Return to home1968 Jan
1-1968 Dec 31, The year was marked by protest marches. In 1998 Tariq
Ali and Susan Watkins published: "1968: Marching in the Streets." In
2004 Mark Kurlansky authored "1968: The Year That Rocked the World."
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.C12)(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.M1)
1968 Jan 5, The US Justice
Dept. indicted Dr. Benjamin Spock, Rev. William Coffin of Yale
(1924-2006) and 3 others for conspiring to violate draft law.
(SFC, 4/13/06, p.B7)
1968 Jan 5, A newspaper strike
shut down the SF Chronicle, the Examiner and the News-Call Bulletin
for 53 days. Bill O'Brien (d.2004) became president of the
SF-Oakland Newspaper Guild the next day and supported the strike,
which had originated with Hearst papers in LA. Senior executives of
the SF Chronicle put out a special edition of the paper on a copy
(SFC, 2/05/04, p.A27)(SSFC, 6/7/09,
1968 Jan 5, Alexander Dubcek
(1921-1992) was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party in
1968 Jan 6, Dr. Norman E.
Shumway of Stanford performed the 1st US adult heart transplant.
Mike Kasperak (54) lived for 2 weeks before he died of massive
bleeding from other organs.
1968 Jan 8, Jacques Cousteau's
1st undersea special aired on US network TV.
1968 Jan 9, The TV show "It
Takes A Thief" with Robert Wagner began on ABC. It written and
produced by Leslie Stevens (d.1998) and ran to 1970.
(SFC, 8/13/97, Z1 p.3)(SFC, 4/29/98, p.C2)
1968 Jan 9, The Surveyor VII
space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the
American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.
1968 Jan 10, Lyle Menendez was
born in NY and grew up in Princeton, NJ. In 1989 he and his brother
Erik killed their parents.
1968 Jan 13, Hester &
Appolinar's musical "Your Own Thing," premiered in NYC.
1968 Jan 13, The U.S. reported
shifting most air targets from North Vietnam to Laos.
1968 Jan 14, The Green Bay
Packers under Vince Lombardi, after winning its third consecutive
NFL championship, won the 2nd Super Bowl Football game over the
Oakland Raiders. This was Lombardi's last game as coach of the
Packers. The game drew the first $3 million gate in football
history. In 1999 David Maraniss authored "When Pride Still Mattered:
A Life of Vince Lombardi."
(WSJ, 1/28/97, p.A16)(SFEC, 1/9/00, BR
1968 Jan 14, US forces in
Vietnam launched Operation Niagara I to locate enemy units around
the Marine base at Khe Sanh.
1968 Jan 16, The UK announced
that it would end all "East of Suez" presence by 1971.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Jan 19, Cambodia charged
that the United States and South Vietnam had crossed the border and
killed three Cambodians.
1968 Jan 21, An American B-52
bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed at North Star Bay,
Greenland, killing one crew member and scattering radioactive
material. Reports began to surface later and in 1995 the Danish
government paid a $15.5 million settlement to some 1,700 exposed
1968 Jan 21, A group of 31
North Korean commandos trudged undetected for about 40 miles from
the border to the presidential Blue House of South Korean President
Park Chung-hee in downtown Seoul. South Korean security forces
repelled the assault. 28 North Koreans and 34 South Koreans were
(SFC, 9/19/96, p.A8)(AP, 12/25/03)
1968 Jan 21, In Vietnam the
Battle of Khe Sahn began as North Vietnamese forces attacked a US
Marine base; the Americans were able to hold their position until
the siege was lifted 2 1/2 months later. It was the longest and
bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War. The Battle began at 0530 hours
when North Vietnamese Army forces hammered the Marine-occupied Khe
Sanh Combat Base with rocket, mortar, artillery, small arms, and
automatic weapons fire. Hundreds of 82-mm mortar rounds and 122-mm
rockets slammed into the combat base. Virtually all of the base's
ammunition stock and a substantial portion of the fuel supplies were
(WSJ, 5/2/02, p.D7)(AP,
1968 Jan 22, The TV variety
show "Laugh In" began on NBC with comedians Dan Rowan and Dick
Martin. It continued running to May 14, 1973. It was the top ranking
network show on television for two seasons (1968-1969) with rankings
of 31.8 and 26.3%.
1968 Jan 22, The off Broadway
show "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" premiered
at the Village Gate Theater. A film version was produced in 1975.
Brel (1929-1978), a Belgian singer, was later buried in the
Marquesas Island of Hiva Oa, in the same cemetery as Paul Gauguin.
1968 Jan 22, Apollo 5 was
launched to the Moon; unmanned lunar module tests made.
1968 Jan 23, North Korea seized
the U.S. Navy intelligence ship Pueblo, charging it had intruded
into the communist nation's territorial waters on a spying mission.
One crewman was killed in the attack. Cmdr. Lloyd Bucher (d.2004 at
76) was quickly separated from the 81-man crew. The crew was
released 11 months later.
(NG, 8/74, p.266)(AP, 1/23/98)(SFC, 10/2/01,
p.A15)(SFC, 1/30/04, p.A25)
1968 Jan 24, Mary Lou Retton,
gymnast (Oly-gold/2 silver/2 bronze-84), was born in Fairmont, WV.
1968 Jan 24, An Israeli
submarine, the Dakar, a British-made submarine with a 69-man crew,
was lost in the Mediterranean Sea while enroute from England to
Israel. The sunken ship was found May 28, 1999, between Crete and
1968 Jan 28, Vince Lombardi
resigned as coach of Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers, two weeks after
winning Super Bowl II. He remained as general manager. On Feb 1 Phil
Bengtson was named coach of the Packers.
1968 Jan 29, A court convened
in Vietnam for the murder of Cambodian, triple agent Inchin Lam, by
Special Forces Captain John J. McCarthy Jr. Murder charges were
later dropped due to exculpatory evidence and proven prosecutorial
fraud on the court. A civil action for $1.3 billion in US Federal
District Court, Washington D.C. against the CIA and associated
agencies was dismissed in 2003.
1968 Jan 29, Leonard Tsuguharu
Foujita (b.1886), painter and engraver born in Tokyo, Japan, died in
Zurich, Switz. He applied French oil techniques to Japanese-style
paintings. In 2006 Phyllis Birnbaum authored “Glory in a Line: A
Life of Foujita – The Artist Caught Between East and West.”
1968 Jan 31, In Vietnam, the
Tet Offensive began as Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers
attacked strategic and civilian locations throughout South Vietnam.
The Viet Cong, under General Vo Nguyen Giap (b.1911), seized part of
the US embassy in Saigon for 6 hours. They attacked more than 100
cities in South Vietnam with many US casualties. Although the
Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major
setback for the US and its allies. During the Tet Offensive, the
Communist troops who took control of the ancient capital of Hue
killed an estimated 6,000 civilians before they again lost control
of the city.
Jan, Ralph Ginzburg
(1929-2006), American author and publisher, began publishing Avant
Garde, a literary and arts magazine in NYC. The magazine continued
to July, 1971.
1968 Feb 1, Richard M. Nixon
announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
1968 Feb 1, Lisa Marie Presley,
daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, was born. Lisa
Marie married ‘The Gloved One’, Michael Jackson, in the ‘90s.
(SFC, 8/11/97, p.A1)(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1968 Feb 1, US troops drove the
North Vietnamese out of Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon. South
Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu declared martial law. Saigon's
police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a
pistol shot to the head in a scene captured by Associated Press
photographer Eddie Adams and NBC News.
(HN, 2/1/99)(SFC, 7/16/98, p.B2)(AP, 2/1/08)
1968 Feb 1, The Pennsylvania
Railroad and NYC Central merged into Penn Central.
1968 Feb 4, Neal Cassidy
(b.1926), friend of Jack Kerouac and one of the Merry Pranksters,
died on a Mexican highway.
1968 Feb 5, US troops divided
Viet Cong at Hue while the Saigon government claimed they would arm
loyal citizens. The main assaults at Khe Sanh started.
1968 Feb 6, Former president
Dwight Eisenhower hit a golfing hole-in-one.
(SFEC, 4/5/98, Z1 p.8)
1968 Feb 6, Charles de Gaulle
opened the 19th Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.
1968 Feb 7, The Arthur
Miller play "Price" premiered in NYC.
1968 Feb 7, North Vietnamese
used 11 Soviet-built light tanks to overrun the U.S. Special Forces
camp at Lang Vei at the end of an 18-hour long siege.
1968 Feb 8, George Wallace, the
pro-segregation governor of Alabama, entered the US presidential
race. Wallace ran as a third-party candidate. He was mainly popular
in the deep south, but he was able to attract 14% of the popular
vote in the November election.
1968 Feb 8, Robert F. Kennedy
said that the US cannot win the Vietnam War.
1968 Feb 8, At South Carolina
State 3 black students were killed in a confrontation with highway
patrolmen in Orangeburg, during a civil rights protest against a
whites-only bowling alley. Nearly 50 were injured in the Orangeburg
Massacre during confrontations with the National Guard. In 2001 Gov.
Jim Hodges voiced his regret over the massacre. In 1970 Jack Nelson
(1929-2009), LA Times reporter, authored “The Orangeburg Massacre.”
(SFEC, 2/22/98, BR p.8)(AP, 2/8/99)(SFC, 2/9/01,
p.A3)(SFC, 10/22/09, p.D6)
1968 Feb 8, In South Carolina
Lee Roy Martin, called the editor of a local newspaper, and told him
where to find the bodies of two women he'd dumped in the woods. He
threatened to kill even more women until he was "shot down like the
dog I am." Clues in the area led to Martin's arrest. Martin, dubbed
the “Gaffney Strangler,” was convicted of four murders and sentenced
to four life terms. In 1972, he was stabbed to death in his cell.
1968 Feb 10, Peggy Fleming of
the United States won the gold medal in women's figure skating at
the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France.
1968 Feb 12, "Soul on Ice" by
Eldridge Cleaver (full name: Leroy Eldridge Cleaver), a militant
activist and Black Panther, was first published. Cleaver spent much
of his early life in and out of prison on charges ranging from drug
possession to assault. It was in prison that he began the essays
that would become Soul on Ice. Shortly after being paroled in 1966,
Eldridge Cleaver met Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the founders of
the Black Panther party. Cleaver quickly became the party's minister
of information. Faced with further prison time after a shootout with
police in April 1968, Cleaver jumped bail and fled the country,
first to Cuba, then to Algeria. He returned voluntarily in 1975
having broken with the Panthers and disillusioned with communism.
His change in thinking is reflected in his 1978 book Soul on Fire.
He died on May 1, 1998, in Pomona, California.
(AP, 2/12/98)(HNQ, 2/2/01)
1968 Feb 13, The US sent 10,500
more combat troops to Vietnam.
1968 Feb 15, The Anaheim
Amigos’ Les Selvage scored 10, 3-pt baskets in an ABA game vs. the
1968 Feb 16, Beatles George
Harrison & John Lennon flew to India with their wives for
transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
1968 Feb 16, America’s first
911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala.
1968 Feb 18, Three US pilots,
who had been held by the Vietnamese, arrived in Washington. The
Vietnamese people later pressured Hanoi to account for their own
1968 Feb 18, British adopted
year-round daylight savings time.
1968 Feb 18, Some 10,000 people
in West Berlin demonstrated against US in Vietnam War.
1968 Feb 19, The children's
program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, created by Fred Rogers
(1928-2003), premiered on NET (later PBS).
1968 Feb 19, Mississippi state
troopers used tear gas to stop Alcorn A&M demonstrations.
1968 Feb 20, A Hue, South
Vietnam, army chief ordered all looters to be shot on sight.
1968 Feb 26, Thirty-two African
nations agreed to boycott the Olympics because of the presence of
1968 Feb 26, Lionel Rose
(1949-2011) outpointed Fighting Harada in Tokyo and became a
national sports hero and an icon for Australia's indigenous
community. Hundreds of thousands lined Melbourne's streets to
welcome him home after his title triumph. He lost the world
bantamweight title to Mexican Ruben Olivares in a fifth-round
knockout in August 1969.
1968 Feb 26, Clandestine Radio
Voice of Iraqi People (Communist) made its final transmission.
1968 Feb 27, CBS News anchorman
Walter Cronkite‘s commentary on the progress of the Vietnam War
solidified President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s decision not to seek
re-election in 1968. Cronkite, who had been at Hue in the midst of
the Tet Offensive earlier in February, said: "Who won and who lost
in the great Tet Offensive against the cities? I‘m not sure." He
concluded: "It is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only
rational way out...will be to negotiate, not as victors but as an
honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy,
and did the best they could." Johnson called the commentary a
"turning point," saying that if he had "lost Cronkite," he‘d "lost
Mr. Average Citizen." On March 31, Johnson announced he would not
1968 Feb 27, Frankie Lymon
(b.1942), American singer died. He was an African-American rock and
roll/rhythm and blues singer, best known as the boy soprano lead
singer of a New York City-based early rock and roll group called the
Teenagers. Their first single, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (1956),
was also their biggest hit. The 1998 film "Why Do Fools Fall in
Love" was a musical comedy-drama with Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox,
Lela Rochon and Little Richard. It was directed by Gregory Nava and
set in the 1950s based on the life of Frankie Lymon.
(SFC, 8/28/98, p.C1)(SFC, 9/2/98,
1968 Feb 29, At the Grammy
Awards, the Fifth Dimension's "Up, Up and Away" won record of the
year for 1967, while album of the year honors went to the Beatles
for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
(HN, 2/29/00)(AP, 2/29/04)
1968 Feb 29, President
Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (also
known as the Kerner Commission) warned that racism was causing
America to move "toward two societies, one black, one white --
separate and unequal."
1968 Feb 29, Robert McNamara
resigned as US Secretary of Defense as a result of the Tet disaster.
He was succeeded by Clark Clifford for 9 months who worked to
reverse US policy in Vietnam.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(SFEC, 10/11/98, p.A2)
1968 Feb 29, The discovery of
the first "pulsar," a star which emits regular radio waves, was
announced by Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell at Cambridge, England.
(AP, 2/29/00)(HN, 2/29/00)
1968 Feb, The US federal hourly
minimum wage was set at $1.60 an hour.
1968 Feb, An Indian army
transport aircraft crashed on the Dhakka glacier in Himachal Pradesh
state. 102 people were killed. Trekkers stumbled upon its wreckage
in 2003 after finding the partially frozen body of a soldier on the
1968 Mar 1, Secretary of
Defense Robert McNamara was replaced by Clark Clifford.
1968 Mar 1, Singers Johnny Cash
(36) and June Carter (38) wed.
(SFC, 9/13/03, p.A12)
1968 Mar 1, The first 15-minute
version of the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat" by Andrew Lloyd Weber was performed at Central Hall,
1968 Mar 2, The Poor Peoples'
March on Washington, envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a
means of dramatizing the plight of the poor of all races, got under
1968 Mar 2, In Switzerland the
World Ice Pairs Figure Skating Championship in Geneva was won by
Lyudmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov (USSR). The Ladies Figure
Skating Championship was won by Peggy Fleming (USA). The Men's
Figure Skating Championship was won by Emmerich Danzer (Austria).
1968 Mar 2, In Vietnam the
siege of Khe Sanh ended and the US Marines stationed there were
still in control of the mountain top. Gen. John J. Tolson presented
a briefing and laid out the concept of what became known as
Operation Pegasus. The siege of Khe Sanh was the longest and
bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War. During the siege Manny Babbit
was wounded. Babbit in 1980 killed a 78-year-old woman in
Sacramento, Ca., and was convicted and sentenced to death. He was
awarded his Purple Heart while on death row in 1998.
1968 Mar 2, The USSR launched
space probe Zond 4. It failed to leave Earth orbit.
1968 Mar 3, The musical "Here's
Where I Belong" opened and closed at Billy Rose Theater in NYC. The
book was by Alex Gordon and Terrence McNally, lyrics by Alfred Uhry,
and music by Robert Waldman.
1968 Mar 3, The embassies of
Greece, Portugal and Spain were bombed in the Hague.
1968 Mar 3, The Tet offensive
at Hue, South Vietnam, ended with the crushing of the last Viet Cong
resistance. North Vietnamese troops had captured the imperial palace
in Hue, South Vietnam. US troops reconquered Hue, Vietnam.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(HN,
1968 Mar 4, Martin Luther King
Jr. announced plans for Poor People's Campaign. In late March and
early April 1968, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his
organizing talents to a drive to bring the nation's poor people to
Washington, D.C. for a series of massive nonviolent demonstrations.
King's "Poor People's Campaign" would attempt to unify African
Americans, Latinos, and lower-income whites in pressing the Johnson
Administration and Congress in an election year to enact a $30
billion-a-year domestic "Marshall Plan" to alleviate poverty.
1968 Mar 4, NASA launched its
Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 5.
