mayor volunteered to serve as Marine Doug Frantz experienced ‘68 in Vietnam War
- Enid man learned from conflict with his father To Frank Baker, a 17-year-old senior to be at Enid High School during the summer of 1968, the tension which developed between he and his father over the protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, were a microcosm of the tensions developing within the U.S. as a whole — mostly between the older and younger generations, but also between hawks and doves, peaceniks and patriots.
- ‘Summer of 1968’ section chronicles a turning point in the nation’s history
- Enid couple married in 1968 John and I were married in Enid in January of 1968. I was 18 years old and he was 20. We, like many others of our generation, were caught up in the
- Enid area residents, former residents wax reminiscent about their 1968 experiences
- More Summer of '68 Headlines
- BREAKING NEWS: Escaped inmates caught