Hollywood 1968: Everything You Need to Know

1968 Timeline

January 21

The bloody, 77-day Siege of Khe Sahn starts in Vietnam, bringing some of the fiercest fighting American forces have yet seen

January 31

The Tet Offensive begins as Viet Cong soldiers seize key strategic and civilian locations and briefly take over the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. Both American and civilian casualties continue to rise alarmingly

February 8

Senator Robert F. Kennedy makes a historic speech saying that the U.S. cannot win the Vietnam War and needs to rethink its policy

February 8

National Guardsmen kill 3 black students and injure nearly 50 in South Carolina during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley

February 8

Pro-segregation candidate George Wallace enters the race for President

February 18

Beatles George Harrison and John Lennon fly to India to try Transcendental Meditation

February 29

Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara resigns in the wake of the Tet disaster

March 12

Peace advocate and Democratic candidate for President Eugene McCarthy wins an unexpected 40% of the vote in the New Hampshire Primary, signaling trouble for the incumbent President Lyndon Johnson

March 13

New liberal Czech leader Alexander Dubcek relaxes censorship and begins making democratic reforms for the first time behind the Iron Curtain

March 17

Though the race is already in full swing, Robert F. Kennedy announces his late candidacy for President on an anti-violence platform

March 16

Hundreds of Vietnamese civilians are massacred at My Lai by U.S. troops

March 31

In the wake of the Tet Offensive and given the rising popularity of his rivals, Lyndon Johnson withdraws from the Presidential race with the famous words I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party . . .

April 4

Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated on the balcony of a Memphis hotel, sparking national grief and racial violence in cities nationwide.

April 11

Days after Martin Luther Kings death, President Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act of 1968

April 23

An 8-day student sit-in takes place at Columbia University. Students protesting links to the Defense Department take over 5 buildings and more than 600 are arrested

April 29

The musical Hair opens at the Biltmore Theatre in New York

May 3

The city of Paris, France is shut down for days by massive student riots and worker strikes involving more than 10 million people

May 30

Robert Kennedy loses the Oregon primary to Eugene McCarthy, marking the first time a Kennedy had ever lost an election

June 1

Simon and Garfunkels Mrs. Robinson hits number one on the charts

June 3

Poor Peoples March on Washington takes place

June 3

Artist Andy Warhol is shot in his New York studio, The Factory, by Valerie Solanas. Though seriously wounded, he survives.

June 4

Dodger Don Drysdale pitches his sixth straight shut-out game

June 4

Robert Kennedy wins the California Primary, putting him in prime position to take the Democratic nomination in Chicago

June 5

Shortly after midnight, after making a rousing victory speech in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel, Kennedy is shot and mortally wounded. Five others are also shot during the melee, but they all survive. Kennedy remains conscious until the ambulance arrives, asking if everyone else is all right.

June 6

Robert F. Kennedy dies in Good Samaritan Hospital, at the age of 42

August 8

Richard Nixon is nominated for President by the Republican Party

August 20

The Soviets invade Czechoslovakia, crushing its fledgling democratic movement

August 24

France becomes the worlds fifth nuclear power

August 26

The Democratic National Convention in Chicago descends into chaos and violence as thousands take to the street in protests and demonstrations, clashing with police

August 29

The Democratic party nominates Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey for President; Humphrey is nominated without winning a single primary.

November 5

Richard M. Nixon is elected President of the United States