1968 Mar 7, The First Battle of
Saigon, begun on Jan 30 as part of the Tet Offensive, ended.
1968 Mar 8, Some 1500 students
demonstrated in Warsaw following a government ban on the performance
of a play by Adam Mickiewicz, (Dziady), written in 1824). Within
four days, protests spread to Krakow, Lublin, Gliwice, Wroclaw,
Gdansk, Poznan, and Lodz.
1968 Mar 8, The Russian K-129,
a Golf-II class, diesel-electric submarine armed with nuclear
missiles and 98 seamen aboard, sank in 16,000 feet of water
northwest of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Russian officials
suspected that the K-129 was struck by an American submarine, the
USS Swordfish. The US Navy said the vessel suffered a catastrophic
internal explosion. A US sub, the Halibut, found the Soviet vessel 6
months later and recovered 3 missiles with nuclear warheads, Soviet
code books and an encryption machine. In August 1974 the CIA
recovered part of the sub. A 100 foot section was pulled in by the
Glomar Explorer with 2 nuclear tipped torpedoes and the bodies of 6
(SFC, 7/15/96, p.A6)(SFC, 7/5/96, p.A19,21)(AP,
1968 Mar 9, General William
Westmoreland asked for 206,000 more troops in Vietnam.
1968 Mar 10, Robert Kennedy
visited Delano, Ca., in his bid for the presidency. He joined Cesar
Chavez in a chapel where Chavez broke his fast on behalf of
organizing farm workers.
(SFEM, 11/17/96, p.18)
1968 Mar 10-1968 Mar 11, The
ultra secret facility Lima Site 85 in Phou Phathi, Laos, was manned
by USAF personnel and 11 were KIA or MIA as it was overran. The
event has been characterized as the largest single day ground loss
for the USAF.
1968 Mar 12, President Lyndon
Johnson won the New Hampshire Democratic primary, but a strong
second-place showing by anti-war Senator Eugene McCarthy of
Minnesota played a role in Johnson's decision not to seek
re-election. Johnson won over Eugene McCarthy 49.6 to 41.9%.
Republican Richard Nixon won the New Hampshire primary over Nelson
Rockefeller 77.6 to 10.8%.
(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.A19)(AP, 3/12/08)
1968 Mar 12, A Miami-bound
flight was commandeered to Cuba.
(SFC, 3/14/03, p.E8)
1968 Mar 12, The British-ruled
African island of Mauritius became an independent country within the
Commonwealth of Nations and many Europeans left the country. GDP per
person was about $200. By 2008 it rose to $7,000 per person.
(SFC, 6/24/96, p.A8)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(SSFC,
12/9/01, p.C9)(AP, 3/12/08)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.58)
1968 Mar 13, Atlantic Richfield
Company (ARCO) and Humble Oil and Refining Company (now Exxon
Company, U.S.A.) announced the discovery of oil on Alaska’s North
Slope (Prudhoe Bay). The oil companies soon began efforts to
construct a pipeline, but work was suspended due to environmental
1968 Mar 15, The U.S. mint
halted the practice of buying and selling gold.
1968 Mar 15, American
intelligence noted withdrawal of major NVA units from the Khe Sanh
1968 Mar 16, Robert F. Kennedy
decided to join the presidential race.
1968 Mar 16, LBJ decided to
send 35-50,000 more troops to Vietnam.
1968 Mar 16, In Vietnam Lt.
Calley led 105 men of Company C into My Lai and at least 347 of 700
Vietnamese civilians were killed. Estimates of villagers massacred
ranged from 347-504. Other killings by B company occurred nearby.
Col. Oran K. Henderson (d.1998 at 77) was on his first day as
commanding officer of the new 11th Infantry Brigade and watched from
a command helicopter. Hugh Thompson (d.2006), a helicopter pilot,
observed the end of the massacre. He landed between some remaining
villagers and his fellow soldiers and ordered his gunner to fire on
American troops if necessary. With 2 other gunships he airlifted to
safety a dozen villagers. He and his gunner were awarded the
Soldier's Medal in 1998. The atrocity was exposed by Ron Ridenhour
(d.1998 at 52), a door gunner on an observation helicopter, who flew
over the village a few days after the event. He waited several
months until he was out of the service before reporting the event to
state and congressional officials. The Army later charged 25
officers and enlisted men in the massacre but only Lt. Calley was
convicted. Gen. Samuel W. Koster (d.2006) was charged with covering
up the killings, but criminal charges were eventually dismissed.
Koster was censured, stripped of a medal and demoted one rank to
brigadier general. John Sack (d.2004), war correspondent, later
authored "Lieutenant Calley: His Own Story." In 1999 Trent Angers
authored "The Forgotten Hero of My Lai: The Hugh Thompson Story."
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A9)(SFC, 3/16/98, p.A8)(SFC,
5/11/98, p.A20)(SFC, 6/6/98, p.A23)(WSJ, 11/2/99, p.A24)(SFC,
3/31/04, p.B7)(SFC, 1/6/06, p.B5) (SFC, 2/14/06, p.B7)(AP, 3/16/08)
1968 Mar 16, Mario
Castelnuovo-Tedesco (b.1895), Italian composer, died.
1968 Mar 17, A peaceful
anti-Vietnam War protest in London was followed by a riot outside
the US Embassy; more than 80 people were reported injured. Some
20,000 people at the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign in London were
mowed down by police on horses as they marched.
(AP, 3/17/08)(SFC, 5/22/98,
1968 Mar 18, Pres. Johnson
signed Public Law 90-269 removing gold backing from US paper money.
1968 Mar 19, Howard University
students in Washington DC staged rallies, protests and a 5-day
sit-in, laying siege to the administration building, shutting down
the university in protest over its ROTC program, and demanding a
more Afrocentric curriculum.
1968 Mar 19, In southern
California Elizabeth Ernstein (14) disappeared while walking home
from school in Mentone, San Bernadino County. Her remains were found
in 1969 in a shallow grave near Wrightwood, but were not identified
until 2012 through DNA testing.
(SFC, 9/7/12, p.C8)
1968 Mar 20, Pres. Lyndon
Johnson held talks with Paraguay’s Pres.-Gen. Alfredo Stroessner in
1968 Mar 21, Israeli forces
attacked a Palestinian base belonging to Fatah in the
village of Al-Karameh in Jordan. Israeli forces engage in a
battle with Palestinian fighters for the first time. On 24 March
1968, the Security Council adopted resolution 248 (1968), condemning
the large scale and premeditated military actions by Israel
against Jordan. The Karameh mission failed. Muki Betser, Israeli
commando, was wounded. He later became commander of the Sayeret
Matkal, Israel’s elite counter-terrorist unit.
1968 Mar 22, Gen'l. William
Westmoreland (1914-2005) was relieved of his duties in the wake of
the Tet disaster. Troop strength under Westmoreland had reached over
500,000 and he wanted more. He was succeeded by Gen'l. Creighton
Abrams. Abrams reversed Westmoreland's strategy. He ended major
"search and destroy" missions and focused on protecting population
centers. William Colby took charge of the pacification campaign.
President Lyndon B. Johnson named Gen. William C. Westmoreland to be
the Army's new Chief of Staff.
(HN, 3/22/97)(WSJ, 6/23/99, p.A24)(Econ, 7/30/05,
1968 Mar 22, In southern
Thailand Tuanku Biyo Kodoniyo set up the Pattani United Liberation
Organization (PULO). It called for an independent Islamic country.
1968 Mar 23, Reverend Walter
Fauntroy became the 1st non-voting congressional delegate from
Washington DC, since Reconstruction.
1968 Mar 27, Suharto succeeded
Sukarno as president of Indonesia. Gen'l. Suharto thwarted a
Communist coup and gradually assumed power. Thousands of alleged
communists were executed amid widespread violence.
(WSJ, 5/22/98, p.A15)(SFC, 9/8/99, p.A17)(MC,
1968 Mar 27, Yuri Gagarin (34),
Soviet cosmonaut (Vostok I) and the first man to orbit the Earth,
died in a plane crash.
(AP, 3/27/97)(MC, 3/27/02)
1968 Mar 28, The U.S. lost its
first aircraft in Vietnam. An F-111 vanished in a combat mission
over North Vietnam. Republic Aircraft's F-105 Thunderchief, better
known as the 'Thud,' was the Air Force's warhorse in Vietnam.
1968 Mar 28, In Memphis a riot
erupted during a protest march in support of striking sanitation
workers led by Martin Luther King. One African-American marcher was
killed and King urged calm as National Guard troops are called to
Memphis to restore order. King subsequently departed Memphis, but
vowed to return on April 4 to attend another march.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A3)(http://tinyurl.com/atrl3z)
1968 Mar 29, In SF Linda Harmon
(14) was raped and stabbed to death while babysitting for a neighbor
in Visitacion Valley. In late 2003 police matched DNA evidence to
William Speer, who was undergoing therapy for sexually violent
tendencies at an Arizona mental hospital.
(SFC, 12/24/03, p.A13)(SFC, 11/4/05, p.B1)
1968 Mar 29, Students seized a
building at Maryland’s Bowie State College.
1968 Mar 30, General Ludvik
Svoboda (1895-1979) was elected president of Czechoslovakia. He
stayed in office to 1975.
1968 Mar 31, Pres. Johnson
announced that he would not run for re-election and declared a
partial bombing halt in Vietnam. The stock market soared. Citing
national divisions over the war in Vietnam, Johnson declares that "I
shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party
for another term as your president."
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(TMC, 1994, p.1968)(SFC,
8/18/96, Z1 p.4)(AP, 3/31/97)
1968 In Poland some 4,000
students marched through Warsaw yelling: "Down with the
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.C12)
1968 Apr 1, In Vietnam the U.S.
Army launched Operation Pegasus to reopen a land route to the
besieged Khe Sanh Marine base.
1968 Apr 2, The influential
science-fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey," produced and directed
by Stanley Kubrick, had its world premiere in Washington.
1968 Apr 2, Senator Eugene
McCarthy won the Democratic primaries in Wisconsin. In 2004 Dominic
Sandbrook authored "Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar
1968 Apr 2, In West Germany the
Baader-Meinhof gang was formed and named after its founders, Andreas
Baader (d.1977) and Ulrike Meinhof (d.1976). Both later committed
suicide in prison. The gang became known as the Red Army Faction and
led assassinations, bombings and bank robberies in West Germany
through the 1970s and 1980s. The RAF published a letter to Reuters
in 1998 and declared to have disbanded.
1968 Apr 3, Less than 24 hours
before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., civil rights leader
Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "mountaintop" speech to a rally
of striking sanitation workers, "It really doesn't matter with me
now, because I've been to the mountain top, and I don't mind."
1968 Apr 3, North Vietnam
agreed to meet with US representatives to set up preliminary peace
1968 Apr 4, Civil rights leader
Martin Luther King, 39, was assassinated while standing on the
balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. James Earl Ray
(d.1998) confessed and pleaded guilty in Mar, 1969, but later tried
to recant and said he was a fall guy. In 1993 Lloyd Jowers (d.2000),
a Memphis businessman, said on ABC-TV that he had hired King's
killer as a favor to an underworld figure who was a friend. Jowers
said he received $100,000 from Memphis produce merchant Frank
Liberto to arrange King’s murder. In 1997 Ray identified an arms
smuggler named "Raoul" as the real killer. In 1998 a former FBI
agent produced documents from Ray’s car with the name Raul. In 1999
a civil trial jury in Memphis ruled that the 1968 killing of Rev.
Martin Luther King was a conspiracy. The jury concluded that Lloyd
Jowers, a former café owner, had conspired with elements of the
Memphis Police Dept., the federal government and organized crime to
kill King. In 2000 a Justice Dept. report rejected allegations of
conspiracy. In 2002 Rev. Ronald Denton Wilson (61) said that his
father, Henry Clay Wilson (d.1990), had shot King. In 2003 Stewart
Burns authored "To the Mountaintop: Martin Luther King's Sacred
Mission to Save America."
(SF E&C, 1/15/1995, A-15)(WUD, 1994,
p.1687)(SFC, 12/26/96, p.A3)(AP, 4/4/97)(SFC, 4/7/97, p.A10)(SFC,
3/25/98, p.A3)(SFC, 4/24/98, p.A1)(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.A12)(SFC,
11/23/99, p.A9)(SFC, 12/9/99, p.A1)(SFC, 12/10/99, p.A15)(SFC,
5/24/00, p.C5)(SFC, 6/10/00, p.A3)(SFC, 4/4/02, p.A2)(SSFC, 1/11/04,
1968 Apr 4, Bobby Kennedy spoke
at a black ghetto in Indianapolis just after hearing of the
assassination of Martin Luther King. His speech registered the
enormity of the event and began the work of healing. Riots over the
next few days hit 76 American cities, but Indianapolis remained
(Econ, 4/22/06, p.79)
1968 Apr 4, Five days of race
riots erupted in Washington, D.C. following assassination of Martin
Luther King, Jr. Civil unrest affected at least 110 U.S. cities;
Washington, along with Chicago and Baltimore, were among the most
1968 Apr 5, Riots erupted
across the US following the King assassination.
1968 Apr 5, Robert F. Kennedy
assured the nation that "no martyr's cause had ever been stilled by
an assassin’s bullet."
(SFEC, 1/16/00, BR p.1)
1968 Apr 5, In Vietnam the
siege of Khe Sahn ended after 76 days.
1968 Apr 6, In Richmond,
Indiana, gunpowder stocks at a sporting-goods store exploded and at
least 16 people were killed.
1968 Apr 6, Black Panther
member Bobby Hutton (17) was killed in a gun battle with police in
West Oakland, Ca., and Eldridge Cleaver was arrested.
(SFC,10/24/97, p.A15)(SFC, 4/25/98, p.A13)
1968 Apr 6, East German voters
approved a new socialist constitution by a 94.5% margin.
1968 Apr 8, The Academy Awards
and Baseball's Opening Day were postponed because of the M.L. King
1968 Apr 8, Clay Felker
(1925-2008), former editor of the New York Herald’s Sunday magazine,
re-introduced New York magazine as a glossy after the paper folded.
(SFC, 7/2/08, p.A2)
1968 Apr 8, In Czechoslovakia a
new government was formed under Oldrich Cernik.
1968 Apr 8, In Vietnam Khe Sanh
was officially relieved after 77 days by the US 2nd
Cavalry. US forces in Operation Pegasus finally retook
Route 9, ending the siege of Khe Sanh. Khe Sanh had been the biggest
single battle of the Vietnam War to that point. The official
assessment of the North Vietnamese Army dead was just over 1,600
killed, with two divisions all but annihilated. Thousands more were
probably killed by American bombing.
1968 Apr 10, In the 40th
Academy Awards "In the Heat of the Night" won as best film. Rod
Steiger won as best actor for his role in the film. Katherine
Hepburn won as best actress for her role in “Guess Who’s Coming to
1968 Apr 10, President Johnson
replaced General Westmoreland with General Creighton Abrams in
Vietnam [see Mar 22].
1968 Apr 10, A ferry boat sank
in harbor of Wellington, NZ, and 51 were killed.
1968 Apr 11, President Johnson
signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, a week after the
assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. This included a Fair Housing
Act and the Indian Civil Rights Act, which limited sentences that
tribes could hand down on any charge to six months. In 1968 Congress
increased the maximum to one year. The Federal National Mortgage
Association (Fannie Mae - FNMA), established by the government in
1938, became a private, shareholder-owned company as part of the
Fair Housing Act.
1968 Apr 11, Riots erupted in
West Berlin after the shooting of student leader Rudi Dutschke
(1940-1979). He survived the assassination attempt by a right-wing
extremist, living for another twelve years until related health
problems caused his death.
1968 Apr 14, The gay-themed
play, "The Boys in the Band" by Mart Crowley, opened off Broadway at
Theater Four and set a new genre. A film version was released in
(AP, 4/14/08)(WSJ, 8/28/96,
1968 Apr 16, The Pentagon
announced the "Vietnamization" of the war; troops will begin coming
1968 Apr 16, Edna Ferber
(b.1885), US author (Giant, Showboat), died. Her novels included
“Show Boat” (1926), which was produced on Broadway in 1927 and later
adopted 4 times as a movie.
1968 Apr 18, Some 178,000
employees of US Bell Telephone System went on strike.
1968 Apr 18, London Bridge was
sold to a US oil company. It was later erected in Arizona.
1968 Apr 18, There was a coup
in Sierra Leone. A new government under Siaka Stevens was announced.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Apr 19, Ralph S. Plaisted
(1927- 2008), insurance salesman turned explorer, reached the North
Pole by snowmobile with 3 other men. This was the first expedition
to indisputably reach the North Pole.
(SFC, 9/11/08, p.B4)
1968 Apr 19, The Secretary of
the National Assembly in Czechoslovakia promised rehabilitation of
political prisoners and freedom of the press, assembly and religion.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Apr 19, Makhosetive,
later King Mswati III of Swaziland, was born.
1968 Apr 20, Pierre Elliott
Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s 15th Prime Minister. He succeeded
Lester B. Pierson and continued in office to 1979.
(CFA, '96, p.81)(AP,
1968 Apr 21, In the 22nd Tony
Awards: "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" and "Hallelujah
1968 Apr 23, The Methodist
Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the
United Methodist Church.
1968 Apr 23, At Columbia Univ.
in NYC the SDS held a rally in support of the IDA Six. An 8-day
student sit-in began at Columbia Univ. to protest ties to the
Defense Dept. and plans to build a gym over neighborhood objections.
Within 72 hours students seized 5 buildings and 628 people were
arrested. [see Apr 24] In 2009 Mark Rudd, prominent student leader
at Columbia, authored “Underground: My Life With SDS and the
p.B4)(WSJ, 3/28/09, p.W8)
1968 Apr 24, Leftist students
at Columbia University in New York City began a weeklong occupation
of several campus buildings in protest over the Vietnam War [See Apr
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(AP, 4/24/97)(HN, 4/24/99)
1968 Apr 26, The US Social
Security Administration (SSA) convened an interagency meeting of
technical staff from Federal agencies with an interest in poverty.
SSA personnel presented to the group their proposal to use the
revised food plans to recalculate the poverty and low income
thresholds, and the group agreed to the proposal.
1968 Apr 26, Students seized
administration building at Ohio State University.
1968 Apr 26, The United States
exploded a 1.3 megaton nuclear device called "Boxcar" beneath the
1968 Apr 26, In Sierra Leone
Pres. Siaka Stevens (1905-1988) re-assumed the post of prime
minister following brief military rule. He led a one-party socialist
state that was later described as a “17-year plague of locusts.”
(WSJ, 5/31/00, p.A26)(Econ, 8/4/07,
1968 Apr 27, In the Netherlands
part of a group of Catholic radicals left their own party and formed
the Political Party of Radicals (PPR). The party dissolved in 1991.
1968 Apr 28, In
Baden-Wurttenburg, West Germany, the far-right National Democratic
Party gained 12 seats.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Apr 29, The counterculture
musical "Hair" opened on Broadway following limited engagements
1968 Apr 29, Dr. Ralph
Abernathy led The Poor People's Campaign in Washington D.C., less
than a month after the assassination of King. It concluded on June
23. The campaign was for reforms in welfare, employment and housing
policies. Abernathy was the successor to Rev. Martin Luther King as
head of the Southern Christian Leadership conference.
1968 Apr 30, US Marines
attacked a division of North Vietnamese in the village of Dai Do.
1968 Apr, Simon & Garfunkel
released their song "Mrs. Robinson."
1968 Apr, Jews moved into
Hebron following its occupation in the wake of the 1967 6-Day War.
They later settled in the new suburb of Kiryat Arba. Rabbi Moshe
Levinger (1935-2015) left Jerusalem on Passover eve along with
several dozen followers and checked into the Park Hotel posing as
Swiss tourists. The next day, Levinger declared their true identity
and announced their intention to re-establish Hebron's Jewish
(SFC, 12/4/08, p.A27)(AP, 5/17/15)
1968 Apr, The South Korean
Silmido Unit was forged of misfits to "blast Kim Il Sung's palace in
Pyongyang and cut his throat."
1968 May 1, In a second day of
battle, US Marines, with the support of naval fire, continued their
attack on a North Vietnamese Division at Dai Do.
1968 May 2, The US Army
attacked Nhi Ha in South Vietnam and began a fourteen-day battle to
wrestle it away from Vietnamese Communists.
1968 May 3, A Black Student
Sit-In at the Bursar's Office began. It lasted for 38 hours, after
the Northwestern University refused to accede to the demands of For
Members Only, the black undergraduate student group.
1968 May 3, After three days of
battle, the US Marines retook Dai Do complex in Vietnam, only to
find the North Vietnamese had evacuated the area.
1968 May 3-1958 May 17, Student
riots and strikes hit France. 10 million workers went on strike.
Workers struck the Renault factory on Seguin Island for 33 days
until the government recognized their union.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(SFC, 5/22/98, p.C12)(WSJ,
1968 May 5, US Air Force planes
hit Nhi Ha, South Vietnam, in support of attacking infantrymen.
1968 May 5, Spain closed its
frontier with Gibraltar. This Followed a referendum in which
Gibraltar's voters were asked whether they wished to become part of
Spain and voted with a resounding no vote.
1968 May 6, Astronaut Neil
Armstrong was nearly killed in a lunar module trainer accident.
1968 May 6, In Paris violent
fighting took place in the morning and then from 2 p.m. in the
afternoon to 1 a.m. the next morning on the Boulevard Saint-Michel
and Saint-Germain. Close to 600 students and police were wounded.
Student strikes spread to the provinces.
1968 May 8, William Styron
(1925-2006), a white author, received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
for “The Confessions of Nat Turner” (1967). The book was based on
the true story of an 1831 slave revolt in Virginia. Some black
intellectuals, including Cornell historian John Henrik Clarke,
published a critical response to the book.
1968 May 8, Catfish Hunter of
the Oakland Athletics pitched the first perfect game in the American
League in 47 years before a crowd of 5,000 at the Oakland Coliseum.
(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W39)
1968 May 10, FBI director
Hoover sent all field offices an urgent memo escalating the FBI’s
attack on dissent. It authorized an operation called
“Counterintelligence Program – New Left.”
(SFCM, 10/10/04, p.23)
1968 May 10, Preliminary
Vietnam peace talks began in Paris.
1968 May 11, In France PM
Georges Pompidou made a speech conceding to the demand to reopen the
universities and implied the government would release arrested
students. The night of May 10-11 became known as the ``Night of the
Barricades.’ These events galvanized public support for the
1968 May 12, In Israel the
Knesset passed the Jerusalem Day Law, making the day a national
holiday. Israel’s government proclaimed Jerusalem Day, to be
celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, the Hebrew date on which the divided
city of Jerusalem became one.
1968 May 13, Peace talks
between the US and North Vietnam began in Paris.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(HN, 5/13/98)
1968 May 13, In France a
general strike and monster demonstration took place in Paris. Some
1,000,000 French demonstrated in support of student protesters.
1968 May 14, The Beatles in NYC
announced the formation of their Apple Corp.
1968 May 14, Adm. Husband
Edward Kimmel (b.1882), commandant US Ocean fleet WW II, died in
Connecticut. Some historians, such as submariner Captain Edward L.
"Ned" Beach, later believed Admiral Kimmel and Army Lieutenant
General Walter Short became scapegoats for the failures of their
superiors prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and that their careers
were effectively and unfairly ruined.
1968 May 15, US Marines
relieved army troops in Nhi Ha, South Vietnam, after a fourteen-day
1968 May 15, A tornado at
Jonesboro, Arkansas, killed 34 people. Another near Anchorage,
Alaska, killed one person.
(SFC, 5/15/09, p.D8)
1968 May 17, In Maryland the
Catonsville Nine including Daniel and Phillip Berrigan (d.2002), a
Catholic priest, took hundreds of files from the draft board at the
Knights of Columbus building and set them on fire with gasoline and
1968 May 18, In Maryland’s 94th
Preakness Ismael Valenzuela aboard Forward Pass won in 1:56.8.
1968 May 20, The US Supreme
Court (United States v. United Shoe Machinery Corp., 391 U.S. 244)
ruled for the breakup of United Shoe Machinery Company in Mass.
1968 May 22, The
nuclear-powered US submarine Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in
the Atlantic Ocean. It was declared lost on June 5. Remains of the
sub were found in October on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of
1968 May 24, The Rolling
Stones, an English rock band, released "Jumping Jack Flash" in
England. The US release was on June 1.
1968 May 24, Pres. De Gaulle
proposed a referendum and students set fire to Paris. Rioters set
fire to the Paris Bourse.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(MC, 5/24/02)
1968 May 25, The Gateway Arch,
part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, was
dedicated by Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Interior Secretary
1968 May 25, Charles K.
Feldman, film producer, died. His film productions included Casino
1968 May 25, George KFW von
Kuchler (b.1881), German marshal, died. Kuchler’s forces had moved
into Belgium and occupied Antwerp on 18 May 1940.
1968 May 25, In Newcastle,
England, Mary Flora Bell, one day before her 11th birthday,
strangled Martin Brown (4). She and unrelated friend Norma Bell (13)
were later tried for the murders of 2 boys Martin Brown (4) and
Brian Howe (3), committed 9 weeks apart. In 1972 Gitta Sereny
published "The Case of Mary Bell," based on her coverage of the
trial. In 1999 Gitta Sereny published "Cries Unheard: Why Children
Kill: The Story of Mary Bell," based on interviews with Mary Bell.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, BR
1968 May 27, Memorial Day was
celebrated. The last Monday of the month was set aside in 1968 to
remember those who had died in the service of their country.
Memorial Day, which began in 1868 as Decoration Day, had been
celebrated on May 30 for the first 100 years.
1968 May 28, Minnesota Senator
Eugene McCarthy beat Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in the Democratic
primary in Oregon.
1968 May 29, Pres. Johnson
signed the Truth in Lending Act into law.
1968 May 29, UN Resolution 253
resolved sanctions on white-minority-ruled Rhodesia.
1968 May 30, French Pres.
Charles de Gaulle delivered a forceful televised address in order to
regain control of public opinion, thrown into confusion by the
political events resulting from a student protest.
1968 May 30, Authorities blew
up the University Church in Leipzig, Germany, to make room for the
reconstruction of Karl-Marx-Platz, the city’s main square.
1968 May, The Lawrence Hall of
Science opened in the Berkeley Hills. It was built in honor of
Ernest Orlando Lawrence, who developed the cyclotron. The octagonal
shape represented the 8 branches of physical science.
1968 May, Bill Hambrecht &
George Quist founded Hambrecht & Quist, an investment banking
firm in SF, California, that focused on hi-growth issues. In 1999 it
was acquired for $1.35B by Chase Manhattan Bank.
1968 May, The USSR KGB head
Yuri Andropov, worried about the “Prague Spring,” ordered 15 agents
to target the intellectual elite in Czechoslovakia. This was the
first such KGB action against a Warsaw Pact ally. This was reported
after documents were released in 2014, copies of KGB files smuggled
out of Russia in 1992 by senior KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin.
1968 Jun 1, The British
television series "The Prisoner," starring Patrick McGoohan, had its
American premiere on CBS.
1968 Jun 1, Author-lecturer
Helen Keller (87), who earned a college degree despite being blind
and deaf most of her life, died in Westport, Conn. In 1980 Joseph
Lash published "Helen and Teacher," the story of Helen Keller and
(AP, 6/1/97)(SFEC, 8/16/98, BR p.3)
1968 Jun 3, Valerie Solanas,
founder of the Society for Cutting Up Men (SCUM), and author of the
"SCUM Manifesto," shot Andy Warhol with a .32 automatic in his New
York film studio, known as The Factory. Warhol survived but Solanas
was judged insane and served three years in a psychiatric prison.
She died in 1988 at 52 in a welfare hotel in San Francisco of
bronchial pneumonia and emphysema. The 1996 film "I Shot Andy
Warhol" was made by Mary Harron and featured Lili Taylor as Solanas.
(SFC, 5/15/96, p.E-1)(AP,
1968 Jun 4, Robert Kennedy won
the California democratic Presidential Primary whose candidates
included Eugene McCarthy. Vice-Pres. Hubert Humphrey had declined to
enter the California primary. Kennedy was shot the next day in LA by
Sirhan Sirhan and died on June 6.
(SFEM, 11/17/96, p.26)
1968 Jun 4, Alexandre Kojeve
(b.1902), French-Russian philosopher, died in Brussels. He was
suspected of serving as a Soviet spy from 1938 to his death.
1968 Jun 5, Sen. Robert F.
Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded at the Ambassador Hotel in LA
just after claiming victory in California's Democratic presidential
primary. Gunman Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was immediately arrested.
(HFA, '96, p.32)(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(AP, 6/5/97)
1968 Jun 6, Sen. Robert F.
Kennedy died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, a day after
he was shot by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan. In 2000 Ronald Steel authored
"In Love With Night: The American Romance With Robert Kennedy." In
1969 Jack Newfield (d.2004) authored “Robert Kennedy: A
Memoir.” In 2000 Evan Thomas authored "Robert Kennedy: His
(AP, 6/6/97)(SFEC, 1/16/00, BR p.1)(WSJ, 9/7/00,
p.A24)(SFC, 12/22/04, p.B5)
1968 Jun 7, Michael Robert
Smith (25) escaped from California’s Soledad prison while serving
time for a robbery conviction. He headed to Nevada, then New Jersey
and into a marriage that didn't work out. In 2001 Smith moved to a
tiny trailer in a heavily wooded area of Creek County, Okla., where
he was recaptured in 2006.
1968 Jun 7, Dan Duryea
(b.1907), film, stage and TV actor, died. His numerous films
included “The Pride of the Yankees” (1942) and “The Flight of the
1968 Jun 7, In South Vietnam
the week long Operation Swift Saber began. US Marines swept an area
10 miles northwest of Danang.
1968 Jun 7, In Spain ETA, a
Basque Homeland and Freedom separatist group, shot and killed Civil
Guard Jose Pardines Arcay at a checkpoint. This marked ETA’s 1st
killing as it began fighting for independence. Its political wing
was Herri Batasuna.
(SFEC, 7/13/97, p.A11)(SFC, 7/21/97, p.A10)(AP,
1968 Jun 8, Authorities
announced the capture in London of James Earl Ray, the suspected
assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
(AP, 6/8/97)(HN, 6/8/98)
1968 Jun 12, The UN General
Assembly adopted a Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons effective as of Mar 5, 1970. It acknowledged that some
countries had nuclear weapons and charged them the obligation of
negotiating their elimination. This obligation was expressed in
stronger terms in 1996 by the Int’l. Court of Justice. It was opened
for signatures on July 1, 1968.
1968 Jun 13, Johnny Cash
performed a live concert at California’s Folsom Prison. Applause
from the inmates was dubbed into his "At Folsom Prison" album.
(WSJ, 11/26/97, p.CA4)(Econ, 9/18/04, p.88)
1968 Jun 13, US Supreme Court
Chief Justice Earl Warren (1891-1974) submitted his resignation to
1968 Jun 14, Four of the Boston
Five were convicted of conspiracy in their organized draft protest.
Mitchell Goodman (1924-1997) organized the protest that included the
burning of draft cards. Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998), American
pediatrician, was one of the defendants and the trial came to be
known as the "Spock trial." The convictions were later overturned.
1968 Jul 15, The TV soap opera
“One Life to Live” premiered. Its final episode was scheduled in the
Fall of 2011.
1968 Jun 17, The US Supreme
Court in Jones v. Mayer banned racial discrimination in the sale and
rental of housing.
1968 Jun 17, The UK enacted
sanctions against Rhodesia.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Jun 19, Some 50,000
marched on Washington, DC, to support the Poor People's Campaign.
Rev. Jesse Jackson preached “I Am Somebody” at Resurrection City, a
tent city set up in front of the White House. In 1971 he turned the
speech into a poem for Sesame Street.
7/5/96, BR, p.6)(HN, 6/19/98)
1968 Jun 19, In SF newlywed
Officer Peter McElligott was fatally shot in a shootout with 2
robbery suspects in Golden Gate Park. The 2 attackers were later
convicted of murder.
(SFC, 1/27/07, p.A8)
1968 Jun 24, "Resurrection
City," a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People's March
on Washington, D.C., was closed by authorities.
1968 Jun 24, The St. Jean
Baptiste parade in Montreal, an annual celebration of Quebec
nationalism, erupted in violence.
(WSJ, 10/3/00, p.A26)
1968 Jun 25, The Canadian
federal election was held to elect members of the Canadian House of
Commons of the 28th Parliament of Canada. The Liberal Party won a
majority government under its new leader, PM Pierre Trudeau.
1968 Jun 26, President Johnson
read and released Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren's two June
13 letters, his June 26 reply, and announced that he had named
Associate Justice Abe Fortas to succeed Warren.
1968 Jun 27, The Czechoslovak
parliament abolished censorship and provided for rehabilitation of
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Jun 28, Pres. Johnson
signed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. It moved official recognition
of Washington’s birthday and some other holidays to Mondays.
Columbus Day, previously celebrated on Oct. 12, was moved to the 2nd
Monday of October. In 2004 Pres. Bush set it to Oct 11.
1968 Jun 29, "Tip-Toe Thru' The
Tulips With Me" by Tiny Tim (1932-1996), aka Herbert Khaury, peaked
1968 Jun 29, In Costa Rica the
Arenal volcano, dormant for 450 years, burst into life and killed 95
people. The village of Tabacon was wiped out.
(SFC, 5/9/98, p.A7)(SSFC, 4/1/01, p.T6)
1968 Jun 30, The Lockheed C-5A
Galaxy, a large US Air Force transport plane, made its first flight.
1967 Jun, The theme song from
the film "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" by Hugo Montenegro
(1925-1981) reached No. 2 on the US record charts.
1968 Jun, Ralph Nader formed
his first task force of crusading students, comprised of seven law
student volunteers. The group, later known as Nader’s Raiders, began
looking into the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a sleepy
bureaucracy entrusted with protecting consumers from shoddy
products, fraudulent business practices and deceptive advertising.
1968 Jun, In Quebec, Canada,
the summertime Festival d’Ete de Quebec was begun.
1968 Jul 1, The Band released
their "Music From Big Pink" album. It features one of their
best-known songs, "The Weight."
1968 Jul 1, The United States,
Britain, the Soviet Union and 58 other nations signed the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty. India refused to sign.
(AP, 7/1/97)(SFC, 5/28/98,
1968 Jul 1, Dominica’s
left-wing government brought in the Seditious and Undesirable
Publications Act to suppress dissent. Eugenia Charles led the
opposition to get it withdrawn and was made the leader of the
Dominica Free Party.
1968 Jul 4, Arthur Kopit's
"Indians," premiered in London.
1968 Jul 4, The radio astronomy
satellite Explorer 38 launched.
1968 Jul 8, Golda Meir resigned
from her post as secretary of the Labor Party.
1968 Jul 15, Commercial air
travel began between US & USSR.
1968 Jul 15, Intel was founded.
Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore had left Fairchild Semiconductor to
form NM Electronics in Mountain View, Ca. In 1997 Tim Jackson
published "Inside Intel: Andrew Grove and the Rise of the World’s
Most Powerful Chip Company." Grove joined Intel in this year and
became its president in 1979. They bought the rights to the name
Intel from Intelco fro $15,000.
(SFEC,10/26/97, BR p.3)(SFEC,12/21/97, p.A2)(SFC,
10/11/00, p.A6)(SFC, 7/16/03, p.B1)
1968 Jul 17, Beatle's animated
film "Yellow Submarine" premiered in London. The US premiere was on
1968 Jul 17, The Arab
Socialist Baath Party staged a bloodless coup in Iraq and gained
control as the Revolution Command Council. Abdul Rahman Arif,
brother of Abdul Salam Arif (d.1966), was ousted in the Baathist
coup and exiled to Istanbul. Ahmed Hasan-al-Bakr became president of
Iraq after the July 17 coup. This became a national holiday until it
was abolished in 2003. Saddam Hussein soon became recognized as the
strongman of the regime.
(NG, 5/88, p.653)(SFC, 9/24/02, p.A10)(AP,
7/13/03)(NW, 9/8/03, p.32)
1968 Jul 18, Intel was
incorporated as N M Electronics (the letters standing for Noyce and
Moore), but quickly changed its name to Intel, formed from the first
syllables of the words integrated and electronics.
1968 Jul 18, The UK enacted
sanctions against Rhodesia for a 2nd time. The first time was on
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(http://tinyurl.com/c5kcs9)
1968 Jul 20, Joseph Keilberth
(b.1908), German conductor (Bayreuth Festival), died.
1968 Jul 25, H. Wroblewski
discovered asteroid #1993 Guacolda on exposures by G. Plouguin and
I. Belyaiev at the University of Chile, Cerro El Roble Station.
1968 Jul 26, Britain’s Theater
Act abolished censorship of the theatre and amended the law in
respect of theatres and theatrical performances. .
1968 Jul 27, A 3-day race riot
began in Gary, Indiana.
1968 Jul 29, Pope Paul VI
issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed the Church’s
opposition to abortion and to all contraception except the rhythm
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(AP, 7/29/98)(SSFC, 7/8/01,
1968 Jul 30, In Gary, Indiana,
policemen took aim at snipers after the third night of racial
unrest. 64 people were taken into custody. Mayor Richard G. Hatcher,
the first Negro mayor in a city with a Negro majority, said that he
now believes that gangs realize they will not be allowed to use
violence to get what they want.
1968 Jul 30, Saddam Hussein
took charge of internal security services in Iraq.
1968 Jul 31, The Beatle's
recorded Hey Jude.
1968 Jul 31, In Boston 4 men
were convicted for shooting Edward "Teddy" Deegan in a Chelsea,
Mass., alley in 1965. In 2007 a federal judge in Boston ordered the
government to pay a record nearly $102 million for the FBI's role in
the wrongful murder convictions of the 4 men. Two of the men
convicted, Louis Greco and Henry Tameleo, died behind bars. The
others, Peter Limone (73) and Joseph Salvati (74) spent three
decades in prison.
1968 Jul, The British blues
group Cream, with vocalist and bassist Jack Bruce (1943-2014),
drummer Ginger Baker (b.1939) and guitarist Eric Clapton (b.1945)
released their double album “Wheels of Fire” in the US. It became
the first double album to go platinum.
1968 Aug 3, The Bratislava
statement conceded Czechoslovakia’s right to pursue its own path.
The conference was held in Bratislava, Slovakia, for representatives
of the communist and workers' parties of the People's Republic of
Bulgaria, the Hungarian People's Republic, the German Democratic
Republic, the Polish People's Republic, the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
1968 Aug 5, The Republican
national convention convened in Miami Beach. Ronald Reagan announced
that he would seek the GOP nomination for president. He soon threw
his support to Nixon.
(AP, 8/5/08)(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F6)(SSFC, 6/6/04,
1968 Aug 8, Richard M. Nixon
was nominated for president at the Republican National Convention in
Miami Beach. Later that day, Nixon chose Maryland Gov. Spiro T.
Agnew to be his running mate.
1968 Aug 8, In Florida a riot
broke out in several neighborhoods of Miami, Florida, including one
community just 10 miles from the Republican Convention. 3 negroes
were killed by gunfire.
1968 Aug 9, The 267-day Detroit
newspaper strike ended.
1968 Aug 10, In West Virginia
35 people were killed in the crash of a Piedmont Airlines Fairchild
FH-227 at Kanawha County Airport.
1968 Aug 11, Eight US troops
were killed and 50 wounded when an Air Force F100 fighter
accidentally bombed a US unit near Ta Bat, northeast of Saigon. The
fighter intended on hitting Viet Cong who were located in front of
1968 Aug 11, The USSR announced
new military maneuvers along the Czechoslovak border.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Aug 13, In Greece there
was an assassination attempt against Col. George Papadopoulos
(1919-1999), the right-wing military leader, organized by Alexandros
Panagoulis (1939-1976), Greek politician and poet.
1968 Aug 15, Pirate Radio Free
London began transmitting.
1968 Aug 19, George Gamow
(b.1904), physicist and writer, died. He popularized the idea of The
Big Bang. His books included “One, Two Three… Infinity” (1947).
1968 Aug 20, Some 650,000
Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact troops began invading
Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" liberalization drive of
Alexander Dubcek's regime. In 2015 Czech historians Prokop Tomek and
Ivo Pejcoch authored “Black Book of the Soviet Occupation” in which
they documented all known victims of the Soviet-led invasion and
crackdown on the Prague Spring. A total of 135, more than originally
thought, were killed in the 1968 in military operations. In
following years, road accidents involving military vehicles killed
248, while 12 were murdered.
(AP, 8/20/97)(SFC, 8/25/04, p.B7)(AP, 8/20/15)
1968 Aug 21, William Dana
reached 81.53 km. in the last high-altitude X-15 flight.
1968 Aug 21, After 5 years
Russia once again jammed Voice of America radio.
1968 Aug 21, The Soviet Union
and other Warsaw Pact nations invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the
"Prague Spring" liberalization drive led by Alexander Dubcek.
1968 Aug 22, Pope Paul VI
arrived in Bogota, Colombia, for the start of the first papal visit
to Latin America.
1968 Aug 22, In Czechoslovakia
a Soviet-led invasion crushed the Prague Spring reforms. In 1997 3
Communist Party leaders, Milos Jakes, Karel Hoffmann and Joseph
Lenart, were accused of conspiring with the Soviets.
(SFC, 5/3/97, p.A10)
1968 Aug 24, France became the
world's fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in
the South Pacific.
1968 Aug 25, In Moscow’s Red
Square eight dissidents, including Konstantin Babitsky, Larisa
Bogoraz (d.2004), Vladim Delaunay, Vladimir Dremliuga, Viktor
Fainberg, Natalia Gorbanevskaya (1936-2013), Pavel Litvinov and
Tatiana Baeva, came out in the Red Square to protest against the
invasion of the soviet troops in Czechoslovakia and paid for it with
years of lagers, exile and "special" mental hospitals.
4/8/04, p.B7)(Econ, 12/7/13, p.94)
1968 Aug 26, The Democratic
National Convention opened in Chicago. Thousands of antiwar
demonstrators took to Chicago's streets to protest the Vietnam War
during the Democratic National Convention.
(AP, 8/26/08)(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F6)
1968 Aug 27, Tom Haden,
anti-war organizer, was beaten up, put in a paddy wagon and whisked
off to a Cook County Jail.
(SFC, 8/18/96, Z1 p1)
1968 Aug 28, In Chicago, Ill.,
Vice-President Hubert Horatio Humphrey was nominated by the
Democrats for US Presidency on the first ballot. Riots broke out
outside the Democratic National Convention as police and anti-war
demonstrators clashed in the streets. The 1969 film "Medium Cool"
was set during the Chicago Convention riots of 1968.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(TMC, 1994, p.1968)(Hem, 8/96,
p.86-88)(AP, 8/28/97)(SFEC, 9/6/98, DB p.52)
1968 Aug 28, Connecticut
Senator Abraham Ribicoff (1910-1998) nominated George McGovern for
the US Presidency and strongly criticized Chicago’s Mayor Daly for
his strong-arm tactics in controlling protestors at the Democratic
1968 Aug 29, Maine Sen. Edmund
Muskie was chosen to be the Democratic nominee for vice president at
the party's convention in Chicago.
1968 Aug 31, In northeast Iran
some 7-12 thousand people died in the 7.8 Dasht-e Bayaz earthquake,
which also destroyed 60,000 buildings.
1968 Aug, The play "You, Me and
the Next War," by Hanoch Levin (1943-1999), Israeli dramatist, was
1968 Sep 1, Pirate Radio Marina
in the Netherlands began transmitting.
1968 Sep 4, In the Republic of
Congo there was an army coup. Brazzaville deposed Pres.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Sep 6, Feminists
protesting outside the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.,
tossed articles including cosmetics, girdles and bras into a trash
can ostensibly for burning, although nothing was actually set on
fire. Miss Illinois Judith Ford won the pageant.
1968 Sep 6, Swaziland in
southern Africa gained independence from Britain.
1968 Sep 8, In Poland Ryszard
Siwiec (b.1909), accountant, teacher and anti-communist protester,
self immolated in front of some 10,000 spectators during the
national harvest festival at the Dziesieciolecia football stadium.
He died 4 days later at a hospital.
1968 Sep 9, Arthur Ashe
(1943-1993) became the 1st black to win the US Open men’s tennis
1968 Sep 11, The Soviet troops
started leaving Prague for the countryside. At the beginning of
October, the Czechoslovak leadership went to Moscow to negotiate
"normalization". As an outcome, the political leaders remained in
office and submitted to the Soviet demands.
1968 Sep 13, Albania officially
withdrew from the Warsaw Pact. Albania had condemned the August
Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
1968 Sep 14, Al Frueh (b.1880),
American caricature artist (New Yorker magazine), died.
1968 Sep 15, Rev. Billy Graham
carried word to Pres. Johnson from Richard Nixon that Nixon would
give Johnson a share of the credit when the Vietnam war was settled.
Johnson later became convinced that Nixon was using Anna Chennault,
widow of a WW II general, to persuade Pres. Nguyen Van Thieu to
sabotage the Paris peace talks with the communists.
(SFC, 3/16/98, p.A2)
1968 Sep 15, The Organization
of African Unity condemned the secession of Biafra.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Sep 16, Republican
presidential nominee Richard Nixon exclaimed, "Sock it to ME?" in a
taped bit for the NBC-TV comedy program "Rowan & Martin's
1968 Sep 18, The film "Funny
Girl" with Barbra Streisand premiered in NYC.
1968 Sep 19, Marine Capt.
Robert A. Holt and Capt. John A. Lavoo were killed when their F-4B
Phantom jet crashed during combat a mission over Quang Binh
Province. Their remains were identified and returned to the US in
(SFC, 6/8/99, p.A9)
1968 Sep 19, Chester Carlson
(62), inventor of the photocopy machine (1960), died. In 2004 David
Owen authored “Copies In seconds.”
(WSJ, 8/6/04, p.A8)(ON, 11/04, p.9)
1968 Sep 20, The TV show "Name
of the Game" premiered with Gene Barry and Tony Franciosa. It
was written and produced by Leslie Stevens (d.1998) and ran to 1971.
1968 Sep 21, The Adam-12
television police drama premiered. It followed two police officers
of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Pete Malloy and Jim
Reed, as they rode the streets of Los Angeles in their patrol unit,
1-Adam-12. It starred Martin Milner and Kent McCord. William Boyett
(1927-2004) played Sgt. MacDonald. The series continued to 1975.
1968 Sep 21, Charles Jackson
(b.1903), American writer, died of barbiturate poisoning in NYC. He
was known for his novel “The Lost Weekend” (1944). In 2013 Blake
Bailey authored “Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and
Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson.”
(SSFC, 3/24/13, p.F2)
1968 Sep 23, The TV western
"The Outcasts" premiered. The one season show featured Otis Young
(d.2001 at 69) and Don Murray working together as post Civil War
1968 Sep 24, The TV show "Mod
Squad" premiered on ABC and continued to 1973. It was about 3 hip
young cops who worked undercover in LA. A film version was begun in
(AP, 9/24/98)(SFC, 8/27/99,
1968 Sep 24, The CBS news
magazine "60 Minutes" premiered on CBS-TV on a Tuesday night. Don
Hewitt created and produced the TV news show "60 Minutes." He wrote
his book "Minute by Minute" in 1985.
(SFEM, 2/8/98, Par p.26)(AP, 9/24/98)
1968 Sep 26, Hawaii Five-O
premiered on CBS TV and continued to 1980. It starred Jack Lord
(d.1998 at 77) and was the longest running police show in TV
history. It’s theme song was "Walk Don’t Run" by the Ventures. Lord
(born as John Joseph Patrick Ryan) was a painter off TV and his
canvasses sold privately for top dollar.
(SFC, 7/11/96, p.D4)(SFC, 1/22/98, p.D3)
1968 Sep 26, In Portugal Prof.
Marcello Caetano replaced Antonio Salazar as Prime Minister.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Sep 27, Portugal’s
President Americo Thomaz replaced PM Antonio de Oliveira Salazar
with Marcelo Caetano after Salazar suffered a major stroke, caused
by his falling from a chair in his summer house.
1968 Sep 28, Beatles' "Hey
Jude" single went #1 and stayed #1 for 9 weeks.
1968 Sep 29, Piere Mulele
voluntarily returned from exile to Kinshasa, Congo.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Sep 29, A Greek plebiscite
was held by the then ruling dictatorial regime to endorse, by public
vote, the junta's new Constitution. Participation was made
obligatory and abstention punishable by imprisonment.
1968 Sep 30, The 1st Boeing 747
was rolled out of the Everett, Wa., assembly building.
1968 Sep, The Big Mac was
created by McDonald’s franchisee Jim Delligatti in Pittsburgh. It
sold for 49 cents.
(SFC, 9/10/98, p.B2)
1968 Sep, In Daly City, Ca.,
the community of St. Andrew was founded with Father James Moher as
pastor with a predominantly Filipino congregation. In July of 1975 a
parish church was completed at 1571 Southgate Ave..
(SFC, 10/8/12, p.A6)
1968 Sep, In Czechoslovakia the
Plastic People of the Universe band was founded by Milan Hlavsa
(d.2001 at 49).
(WSJ, 7/22/98, p.A12)(SFC, 1/8/01, p.A19)
1968 Sep, The Soviet spacecraft
Zond ("Probe") 5 became the first to loop around the moon and return
to Earth. The L-1, given the name Zond, was a spacecraft designed to
carry two cosmonauts on a single loop around the moon. The L-1
suffered repeated failure and never flew with a crew. The unmanned
L-1s traveled to the moon five times under the Zond name.
1968 Oct 1, The cult horror
movie "Night of the Living Dead" had its world premiere in
1968 Oct 1, The US Senate
refused to shut down a filibuster against President Lyndon B.
Johnson's nomination of Abe Fortas to be US chief justice. Fortas
withdrew the next day.
1968 Oct 1, The US Congress
created the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Wyoming.
1968 Oct 2, Pres. Johnson
established Redwood National Park in northern California under
Public Law 90-545. Congress created the Redwood National Park in
California at a cost of $306 million. Large portions of the Arcata
Redwood Corp. lands were detached to form sections of Redwood
National Park. The land was initially assembled by Michigan timber
baron Arthur Hill. His son, Harry Hill, built the French Renaissance
townhouse that is now the Italian consulate.
9/9/97, p.A19)(SFEC, 12/5/99, p.T1)
1968 Oct 2, Pres. Johnson
signed a bill establishing Washington state’s North Cascades
1968 Oct 2, The 2,650-mile
Pacific Crest Trail, spanning Mexico to Canada, was designated a
National Scenic Trail as part of the US National Trails System Act.
1968 Oct 2, US Supreme Court
Justice Abe Fortas withdrew his nomination as chief justice. Six
months later, he resigned from the court, admitting he'd made a
financial deal with the Louis Wolfson Foundation.
1968 Oct 2, In Mexico soldiers
under Pres. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz used automatic weapons and killed
some 300 students in the Mexico City Tlatelolco massacre prior to
the start of the summer Olympics. The government said only 50
students were killed during gunfire that lasted 5 hours. Luis
Echeverria, later president, was the interior minister and the man
in charge of public security. He was called before a congressional
committee in 1998. Evidence in 1999 confirmed that pre-positioned
soldiers fired on the students. In 2002 a special prosecutor said he
has found no evidence to support historians' claims that some 300
people died when army troops opened fire on demonstrators in 1968.
He put the number killed at 38. A judge dismissed other genocide
charges against Echeverria in July 2005, ruling that while he may
have been responsible for a separate 1971 student massacre, he could
not be tried because the statute of limitations had expired in 1985.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(SFC, 9/1/96, p.A16)(SFEC,
4/6/97, p.C12)(WSJ, 8/13/97, p.A12)(SFC, 2/4/98, p.C2,14)(WSJ,
9/10/98, p.A1)(SFC, 6/28/99, p.A10)(AP, 8/5/02)(AP, 3/27/09)
1968 Oct 2, Marcel Duchamp
(b.1887), French painter, died. He was known best for his 1915 "Nude
Descending a Staircase."
1968 Oct 3, The Howard Sackler
play, "Great White Hope," starring James Earl Jones and Jane
Alexander, opened on Broadway.
1968 Oct 3, American
Independent Party presidential candidate George Wallace tapped
retired Air Force Gen. Curtis E. LeMay to be his running mate.
1968 Oct 3, In Peru the
military seized power in a coup. Pres. Belaunde was overthrown by
Gen. Juan Velasco.
(SFC, 12/20/96, p.B4)(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(SFC,
1968 Oct 4, Cambodia admitted
that the Viet Cong used their country for sanctuary.
1968 Oct 5, Catholic
demonstrators in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, clashed with police.
(http://tinyurl.com/n9nhn)(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1968 Oct 7, The Motion Picture
Association of America adopted its film-rating system (G,M,R,X),
ranging from "G" for "general" audiences to "X" for adult patrons
only. The system was fathered by Jack Valenti (1921-2007), head of
(AP, 10/7/97)(SFC, 1/21/04, p.D2)(SFC, 4/27/07,
1968 Oct 8, US forces in
Vietnam launched Operation Sealord, an attack on North Vietnamese
supply lines and base areas.
1968 Oct 9, Pierre Mulele,
Congolese rebel leader, was publicly tortured and executed in the
Congo [some sources give October 3].
1968 Oct 9, The new military
government of Peru seized the country's oil fields.
1968 Oct 11, Apollo 7, The
first manned Apollo mission, was launched from Cape Kennedy with
astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter
Cunningham aboard. It made 163 orbits in 260 hours.
1968 Oct 11, In Panama Pres.
Arnulfo Arias was ousted in a coup by Gen’l. Omar Torrijos. Arias
was the founder of Panama's special security system and opened the
vote to women before he was ousted.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(SFC, 1/2/97, p.A20)(SFC,
1968 Oct 12, Eq. Guinea gained
Independence was from Spain. Eq. Guinea consists of two geographic
entities: the mainland of Rio Muni and the island of Bioko, formerly
Fernando Poo. Francisco Macias became the 1st president and
proclaimed himself God’s "unique miracle." He drove the economy into
the ground and over a third of the population went into exile.
6/29/96, p.A15)(SFC, 5/15/01, p.A10)
1968 Oct 12, The summer Games
of the 19th Olympiad were officially opened in Mexico City by
Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(HN, 10/12/98)
1968 Oct 14, The Beatles "White
Album" was completed at the Abbey Road Studios.
1968 Oct 14, The first live
telecast from a manned US spacecraft was sent from Apollo 7.
1968 Oct 16, American athletes
Tommie Smith and John Carlos (23) sparked controversy at the Mexico
City Olympics by giving "black power" salutes during a victory
ceremony after they'd won gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter
race. In 2011 John Carlos with Dave Zirin authored “The John Carlos
Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World.”
(AP, 10/16/08)(SSFC, 10/9/11, p.G4)
1968 Oct 18, The US Olympic
Committee suspended two black athletes, Tommie Smith and John
Carlos, for giving a black power salute as a protest during a
victory ceremony in Mexico City. Bob Beamon soared 29 feet, 2
inches, to set a world record in the long jump. In 1976 Dick Schaap
authored “The Perfect Jump.”
(AP, 10/18/98)(WSJ, 8/9/08, p.W8)
1968 Oct 19, Yasonari Kawabata
(1899-1972), Japanese novelist (Thousand Cranes) won the Nobel Prize
1968 Oct 20, Former first lady
Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis
on the island of Scorpios.
(AP, 10/20/97)(HN, 10/20/98)
1968 Oct 22, Pres. Johnson
signed the Gun Control Act of 1968. It regulated firearms above
.50-caliber as destructive devices and required registration and
owner’s fingerprints. It also banned the sale of handguns to those
under 21. Enforcement was up to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms (BATF). It barred the import of assault weapons even if
they were reconfigured if they were not found to have legitimate
"sporting purposes." In the wake of the Kennedy and King
assassinations the US Congress expanded gun ownership prohibitions
to include dishonorably discharged veterans and other groups.
(WSJ, 3/24/97, p.A12)(SFC,10/17/97,
p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/p9lslc)(WSJ, 12/16/03, p.A4)(Econ, 12/4/10,
1968 Oct 22, Apollo 7 returned
safely, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.
1968 Oct 23, In Nicaragua the
Cerro Negro volcano began erupting again and continued to Dec 10. It
had first appeared in 1850.
1968 Oct 24, At the National
Air and Space Administration test pilot Bill Dana was at the
controls of the North American X-15 rocket-propelled research
aircraft when it made the 199th--and what turned out to be the
final--flight of the X-15 program. He was flying the X-15-1, which
had been the first of three aircraft to participate in a series of
tests that spanned a decade and resulted in major advances for
America's space flight program. In the course of that research, the
X-15s spent 18 hours flying above Mach 1, 12 hours above Mach 2,
nearly 9 hours above Mach 3, almost 6 hours above Mach 4, one hour
above Mach 5 and a few short minutes above Mach 6. The X-15 was
hailed by the scientific community as the most successful research
aircraft of all time.
1968 Oct 26, Illinois state and
the city of Chicago recognized Jean Baptiste Pointe de Sable
(1745-1818), a Haitian-born sea captain, as the founder of Chicago.
1968 Oct 27, The 19th Olympic
games closed at Mexico City, Mexico.
1968 Oct 27, In London there
was a massive anti-Vietnam war demonstration.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)
1968 Oct 27, Lisa Meitner
(b.1878), Austrian-born Swedish physicist, died in England. During
the war while in hiding from Hitler in Sweden, she analyzed and
understood for its significance the work of Otto Hahn who in 1944
was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on nuclear
(MT, 10/94, letters,
1968 Oct 28, Pres. Johnson
named Robert Komer (d.2000 at 78) as ambassador to Turkey. Komer had
served Johnson as head of the "pacification" program in Vietnam,
which used information and propaganda to gain political and social
control of south Vietnam.
1968 Oct 28, In SF the first
eviction notices were served to the 196 tenants of the International
Hotel. This led to a 9-year struggle that resulted in their forced
eviction on Aug 4, 1977.
1968 Oct 30, Luis W. Alvarez
(1911-1988) of UC Berkeley won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his
work on the bubble chamber.
1968 Oct 30, Ramon Samaniego
Novarro (b.1899), the 1st successful Latin star in Hollywood (Ben
Hur), was killed by 2 male hustlers. In 2002 Andres Soares authored
"Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramon_Novarro)(SSFC, 1/5/03, p.M4)
1968 Oct 31, President Johnson
announced a halt to all US bombing of North Vietnam, effective the
next morning, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.
1968 Oct 31, Liu Shaoqi
(1898-1968), president of China since 1959, was ousted.
1968 Oct, The MH-1A, a US
converted Liberty Ship named Sturgis, began supplying electricity to
the Panama Canal Zone using a 10MW nuclear reactor. Operations
continued to 1975.
1968 Oct, Miloslava
Rezkova-Hubnerovawon (1950-2014) won the gold medal for
Czechoslovakia in women's high jump in Mexico City.
1968 Nov 1, Lyndon B. Johnson's
halt to bombing in Vietnam went into effect at 8 AM, Washington
1968 Nov 1, The Motion Picture
Association of America unveiled its new voluntary film rating
system: G for general audiences, M for mature audiences (later
changed to GP, then PG), R for restricted audiences, and X (later
changed to NC-17) for adults only.
1968 Nov 1, Georgios Papandreou
(b.1888), Greek minister and premier, died.
1968 Nov 3, In Greece thousands
of people demonstrated against the fascist junta as ex-premier
Georgios Papandreou is buried.
1968 Nov 5, Richard M. Nixon
was elected the 37th US President with Spiro Agnew as
vice-president. He defeated Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and
third-party candidate George C. Wallace.
(WUD, 1994, p.1687)(TMC, 1994, p.1968)(AP,
1968 Nov 5, Barry Goldwater
(1909-1998), former Republican presidential candidate (1964), was
re-elected in Arizona to the US Senate.
1968 Nov 5, Alan Cranston
(1914-2000), former California state controller (12959-1967), was
elected for his 1st term as US Senator.
1968 Nov 5, Shirley Chisholm
(1924-2004) of Brooklyn, New York, became the first black woman
elected to serve in the US House of Representatives.
(HN, 11/5/98)(SFC, 1/3/05, p.A3)
1968 Nov 5, Ronald Stanley
Bridgeforth (24) fired on South San Francisco police officers who
tried to arrest him for credit card fraud at a discount store.
Bridgeforth (67), a councilor and faculty member at Washtenaw
Community College in Michigan, surrendered in 2011. On March 23,
2012, Bridgeforth was sentenced to a year in county jail, 3 years
probation, 300 hours of community service and a fine of $8,500.
(SFC, 11/11/11, p.C1)(SFC, 11/22/11, p.A11)(SFC,
1968 Nov 6, The play “The
Ruling Class” by Peter Barnes (1931-2004) opened in Nottingham,
England. It was a satirical attack on the church and British
aristocracy. It was made into a 1972 film for which Peter O'Toole
received an Oscar nomination.
1968 Nov 6, At SF State on the
one year anniversary of the Gator incident, the Black Students'
Union and the Third World Liberation Front issued a list of 10
"nonnegotiable" demands and called for a one day strike. The strike
lasted 167 days.
p.W3)(SFEC, 3/21/99, Z1 p.4)
1968 Nov 6, Charles Munch
(b.1891), French-US conductor, died. He directed the Boston Symphony
Orchestra from 1949-1962.
1968 Nov 11, The Maldives
became a republic for a 2nd time with Ibrahim Naseer (Nasir) as
1968 Nov 12, Sammy Sosa,
baseball outfielder (Chicago Cubs), was born in the Dominican
1968 Nov 12, The US Supreme
Court in Epperson v. Arkansas voided an Arkansas law banning the
teaching of evolution in public schools.
1968 Nov 14, In the US
"National Turn in Your Draft Card Day" featured draft card burning
as the Vietnam death toll approached 30,000 and US troop strength in
Vietnam reached its peak of 550,000.
1968 Nov 14, Yale University
announced its plan to go co-ed.
1968 Nov 17, NBC outraged
football fans by cutting away from the final minutes of a New York
Jets-Oakland Raiders game to begin a TV special, "Heidi," on
schedule. The jets led 32-29 with one minute remaining. Viewers were
deprived of seeing the Raiders come from behind to beat the Jets,
(AP, 11/17/98)(SFC, 11/14/03, p.I8)
1968 Nov 18, Soviets recovered
the Zond 6 spacecraft after a flight around the moon.
1968 Nov 19, Gen'l. Moussa
Traore (b.1936) began serving as the 2nd president of Mali after
leading the military ouster of Pres. Modibo Keita (1915-1977. Traore
then ruled for 23 years.
1968 Nov 22, Beatles released
their "Beatles," (White Album) their only double album.
1968 Nov 23, Five Cubans
hijacked a US B-727 jet, from Chicago to Cuba.
1968 Nov 24, Eldridge Cleaver
fled the US with his wife rather face assault charges from 1958. He
returned to the US in 1975.
1968 Nov 24, Three Latins
hijacked a US B-707 jet, from New York’s Kennedy Int’l. to Cuba.
Pena Soltren, a US citizen, and two accomplices used weapons hidden
in a diaper bag to hijack Pan Am Flight 281. In 2009 Luis Armando
Pena Soltren (66) voluntarily returned to the same airport to
surrender and face prosecution. On Jan 4, 2011, Soltren was
sentenced to 15 years in prison.
1968 Nov 25, Upton B. Sinclair
(b.1878), US novelist and social reformer (Jungle), died at age 90.
His work included almost 50 novels, over 20 nonfiction books, plays
and countless pieces of journalism. In 1975 Leon A. Harris Jr.
(d.2000) authored "Upton Sinclair, American Rebel." In 2006 Anthony
Arthur authored “Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair.”
p.D8)(WSJ, 6/10/06, p.P8)
1968 Nov 28, In London,
England, John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared at the Marylebone
Magistrates' Court. John pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis
resin and was fined 150 pounds plus 20 guineas costs.
1968 Nov 30, Montesino Sanchez,
a Cuban, hijacked a Boeing 720 from Miami to Cuba.
1968 Nov, The album “Astral
Weeks” by Irish-born singer and song-writer Van Morrison was
released. In 1999 it was given a Grammy Hall of Fame award.
(WSJ, 4/14/07, p.P14)
1968 Dec 1, Burt Bacharach and
Hal David's musical "Promises, Promises" opened at Shubert Theater
in NYC for 1281 performances.
1968 Dec 2, Pres Nixon named
Henry Kissinger (b.1923) security advisor.
1968 Dec 4, The US stock market
began a 18 month decline of 44%.
1968 Dec 5, Football star O.J.
Simpson won a Heisman Trophy. In 1999 it was auctioned in LA for
$230,000 to help cover the $33.5 million judgment against him in the
wrongful death of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
(SFC, 2/17/99, p.A3)
1968 Dec 5, Eduardo Castera, a
Latin successfully hijacked a B-727 from Tampa to Cuba.
1968 Dec 6, The original Malian
constitution was abrogated after a military coup d’état and replaced
by a new fundamental law.
1968 Dec 7, The Rolling Stones
released their album "Beggar’s Banquet" in the US, one day after it
was released in the UK. They soon filmed a concert performance right
after the Who’s performance of "A Quick One" that the Stones did not
match and the film was shelved. In 1996 it was planned to release
the film where Jethro Tull and Taj Mahal are also featured. The
album included the song "Sympathy for the Devil."
(SFC, 8/16/96, p.D11)(SFC, 10/23/00,
1968 Dec 7, The first orbiting
astronomical observatory, OAO-2, was launched.
(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)
1968 Dec 8, South Vietnam’s
vice president Nguyen Cao Ky arrived in Paris for peace talks.
1968 Dec 9, Doug Engelbart and
researchers at Stanford Research Institute first demonstrated in SF
the computer mouse along with a graphical user interface (gui),
display editing, integrated text and graphics, hyper documents and
2-way video-conferencing with shared work spaces. In 2001 Thierry
Bardini authored "Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and
the Origins of Personal Computing."
(SFC, 12/4/98, p.B2)(SSFC, 1/21/01, BR p.6)(SFC,
1968 Dec 10, Thomas Merton
(b.1915), American Trappist monk and writer, died in Bangkok,
Thailand from accidental electrocution. He had just finished his 7th
journal "The Other side of the Mountain." Merton was influenced by
the Hindu scholar Mahanambrata Brahmachari (d.1999). Merton's work
also the spiritual autobiography "The Seven Story Mountain." In 1978
Monica Furlong (d.2003) authored a biography of Merton.
(SFC, 2/24/98, p.A22)(SFEC, 9/27/98, BR p.3)(SFC,
11/2/99, p.A26)(SFC, 2/3/03, p.B4)(WSJ, 3/26/03,
1968 Dec 11, The Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was founded by Dr. George
Habash, founder of the pan-Arab nationalist movement.
(SFC, 12/13/96, p.B2,4)
1968 Dec 11, Two blacks
successfully hijacked a DC-8 from St. Louis to Cuba.
1968 Dec 12, Tallulah Bankhead
(b.1903), American actress, died: "The only thing I regret about my
past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I'd make
the same mistakes, only sooner." In 2000 Tovah Feldshuh created
"Tallulah Hallelujah," a one-woman show in salute to Bankhead.
p.A24)(SSFC, 1/14/01, DB p.34)
1968 Dec 18, Carolyn Olsen was
murdered during a robbery that netted $18 on a Santa Monica tennis
court. Black Panther leader Geronimo Pratt was accused of the murder
though he maintained that he was in Oakland on the night the 27-year
old teacher was shot to death. He was arrested in 1970 and convicted
in 1972 and sentenced to a life term in prison. Julius "Buffo"
Butler, a police informant who spied on the Black Panther Party,
told police that he believed Pratt killed Olsen. In 1997 a judge
ruled to reverse Pratt’s conviction based on the credibility of
Butler. He was released on $25,000 bail on 6/10/97. In 2000 Pratt
was awarded $4.5 million to be paid by Los Angeles and the FBI.
(SFC, 4/18/96, C-1)(SFC, 6/7/97, p.A5)(SFC,
6/11/97, p.C2)(SFC, 7/15/00, p.A3)
1968 Dec 19, Norman Thomas
(b.1884), founder of the ACLU and Socialist Party leader (1926-55),
1968 Dec 20, The first known
murder by the Zodiac killer took place. Two teenagers, David
Farraday and Betty Lou Jensen, were shot to death in a parked car on
Lake Herman Road outside Vallejo, Ca. The California Zodiac killer
later identified himself with a letter to the Times-Harold in
Vallejo. After that he claimed to have killed 37 people but the
police connected him to only five deaths.
p.W20)(SFC, 10/2/00, p.A19)(SFC, 4/7/04, p.A7)
1968 Dec 20, John Steinbeck
(b.1902), California-born author, died from a bad heart in New York
City at age 66. He won the Nobel Prize in 1940. In 1995 Jay Parini
published "John Steinbeck: A Biography."
(AP, 12/20/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, DB
1968 Dec 21, Apollo 8 with
astronauts Borman, Lovell & Anders was launched on the 1st
mission to orbit the moon.
1968 Dec 23, The 82 crew
members of the US intelligence ship Pueblo were released by North
Korea, 11 months after they had been captured.
1968 Dec 24, The 3 Apollo 8
astronauts (James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman),
orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of
Genesis during a Christmas Eve television broadcast. The first
pictures of an Earth-rise over the Moon are seen as the crew of
Apollo 8 orbits the moon.
(TL, 1988, p.117)(AP, 12/24/97)(HN, 12/24/99)
1968 Dec 26, Jay Allen's "Forty
Carats," premiered in NYC. It was adapted from the French original
by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy. The 1973 film adaptation
starred Liv Ullman.
1968 Dec 26, Usher Fellig
(Weegee), Ukraine-born (1899) American photographer, died. He worked
in the Lower East Side of New York City as a press photographer
during the 1930s and '40s, and developed his signature style by
following the city's emergency services and documenting their
1968 Dec 26, A Palestinian
terrorist attack in Athens on an Israeli civilian airliner killed
one person. Mahmoud Mohammad (25) and Maher Suleiman (19) were later
captured by Greek officials, In 1970, a Greek court convicted
Mahmoud Mohammad for his role in the attack. In 1987 Mahmoud
Mohammed Issa Mohammed entered Canada, where he was ordered to be
deported in 1988. In 2007 he was still in Canada after some 30
appeals and reviews.
1968 Dec 26, The underground
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was formed as a Maoist
group. Its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) began waging
guerrilla warfare in 1969.
(SFC, 8/21/01, p.A6)(AP, 12/26/10)
1968 Dec 27, The US agreed to
sell fifty F-4 Phantom jets to Israel.
1968 Dec 27, Apollo 8, the 1st
manned mission to the moon, and its three astronauts made a safe,
nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.
1968 Dec 28, The Beatles'
"White Album," went #1 in the US, beginning this week, and stayed at
the top for 9 weeks.
1968 Dec 28, Israel attacked
the Beirut Int’l. Airport, destroying 13 civilian planes. This was
in response to an attack on an Israeli airliner in Athens by the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
1968 Dec, The pop song
"Israelites" by Desmond Dekker (1941-2006), Jamaican singer, was
released in Jamaica and soon became a worldwide hit. Dekker brought
the sound of Jamaican ska music to the world.
(SFC, 5/27/06, p.B5)
1968 Dec, The Cambridge company
Bolt Beranek and Newman won a Dept. of Defense ARPA (Advanced
Research Projects Agency) contract to develop packet switches called
Interface Message Processors (IMP). The project was led by Frank
Heart and Robert Kahn. The first internode was to installed at the
Univ. of California at Los Angeles.
(SFEC, 3/16/97, Z1 p.3)(SFC,10/24/97, p.E5)
1968 Edward Kienholz
(1927-1994) created his "Portable war memorial," a bizarre tableaux
including a hot dog stand and a coke dispenser.
1968 Yayoi Kusama (b.1929),
Japanese-born artist, staged her "Naked Event at the Statue of
1968 Architects Doug Michels
(1943-2003) and Chip Lord founded the Ant Farm in SF. In 1974 they
created "Cadillac Ranch," a sculpture of 10 planted Cadillacs, in
Amarillo, Texas. In 1975 they created the performance work "Media
Burn," in which Michels drove a Cadillac through a pyramid of
burning television sets. Ant Farm disbanded in 1978.
(SSFC, 6/22/03, p.A1)
1968 Cecile Nelken (1917-2009),
sculptor and publisher, founded Artweek, the first US West Coast
weekly art newspaper.
(SFC, 7/17/09, p.D5)
1968 Henry Moore, English
artist and sculptor, made his "Three Piece No. 3: Vertebrae."
1968 Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
created his Suite 347, a series of aquatints and etchings.
(Econ, 4/24/10, p.83)
1968 Roland Barthes
(1915-1980), French literary critic, published his essay “The Death
of the Author.” In his essay, Barthes criticizes the reader's
tendency to consider aspects of the author's identity—his political
views, historical context, religion, ethnicity, psychology, or other
biographical or personal attributes—to distill meaning from his
1968 Richard Bradford
(1932-2002) authored his novel "Red Sky at Morning." A film version
was released in 1971.
p.C2)(SFC, 3/27/02, p.A21)
1968 John Brunner, British
novelist, authored “Stand on Zanzibar,” in which he forecast that
the world’s population would reach 7 billion in 2010.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.28)
1968 Herb Caen (1916-1997), SF
newspaper columnist, wrote his 7th book: "City of Golden Hills."
(SFEC, 2/2/97, p.A13)
1968 Carlos Castaneda
(1925-1998) published his thesis: "The Teachings of Don Juan: A
Yaqui Way of Knowledge," with the Univ. of Calif. Press. It became
an int’l. best seller. He went on to publish "A Separate Reality,"
"Journey to Ixtlan," and others.
1968 Charles C.G. Chaplin and
James Bohlke co-authored “Fishes of the Bahamas and Adjacent
(Sm, 2/06, p.42)
1968 Marie Vieux-Chauvet
(1916-1973) published her Haitian trilogy “Love, Anger, Madness.” It
was withdrawn soon after publication France following a government
warning that it would endanger the author’s family. It was released
again in France in 2005 and in English in 2009.
(Econ, 8/15/09, p.78)
1968 Robert Conquest
(1917-2015), British-born historian, authored “The Great Terror:
Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties” (1968).
(SFC, 8/6/15, p.D3)
1968 "The Warrior Pharaohs" by
British author Leonard Cottrell (1913-1974) was published by Evans
Brothers Ltd, London.
1968 Quentin Crisp (1908-1999),
English gay writer born as Denis Pratt, authored his autobiography:
"The Naked Civil Servant." In 1975 The Naked Civil Servant was
broadcast on British and American television and made both actor
John Hurt and Crisp himself into stars.
11/22/99, p.C4)(WSJ, 7/14/00, p.W11)
1968 Nicky Cruz (b.1939 in
Puerto Rico), former NYC city gangster, wrote his autobiography
"Run, Baby, Run." He had converted to Christianity in 1958 and begun
ministering to inner city youth.
1968 Mary Daly (1928-2009),
Boston College professor and feminist theologian, authored “The
Church and the Second Sex.”
(SSFC, 1/10/10, p.C10)
1968 Philip Dick (1928-1982)
authored his sci-fi novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep." In
1982 it was made into the film "Blade Runner."
1968 Frederick Exley
(1929-1992), American novelist, published his book "A Fan’s Notes,"
a fictional memoir of his failed life. In 1997 Jonathon Yardley
published: "Misfit: The Strange Life of Frederick Exley."
(SFEC, 8/17/97, BR
1968 Colin Fletcher
(1922-2007), Welsh-born pioneering backpacker and writer, authored
"The Complete Walker." It became a manifesto for backpackers.
1968 Don Freeman (1908-1978),
painter and children’s writer, authored "Corduroy," the story of a
teddy bear named Corduroy, who is bought in a department store by a
girl named Lisa.
(SFEC, 2/27/00, BR
1968 Walter Galenson
(1914-1999), American labor economist, published "The C.I.O.
Challenge to the A.F.L." with Harvard Univ. Press.
1968 Graham Greene (1904-1991),
English author and playwright, wrote "Travels With My Aunt." In 1989
it was adopted for stage by Giles Havergal, director of the
Citizens’ Theater in Glasgow.
(SFEC, 1/5/97, DB
1968 William Grier and Price
Cobbs authored "Black Rage," in which they argued that psychological
functioning is the same in all races, but that the experiences of
Black people make them different.
(SFEC, 7/20/97, BR p.3)
1968 Arthur Hailey (1920-2004)
author his best-selling novel ”Airport.”
(HN, 4/5/01)(SFC, 11/26/04, p.B3)
1968 Garrett Hardin
(1915-2003), ecologist, wrote his classic essay: "The Tragedy of the
Commons." He explained how herdsmen with an incentive to add animals
will overgraze common pastureland. It spawned the "save the whales"
p.A18)(Econ, 8/2/08, p.76)
1968 Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989),
political activist and one of the co-founders of the Yippies, wrote
"Revolution for the Hell of It."
(SFC, 12/29/96, BR
1968 H. Richard Hornberger
(1924-1997), under the pseudonym of Richard Hooker, collaborated
with W.C. Heinz on the Korean War novel "MASH." It was made into a
film in 1970 and a TV series (1972-1977).
(SFEC, 8/29/99, BR
1968 Chuang Hua (1931-2000),
the pen name of Stella Yang Copley, authored her novel “Crossings,”
an experimental novel on the life of a first generation
1968 Journalist Joe McGinniss
(1942-2014) authored “The Selling of the President.“
(SFC, 3/11/14, p.A8)
1968 James Michener
(1907-1997), American author, wrote his travel book "Iberia," a
detailed and illustrated exploration of Spain at it was during the
1968 Jerome Mintz (1930-1997),
US anthropologist, published "Legends of the Hasidim: an
introduction to Hasidic culture and oral tradition in the New
1968 Jerome Mintz (d.1997 at
67), US anthropologist, published "The Anarchists of Casa Viejas,"
an account and oral history of the 1933 Spanish uprising.
1968 Anton Myrer (1922-1996),
American writer, authored "Once an Eagle," a story of the US Army
from WW I to Vietnam. It pitted an honorable officer against a
self-serving officer and sold millions of copies.
1968 William Safire
(1929-2009), conservative journalist and presidential speechwriter,
authored “Safire’s Political Dictionary.”
(Econ, 10/3/09, p.11)
1968 Charles Susskind
(1922-2004), professor at UC Berkeley, authored “Understanding
Technology.” Susskind was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and
escaped to England in 1939.
(SFC, 6/17/04, p.B6)
1968 James Watson (b.1928),
American molecular biologist and Nobel Prize winner, published "The
(SFC, 3/19/98, p.C4)(SFEM, 7/30/00,
1968 Tom Wolfe (b.1931),
American writer and journalist, authored "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid
Test." It was about the 1964 road trip by Ken Kesey and the Merry
Pranksters to the NY World’s Fair.
1968 Dom DeLuise (1933-2009),
actor, chef, comedian and author, hosted “The Dom DeLuise Show,” a
comedy variety summer series on CBS.
1968 The TV series “The Name of
the Game” featured Gene Barry (1919-2009). The show continued to
(SFC, 12/15/09, p.C5)
1968 The "Rolling Stones Rock
and Roll Circus" was shot for home video but not released until
1996. The 62 minute TV special featured the Stones, John Lennon,
Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, the Who, Marianne Faithfull, Taj Mahal and
(SFC, 10/15/96, p.B1)
1968 The Delfonics soul singing
group of Philadelphia recorded their hit "La-la Means I Love You."
(SFEC, 1/25/98, DB
1968 Edison Denisov
(1929-1996), Russian composer, composed his "Ode for Instrumental
Ensemble," and "Romantic Music for Oboe, Harp and String Trio."
1968 Alfred Schnittke
(1934-1998), Russian composer, composed his "2nd Violin Concerto."
It marked a major shift into eclecticism for the composer.
1968 Edwin Hawkins recorded his
arrangement of “Oh Happy Day” on a 2-track tape machine for the
Northern California State Youth Choir. An album was made with
Century Records to help finance a trip to a church youth conference
in Washington DC. In 1969 Abe Kesh at KSAN-FM began playing the
song, which featured the voice of Dorothy Morrison. The album was
soon re-issued by Buddah Records.
(SFC, 10/23/09, p.F1)
1968 Graham Nash (b.1942) left
the Hollies to join David Crosby (b.1941) and Stephen Stills
(b.1945). The first Crosby, Stills & Nash album was released in
1968 The song "Just Dropped In
(to See What Condition My Condition Was In) was the 1st charted
single for Kenny Rogers, who was with the First Edition. The song
was written by Texas songwriter Mickey Newbury (d.2002 at 62).
(SFC, 10/3/02, p.A20)
1968 Aretha Franklin (b.1942)
recorded "Since You’ve Been Gone" and “Think.”
1968 Marvin Gaye recorded "I
Heard It Through the Grapevine."
1968 The Iron Butterfly
recorded their 17-minute classic "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," with Erik
Braunn (d.2003 at 52) on lead guitar. Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy and Lee
Dorman completed the band.
(SFC, 7/29/03, p.A17)
1968 Janis Joplin and Big
Brother and the Holding Company band recorded their album "Cheap
Thrills" in New York.
(SFC, 5/19/96, DB,
1968 The Moody Blues released
their album "Days of Future Past” in the US. It had been released in
Britain in November 1967.
1968 Laura Nyro (1947-1997)
released her song suite album "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession."
her biggest songs were "When I Die," "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Wedding
Bell Blues," "Sweet Blindness," and "Eli’s Coming."
1968 The Jefferson Airplane
rock group and manager Bill Thompson (1944-2015) purchased a mansion
in San Francisco for $70,000. It had been built in 1904 by lumber
baron R.A. Vance. In 1985 the 20-room home at 2400 Fulton was sold
(SSFC, 1/30/11, DB p.42)(SFC, 1/15/15, p.D6)
1968 Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas
Zuckerman made their SF Symphony debuts.
(SFEC, 8/17/97, DB p.45)
1968 Astor Piazolla
collaborated with poet Horacio Ferrer on the work "Maria," a
succession of tangos, waltzes and a fugue, that tells the story of a
prostitute in Buenos Aires.
(WSJ, 10/27/98, p.A20)
1968 The song “Sittin’ on the
Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding (1941-1967) became a smash hit. It
was the first posthumous single in US chart history.
(SFC, 4/25/06, p.B5)
1968 The singing group Sha Na
Na began singing together at Columbia Univ. as the Columbia
Kingsmen. Their first gig in Manhattan paid $50 for the 12 members.
They sang "Let’s Go to the Hop" at Woodstock and did a TV show from
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.C13)
1968 The Supremes released
their album "Love Child."
1968 Johnnie Taylor (d.2000 at
62) had his 1st No. 1 R&B hit with "Who’s Making Love."
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.D5)
1968 Stevie Wonder made a hit
with the song "For Once in My Life."
1968 Tammy Wynette (1942-1998),
country singer, recorded her hit song "Stand by Your Man." In 2003
it was rated the No. 1 top country song.
1968 Iannis Xenakis (b.1922),
Greek architect and composer, composed "Kraanerg," an example of his
"stochastic" music in Paris. It combined taped electronic music and
live performance and was described as alien.
(WSJ, 11/19/96, p.A18)
1968 The Anchorage Museum of
History and Art opened.
(WSJ, 7/17/97, p.A20)
1968 Astor Piazolla
collaborated with poet Horacio Ferrer on the work "Maria," a
succession of tangos, waltzes and a fugue, that tells the story of a
prostitute in Buenos Aires.
(WSJ, 10/27/98, p.A20)
1968 Dr. Robert Butler (d.2010
at 83) coined the term “ageism” to describe age discrimination.
(SFC, 7/7/10, p.C4)
1968 Dr. Robert Schuller
founded New Hope, the first Christian 24-hour suicide prevention
(SFEC, 4/20/97, Par p.18)
1968 James Patrick Shannon
(d.2003), auxiliary bishop of St. Paul, Minn., resigned following
reprimands over his views over birth control and the Vietnam War. In
1999 he authored "Reluctant Dissenter."
(SSFC, 9/14/03, p.A27)
1968 Dennis Banks (b.1937), an
Anishinabe Indian from Minnesota, co-founded the American Indian
Movement (AIM). Vernon Bellecourt (1932-2007), an Ojibwe Indian from
Minnesota, also helped found the movement.
1968 Ari Onassis invited Jackie
Kennedy to Skorpios and later they married.
(TMC, 1994, p.1968)
1968 Debra Barnes of
Pittsburgh, Kansas, won the Miss America beauty pageant.
(SFEC, 9/15/96, p.A6)
1968 Stewart Brand published
the first Whole Earth Catalog. He had spent years in India on a
campaign to eradicate smallpox.
(Wired, 5/97, p.101)
1968 The Association of Black
Psychologists was founded.
(WSJ, 7/8/96, p.C1)(Civilization, July-Aug, 1995,
1968 Ruth Whitney (1928-1999),
editor of Glamour Magazine, put a black model on the cover for the
first time in the magazine's history.
(SFC, 6/8/99, p.A22)(http://tinyurl.com/ov9m59)
1968 Al Goldstein and Jim
Buckley co-founded Screw magazine. It folded in 2003.
(SFC, 12/20/13, p.D9)
1968 Calvin Klein founded
Calvin Klein Ltd. in NYC for $10,000.
1968 Jay Chiat (1931-2002),
American advertising designer, founded the Chiat/Day advertising
1968 Kay Teer Crawford (d.2001
at 83) founded the Miss Drill Team USA pageant.
(SFC, 9/7/01, p.A26)
1968 The Kansas City Athletics
under owner Charlie Finley moved to Oakland and began playing in the
new Oakland Coliseum.
(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W39)
1968 When the Raiders played in
their first Super Bowl in Miami, boss Al Davis got a call from
mobster Meyer Lansky asking him to speak to a group of funeral
directors. Davis tried to back out but Lansky said: "You will be
there at 6 p.m." A biography of Lansky was written by Hank Messick
(SFC, 6/21/96, p.A17)(SFC, 11/9/99, p.A23)
1968 J. Anthony Lukas (d.1997
at 64) won a Pulitzer Prize for his book "The Two Worlds of Linda
Fitzpatrick." It was about a teenage girl from an affluent
Connecticut family beaten to death with her hippie boyfriend after
turning to a life of drugs in the East Village.
(SFC, 6/7/97, p.A19)
1968 The Nobel Memorial Prize
in Economic Sciences was first endowed by Sweden’s central bank. It
is the only Nobel Prize that was not created by Alfred Nobel in
(WSJ, 10/11/95, p. A-16)(WSJ, 10/15/98, p.A22)
1968 Har Gobind Khorana
(1922-2011), India-born biochemist, shared a Nobel Prize in
Physiology or Medicine with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W.
Holley for helping unravel how genetic information in a cell is used
to make proteins vital for human life.
1968 Horace A. Barker (d.2000
at 93), a professor at UC Berkeley, was awarded the US National
Medal of Science by Pres. Johnson. His work helped in the discovery
and characterization of the active form of vitamin B12.
(SFC, 1/5/01, p.D5)
1968 The Kerner Commission of
Pres. Johnson concluded that America was moving toward 2 societies:
one black, one white, separate and unequal.
(SFC, 9/18/98, p.A1)
1968 The American Independent
Party candidate George Wallace named General Curtis LeMay as his
1968 Richard Nixon (1913-1994)
was given the mood-altering prescription drug Dilantin by Jack
Dreyfus, founder of the Dreyfus Fund.
(SFEC, 8/27/00, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/p365a3)
1968 The US Congress passed the
National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 creating the National Flood
1968 The US Federal Bureau of
Narcotics, a part of the Treasury Dept., was absorbed by the Bureau
of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in the Dept. of Justice.
(SSFC, 1/11/15, p.E7)
1968 The Dept. of Defense ARPA
(Advanced Research Projects Agency) issued a request for proposals
to develop packet switches called Interface Message Processors
(SFEC, 3/16/97, Z1 p.3)
1968 The story of the WWII
code-talkers was declassified. American Navajo Indians had used
their native language as code that the Japanese were unable to
break. Chester Nez, the last living Navajo code-breaker died on June
4, 2014, at age 93.
(Econ, 6/21/14, p.90)
1968 The A-12 Blackbird spy
plane was retired. Lockheed Martin had built 15 such planes, a
forerunner to the SR-71 Blackbird. It had originated as part
of the CIA’s “Oxcart” program.
(WSJ, 1/26/07, p.A1)
1968 The Library of Congress
finished its Machine Readable Cataloguing (Marc) pilot project,
which was under the direction of Henriette D. Avram (1919-2006). In
1969 bibliographic records were sent on magnetic tape to libraries
around the country. In 1971 Marc became the national standard fro
(SFC, 5/4/06, p.B7)
1968 Milton Friedman proposed
the doctrine of NAIRU, the non-accelerating inflation rate of
unemployment. It generally holds that there is nothing we can do to
get the unemployment rate below its natural rate. If somehow the
unemployment rate slips below its natural rate, than accelerating
inflation would be triggered. The natural unemployment rate has been
placed variously between 5 & 7%. Friedman won the 1976 Nobel
Prize in economics and retired to the Hoover Inst. at Stanford.
1968 Ted Stevens began
representing Alaska in the US Senate.
(SFC, 12/20/05, p.A1)
1968 Following the disocvery of
oil in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the Eskimos were given 44m acres of
land, $1 billion and shares in regional and village corporations so
that the government could build a pipeline to the oil.
(Econ, 8/30/14, p.27)
1968 In San Francisco
construction of the 4-part Embarcadero Center began. It was
completed in 1983.
(SFEC, 1/23/00, p.B1)
1968 Japan Center opened in San
Francisco’s Japantown with a Peace Plaza and a 5-tiered pagoda. The
center included the new Miyako Mall, the Miyako Hotel and the
(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.6)(SFC, 2/10/06, p.D1)
1968 Gary Arlington (29)
founded America’s first comics store on 23rd St. in San Francisco’s
Mission district. The comics sold for 12 cents. Arlington (d.2014)
closed his store in 2003 after 35 years in business.
(SFC, 1/22/14, p.E3)
1968 Dr. Alejandro Zaffaroni
(b.1923), native of Montevideo, Uruguay, founded ALZA Corp. The SF
Bay Area company has grown to be one of the largest medical device
companies in the US specializing in drug delivery technologies. He
later helped to launch Affymax, a drug discovery company, and
Affymetrix, which did DNA research on semiconductor chips.
1968 The Berkeley Repertory
Theater was founded by Michael Leibert on College Ave.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W29)(WSJ, 5/8/01, p.A24)
1968 The Hillbarn Theater,
co-founded by Robert Brauns (d.2001 at 87) opened on East Hillsdale
Blvd in Foster City. The original outdoor theater, had been in the
corral of the old Pingrey estate overlooking El Camino Real near the
Belmont city line.
(SFC, 3/31/01, p.A21)
1968 The Royal Chapel at
Carmel, Ca., became a cathedral for a second time as the Diocese of
Monterey was reorganized.
(SSFC, 1/4/09, p.B3)
1968 David “Moses” Berg of
Oakland, Ca., founded the Children of God. He combined the free love
of the sexual revolution with the fervor of the American evangelical
movement [see May, 2, 1978].
(SSFC, 2/27/05, p.A1)
1968 Yusuf Bey (d.2003) created
“Your Black Muslim Bakery” in Oakland, Ca.
(SFC, 11/30/05, p.A16)
1968 The Industrial Center
Building at 480 Gate Five Rd. in Sausalito, Ca., became a haven for
1968 Mary Moore (d.2001 at 73)
founded Mandrake’s nightclub at University and 10th St. in Berkeley.
The club folded in 1974.
(SFC, 12/28/01, p.A34)
1968 Canãda College opened in
Redwood City, Ca.
(SFEC, 3/15/98, p.W20)
1968 William Hartman (d.1997 at
78) and Marilyn Fithian founded the Center for Marital and Sexual
Studies in Long Beach, Ca. They later published "Treatment of Sexual
Dysfunction" based on their studies.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A19)
1968 California governor Ronald
Reagan signed an Inmate Bill of Rights. It was amended in 1994 to
limit rights only to those guaranteed in the California and US
constitutions. It was again amended in 1996 to make personal visits
a privilege, not a right.
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.A17)(http://tiny.cc/kOk1t)
1968 US Federal agents raided
the Marin home of Frank Werber (1929-2007), the original manager of
the Kingston Trio, and seized 258 pounds of Mexican marijuana. He
served a 6-month sentence in Marin County, Ca. In 1972 he retired on
160 acres of wilderness in New Mexico.
(SFC, 6/8/07, p.B7)
1968 The California Air
Resources Board (ARB) was established to regulate the state’s
ambient air quality.
1968 The California legislature
passed the California Open Records Law freeing up public documents
at agencies other than the Public Utilities Commission.
(SSFC, 11/27/11, p.A21)
1968 The California State Fair
moved to the 356-acre CalExpo grounds in Sacramento.
(SSFC, 8/7/05, p.F7)
1968 Myth has it that the
Nuestra Familia prison gang was organized after a stolen shoe
incident at San Quentin prison. It set the Mexican Mafia, a gang
rooted in East Los Angeles, against the Familia based in San Jose.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, Z1 p.1)
1968 In northern California the
Black Bear Ranch commune was established in Siskiyou County near
Yreka. A documentary of the project was released in 2007.
(SFC, 7/10/10, p.E1)
1968 Sidney W. Brossman (d.1999
at 76) became head of the new California Community Colleges and
served to 1977.
(SFEC, 3/28/99, p.D6)
1968 Architect Henry Schubart
(d.1998 at 81) moved his family to Salt Spring Island in British
Columbia due to his opposition to the Vietnam War. He had designed
the campus buildings of the Dominican College in Marin, Ca., the St.
Louis Bertrand Church in Oakland and the Holy Names Church in SF
among other works. In BC he introduced the use of skylights.
(SFC, 2/20/98, p.A23)
1968 Myth has it that the
Nuestra Familia prison gang was organized after a stolen shoe
incident at San Quentin prison. It set the Mexican Mafia, a gang
rooted in East Los Angeles, against the Familia based in San Jose.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, Z1 p.1)
1968 Sears Point Raceway began
operating in Marin County, Ca.
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.A21)
1968 The Kansas City Athletics
under owner Charlie Finley moved to Oakland, Ca., and began playing
in the new Oakland Coliseum.
(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W39)
1968 A newspaper strike shut
down the SF Chronicle, the Examiner and the News-Call Bulletin for
53 days. Bill O'Brien (d.2004) became president of the SF-Oakland
Newspaper Guild the next day and supported the strike, which had
originated with Hearst papers in LA.
(SFC, 2/05/04, p.A27)
1968 Al Brounstein (d.2006 at
86) purchased 80 acres on Diamond Mountain in Napa, Ca., for a
little over $100,000. He began developing a vineyard and later
admitted to smuggling cuttings from Bordeaux, France, by way of
Tijuana. His first crop from Diamond Creek Vineyards was produced in
(SFC, 6/28/06, p.B7)
1968 Robert Mondavi made a dry
wine from Sauvignon Blanc and renamed it Fume Blanc.
(SFC, 5/17/08, p.A7)
1968 The last of the hog farms
in Colma, Ca., closed. Some 10,000 garbage-eating pigs were raised
along the Hillside Blvd. farm
1968 T. Jack Foster, the
developer of Foster City, Ca., died. His sons continued his project
and sold out to Centex Corp. in 1970.
(Ind, 8/4/01, 5A)
1968 Actors from the Living
Theater were arrested in San Francisco for disrobing onstage.
(SFC, 7/14/96, DB p.30)
1968 Chet Helms, operating
under the name "Family Dog," lost his lease and permits for running
shows at the Avalon Ballroom at Sutter and Van Ness.
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.A17)
1968 Bill Graham opened the
Fillmore East in NYC and moved his SF operation to the former
Carousel Ballroom, renamed the Fillmore West.
1968 San Francisco Mayor Alioto
greeted King Olav V of Norway with a grand reception at City Hall.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.A10)
1968 In San Francisco Andrew
McKinley and Bryan Bilby opened the Adobe Book Shop at 3166 16th St.
(SFC, 4/9/03, p.E1)
1968 Chronicle Books was
founded in San Francisco.
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A8)
1968 The SF Police formed a
helicopter unit. The city went without police helicopters from 1975
to 1998, when the unit was revived.
(SFC, 1/13/00, p.A15)
1968 In San Francisco Richard
Simmons opened Specs Twelve Adler Museum Cafe just off of Columbus
Ave. and across the street from Vesuvio's.
(SFC, 1/26/04, p.B1)
1968 In San Francisco Walter
Shorenstein announced his plan to tear down the Int’l. Hotel at 848
Kearny and replace it with a parking lot. Stymied by public pressure
he sold the property in 1973.
(SFC, 6/8/01, WBa p.6)
1968 In San Francisco George
Whitney stopped operating Playland-at-the-Beach. It was closed and
put up for sale in 1972.
(SSFC, 7/3/05, p.F6)
1968 Linda Harmon (14) was
raped, beaten and stabbed to death in SF. In 2003 DNA evidence
identified William Speer (61), a convicted sexual predator, as the
(SFC, 12/24/03, p.A13)
1968 Donaldina Cameron
(b.1869), San Francisco social worker, died. She had worked to
rescue Chinese girls sold into prostitution in SF and founded the
Donaldina Cameron House on Sacramento St. for low income Asian
(SFC, 6/18/04, p.F4)
1968-1976 Joseph L. Alioto served as mayor of San
(SFC, 12/19/96, p.A22)
1968 Detroit poet John Sinclair
was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of
two marijuana joints.
(SFEC, 7/21/96, DB p.35)
1968 In Grand Chute, Wis., a
night watchman was killed during a robbery at a car dealership. In
2005 police in Appleton, Wis., arrested Robert Mitchell (75) for the
(SFC, 11/19/05, p.A3)
1968 Maurice “Hank” Greenberg
took over as head of American International Group (AIG). He stepped
down in 2005 as AIG, the world’s largest insurer, faced regulatory
(Econ, 3/19/05, p.77)
1968 John Templeton (1912-2008)
American investment analyst, fled to the Bahamas and took British
citizenship in order to avoid American taxes.
(Econ, 7/19/08, p.95)
1968 In the US shoulder
harnesses became required items on all cars.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1968 The Chevrolet Blazer
opened up the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) market.
(SFEC, 10/10/99, Z1 p.6)
1968 ATT reserved 911 for
emergency calls after the 1967 recommendation by the President’s
Commission on Crime.
(WSJ, 1/9/97, p.A8)
1968 CBS established a 50-50
joint venture with Sony Corp.
(WSJ, 3/7/05, p.A8)
1968 Denny’s bought Winchell’s
Donut Houses. Verne Winchell (d.2002 at 87) founded the business in
(SFC, 11/29/02, p.A27)
1968 The 4th Betty Crocker, a
General Mills advertising icon, made her appearance and continued to
1968 The J.M. Smucker Co.
introduced Goober Grape, a single container with peanut butter and
grape jelly swirled together.
(SFC, 1/31/08, p.A13)
1968 Hewlett-Packard introduced
the world’s 1st programmable scientific desktop calculator.
(SFC, 1/13/01, p.A15)
1968 Hewlett-Packard introduced
the 1st commercially available light-emitting diode (LED) used for
displays and traffic lights.
(SFC, 2/22/06, p.C1)
1968 Newton Glekel (1913-2007),
NYC real estate lawyer and deal maker, purchased a controlling
interest in Detroit-based Hygrade Food Products Co., maker of Ball
Park hot dogs. He sold his stake to Britain’s Hanson Industries Inc.
(WSJ, 8/4/07, p.A4)
1968 Montgomery Ward merged
with Container Corp. to become Marcor.
(WSJ, 12/29/00, p.A3)
1968 Tele-Communications Inc.
was founded by Bob Magness (1924-1996) when he merged Community
Television Inc. and Western Microwave Inc. in Denver. The company
went public in 1970.
(SFEC, 11/17/96, p.C12)
1968 Wayne Huizenga and Dean
Buntrock established Waste Management Inc. in Chicago. It became a
public company in 1971.
(SFC, 7/19/07, p.A14)
1968 Charles P. Ball, a
graduate student at SF State Univ., designed the first water bed.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, Z1 p.5)
1968 The first modular office
system, invented by Robert Propst, was commercially introduced in
cube form. It was named “Action Office 2” and dismayed the designer.
(Econ, 1/3/15, p.45)
1968 Fred Mattson (d.1997 at
76) and Dr. Robert Volpenhein, employed by Proctor & Gamble,
created olestra, a cocktail of fatty acids that enzymes left
1968 The National Eye Institute
at the National Institutes of Health was founded with the assistance
of Dr. Alfred Maumenee Jr.
(SFC, 1/21/98, p.A20)
1968 Dr. Robert Good (d.2003 at
81) performed the 1st successful human bone marrow transplant.
(SFC, 6/19/03, p.A1)
1968 Scientists crossed the
Pacific oyster with the Kumamoto oyster and produced the Gigomoto
oyster. They had hoped for a cross that would have the best traits
of both oysters but instead produced a cross with the worst traits
of both oysters.
(WSJ, 4/4/96, A-12)
1968 Teacher Jane Elliot
separated her class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed students and
treated one group better that the other in a demonstration of
(SFC, 8/30/96, p.D6)
1968 Barbara Liskov received a
doctorate from Stanford Univ. in computer science, the first such
degree ever awarded to a woman in the US. In 2009 she won the
$250,000 Turing computing award from the Association for Computing
Machinery for her work in organizing complex programs and efforts to
make software more resistant to errors and hacking.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.C3)
1968 In a move toward
decentralization it was planned to give community districts more
control over the NYC school system. The process was derailed when
many white teachers were fired in Brooklyn on account of race in
districts that came under control of black nationalists. In 2007
Richard D. Kahlenberg authored “Tough Liberal,” a biography of
Albert Shanker (1928-1997), head of the NYC teacher’s union. Shanker
led the series of teacher strikes that fought total community
(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A10)(WSJ, 8/28/07, p.D6)
1968 The U of M Institute for
Social Research (ISR) began its Panel Study of Income Dynamics, an
annual study of the wealth, health and behavior of American
(MT, Fall. ‘97, p.4)
1968 Milton Wexler (1909-2007),
Hollywood psychoanalyst, launched the Hereditary Disease Foundation,
after his wife, Leonore Wexler, got diagnosed with Huntington’s
disease. Scientists in 1983 found a genetic marker for Huntington’s
disease and in 1993 located the gene itself.
(SFC, 3/23/07, p.B9)
1968 Roy Jacuzzi invented the
first whirlpool bath.
1968 A new medium priced home
in the US was priced at $24,700.
(WSJ, 6/14/96, p.B10)
1968 Floating fish-processing
factories took in a combined catch of 810,000 tons of cod off the
eastern banks of North America. During the next decade there was a
steady drop cod population.
(NH, 5/96, p.61)
1968 Fossil bones of a
plesiosaur were unearthed at a Kansas ranch. The 15-foot dinosaur
lived about 78 million years ago and was believed to have given
birth to live young under water.
1968 The Rogue River in
southern Oregon was named as one the country's first national wild
and Scenic rivers.
(SFEC, 3/19/00, p.T4)
1968 Dr. Kurt Freund
(1914-1996), psychiatrist, left Czechoslovakia after the failure of
the revolt and moved to Canada. He had developed a way to measure
penile response to erotic stimulation with a phallometric device.
(SFEC, 10/27/96, p.B8)
1968 Open air testing of
chemical weapons at the US Army Dugway Proving Grounds in the Utah
desert caused the deaths of some 3,600 [6,400] sheep in an adjacent
(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.A18)(WSJ, 6/1/98, p.A1)
1968 In Austria a girl (16) at
the state-run home in Tyrol province was reportedly raped by two
soldiers and three others defecated on her. She and four other girls
were picked out for the soldiers by a female orderly. In 2012 a
military commission was been set up to investigate the allegations.
1968 The Bahamas elected a
socialist leaning president. This led to the end of the Bahamas as a
major off-shore tax haven and the rise of the Cayman Islands as a
(SSFC, 7/10/05, p.E3)
1968 In Belgium Flemish
students called for French speaking Walloons to leave the Univ. at
Leuven. This led to a division of the library’s 1.6 million books
with half going to the new campus of Louvain-la-Neuve in French
speaking Wallonia. The partition divided the Catholic church and
brought down the government.
(Econ, 1/29/11, p.51)
1968 In Bhutan Michael Aris
(1946-1999), a graduate from Durham Univ., was invited about this
time to become the private tutor of the children of the royal family
of Bhutan. Aris spent 6 years in Bhutan. In 1972 he married Aung San
Suu Kyi of Burma.
1968 Bolivia’s Gen. Juan Jose
Torres selected economist Hugo Torresgoitia as vice president.
(SFC, 7/14/03, p.A2)
1968 In Britain the literary
Booker Prize was founded by Sir Michael Caine (d.1999 at 71), an
executive for Booker PLC, which specialized in food distribution and
agribusiness. The prize was modeled after the French Prix Goncourt.
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.C3)
1968 Cash-strapped Britain said
it was pulling military forces from the Persian Gulf and South-East
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.70)
1968 The London Sunday Times
sponsored the 1st Golden Globe round-the-world sailboat race. Robin
Knox-Johnston was the only entrant to complete the race, becoming
the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the
world. The race gave birth to the French Vendee Globe race. In 1999
Derek Lundy authored "Godforsaken Sea," an account of the 1996
Vendee Globe. In 2001 Peter Nichols authored "A Voyage for Madmen,"
an account of the race and its 9 skippers.
8/15/99, BR p.5)(WSJ, 6/22/01, p.W12)
1968 British Leyland was put
together by Harold Wilson’s industrial planners. It was nationalized
in 1975, and sold to British Aerospace in 1988. BMW picked up Rover
(Econ, 4/16/05, p.15)
1968 Asia’s first int’l. film
festival was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
(Econ, 4/6/13, p.97)
1968 Pierre Trudeau, PM of
Canada, published an admiring book about Mao Tse-Tung’s China.
(WSJ, 10/3/00, p.A26)
1968 Canada renamed its air and
sea forces as the Maritime and Ari Commands. In 2011 the naming
reverted to the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force.
The Land Force again became the Canadian Army.
(Econ, 8/20/11, p.38)
1968 China established a
research center to prepare for manned space flight, with 1973 target
date for launch. Program later canceled because of lack of money and
1968 The documentary film
“Czechoslovakia 1968” was a 20-minute production by the US
1968 In Denmark the original
Legoland was built in Billund.
(SFEC, 2/7/99, p.T3)
1968 A Danish geologist
published a paper on the Greenland Ice Cap that included melting
threats to it. The study used core samples that drilled down to
(WSJ, 6/8/06, p.D8)
1968 Zinsou became premier
(1968-1969) of Dahomey (later Benin).
1968 In Germany the Gallery of
the Twentieth Century by architect Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was
dedicated in Berlin.
1968 Jean Dominique (d.2000)
purchased the lease on Radio Haiti Inter and initiated broadcasts in
Creole. Dominique was forced in to exile in 1980, but returned in
(SFC, 4/30/04, p.E6)
1968 In India the
Triennale-India art show began in New Delhi with shows held every 3
1968 In India Tata Consultancy
Services (TCS) was founded. Public shares were offered in 2004 as
sales hit %1.5 billion and employees numbered 28,000.
(Econ, 7/24/04, p.61)
1968 Galgal Refaim, or the
"wheel of ghosts" was first noticed by scholars, a year after Israel
captured the Golan Heights from Syria. It consists of four circles,
the outermost more than 500 feet across, made up of an estimated
42,000 tons of basalt stone, the remains of massive walls that
experts believe once rose as much as high as 30 feet. The enormous
feat of construction was carried out some 6000 years ago by a
society about which little is known. A tomb existed in the center of
the site, but scholars tend to agree it was added a millennia or two
after the circles were erected in the Chalcolithic period, between
4500 and 3500 BC. In 2011 a scholar suggested that Galgal Refaim was
an excarnation facility.
1968 In Italy Michelangelo
Pistoletto, artist, rolled around Turin his giant ball of pulped
newspaper. The exploit was captured on film.
(SFC, 2/10/98, p.E4)
1968 The Sant’Egidio community
was started in Rome by a high school student with ideals of prayer,
mission and solidarity wit the poor. By 2008 it had 60,000 members
in 70 countries and had become active in faith-based peacemaking.
1968 In Japan Iwao Hakamada,
accused of killing a family and setting fire to its house after a
robbery in 1966, was sentenced to death. After 19 days of 12-hour
interrogations he confessed. At his trial he said the confession was
coerced. In 2008 Japan’s Supreme Court turned down a retrial plea.
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.56)(AP, 3/27/14)
c1968 The Aral Sea between Kazakhstan and
Uzbekistan began shrinking after Soviet engineers diverted water
from its 2 feeder streams, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya. The
water was diverted to a massive dam and irrigation system for cotton
(SFC, 11/30/98, p.A11)(SFEC, 1/31/99, p.A20)
1968 In Mexico there was a rain
of hundreds of thousands of maggots on Acapulco.
(SFC, 5/30/98, p.E4)
1968 In the Netherlands the
Rembrandt Research Project was formed and funded by the government
to act as the gatekeepers of Rembrandt’s work.
(WSJ, 8/7/98, p.W12)
1968 Baba Hassan Din, English
convert to Sufism, died in Lahore, Pakistan. In the 1950’s he had
adopted a boy named Hafiz Iqbal, and raised him to be a scholar.
Both were later recognized as Sufi saints.
(Econ, 12/20/08, p.73)
1968 In Papua New Guinea
Michael Somare (b.1936) was first elected to parliament. He later
served 3 terms as prime minister.
(Econ, 8/6/11, p.35)
1968 In Poland Gen. Jaruzelski
was appointed defense minister, benefiting from a purge of Jewish
(Econ, 6/14/14, p.86)
1968 Abel Muzorewa was
consecrated bishop of Rhodesia for the United Methodist.
1968 In Kosovo, Serbia, ethnic
Albanians staged their first pro-independence demonstrations.
(USAT, 3/24/99, p.4A)
1968 The Diuktai Cave, a rich
Palaeolithic site dating back to 35-10,000 BC, was discovered on the
Aldan, a tributary of the Lena in Siberia by Dr. Yuri Mochanov.
(NG, Oct. 1988, p.464)
1968 In South Korea Park
Tae-joon (1927-2011) founded POSCO to manufacture steel. By 2008 it
was the world’s 4th largest steelmaker. It was started by the state
using $120 million in war reparations from Japan. It was privatized
after South Korea’s 1997 financial crises.
(Econ, 8/30/08, p.62)(Econ, 9/27/08, SR p.9)(AP,
1968 In Spain the ETA, Basque
Homeland and Freedom, a Basque separatist group, began fighting for
independence. Its political wing was Herri Batasuna.
(SFEC, 7/13/97, p.A11)(SFC, 7/21/97, p.A10)
1968 In Sweden the first
gathering of folk-musicians at Bingsjö was held.
(NH, 4/97, p.31)
1968 Julius K. Nyerere
(1922-1999), the first president of Tanzania (1964-1985), authored
Ujamaa: Essays on Socialism.” He coined the economic policy called
ujamaa, a Swahili word for togetherness or family and fused the
country’s 120 tribes into a cohesive state.
1968 In Tanzania Campbell
Bridges (1937-2009), Scottish-born geologist, became the first to
record the discovery of the gemstone-quality tsavorite a green gem
that shines even before polishing. The gem was later mined in Kenya
1968 The International
Comparison Program (ICP) was established to compare the economic
outputs of countries. The ICP was established as a joint venture of
the UN Statistical Division (UNSD) and the International Comparisons
Unit of the University of Pennsylvania with financial contributions
from the Ford Foundation and the World Bank.
(Econ, 5/3/14, p.65)(http://tinyurl.com/ku3m76a)
1968 World leaders proclaimed
that individuals have a basic human right to determine freely and
responsibly the number and timing of their children. This led to the
annual UN celebration of World Population Day.
1968 In Venezuela researchers,
Napoleon Chagnon and James V. Neel, reportedly inoculated thousands
of Yanomami Indians with a measles vaccine. Chagnon published
"Yanomamö: The Fierce People," a summation of his 30 years in the
Amazon forest. In 2000 the controversial book "Darkness in El
Dorado" Patrick Tierney blamed the researchers for a major epidemic
that killed hundreds of Indians. At least 30 Indians died from a
measles epidemic that hit Yanomani villages at least one year before
researchers administered the Edmonston B vaccine [see 1967].
(SFC, 11/10/00, p.A4)(SFC, 11/16/00, p.A19)(NH,
Jul, p.28)(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.W8)
1968 The US military "Project
Urgency" returned some North Vietnamese prisoners with hidden
incriminating evidence, so they would appear as US agents.
(SFC, 11/5/99, p.D4)
1968 In Yugoslavia Tito purged
Serbian novelist Dobrica Cosic (b.1921) for nationalism. Cosic
developed a complex and paradoxical theory of Serbian national
persecution that later evolved into the Greater Serbian program of
Slobodan Milosevic. Cosic later became the first president of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1992 to 1993).
1968-1969 The Hong Kong flu pandemic killed some
34,000 Americans. Each year an average of 20,000 Americans die of
(WSJ, 1/14/98, p.A18)
1968-1969 The US Pentagon admitted in 1999 that it
had helped South Korea obtain Agent Orange to defoliate areas along
the demilitarized zone. Soldiers applied it by hand. In 2000 1,890
South Korean soldiers and farmers had registered as victims. They
sought $4.3 billion from Dow Chemical and Monsanto and $1 billion
for the US government.
(SFC, 11/17/99, p.A18)
1968-1969 Pres. Francisco Macias Nguema murdered a
6th of the population of Eq. Guinea.
(WSJ, 8/31/05, p.D10)
1968-1970 Chuck Mawhinney, one of the United
States Marine Corps’ most accomplished snipers, served a 13-month
tour in Vietnam and two six-month extensions. During that time he
was credited with 103 confirmed kills and 216 probables.
1968-1971 Farleigh S. Dickinson (1920-1996) served
in the New Jersey state senate. He sponsored the law that created
the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission, a 21,000 acres
site that covered 14 municipalities.
(SFC, 10/17/96, C2)
1968-1972 Edward Dorn (d.1999 at 70), poet and
educator, composed his 5-volume poem "Gunslinger."
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.B2)
1968-1973 In 1998 Allen J. Matusow published
"Nixon’s Economy," a look at Nixon’s economic record over this
(WSJ, 7/22/98, p.A12)
1968-1973 A severe famine hit the Sahel region of
North Africa. Mauritania, Mali, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) and Niger
were most affected.
(Econ, 8/20/05, p.57)
1968-1975 The pro-Soviet Velasco Alvarado regime
ruled Peru. The military government expropriated the sugar estates
on the country’s north coast turning them into government-owned
(WSJ, 12/27/96, p.A7)(Econ, 2/10/07, p.38)
1968-1979 Pierre E. Trudeau, Liberal Party, served
as the 15th Prime Minister of Canada.
(CFA, '96, p.81)
1968-1979 Robert W. Fleming was president of the
Univ. of Michigan. He succeeded Harlan Hatcher in Jan. His
autobiography was published in 1996: "Tempests Into Rainbows."
(MT, 3/96, p.16)
1968-1985 In Italy serial killings during this
period left 16 people dead in the Tuscan countryside. In 1994 Pietro
Pacciani (69) was convicted of 14 murders and sentenced to life in
prison following trial that was televised. He was cleared in 1996
and ordered to face a retrial, but died in 1998. Pacciani's friend,
Mario Vanni (70) and Giancarlo Lotti (54) were convicted of their
involvement in five of the double murders. Vanni was given a life
sentence and Lotti received a sentence of 26 years in prison. In
2001 Florentine authorities reopened the case amid speculation they
were investigating up to a dozen wealthy Italians who orchestrated
the ritualistic killings by manipulating a trio of voyeuristic
peasants. In 2006 Mario Spezi, a journalist who has worked with the
American thriller author Douglas Preston on a book about the
killings, was arrested and accused of slander and sidetracking the
1968-1998 American Engineer Jon Postel (1943-1998)
coordinated the Internet’s protocols and addressing system over this