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1968

While America had a record amount of troops fighting in Viet Nam, the anti-war and black power movements grew on campuses. Over 735 incidences of protesters clashing with police were chronicled at America's schools and universities in the course of the year.

At Columbia University, students claiming to be "the New Left" occupied several campus buildings until forcibly removed by the National Guard.

At San Francisco State College, students staged a sit-down strike, calling for changes in the Black Studies program. After four months, college president S.I. Hayakawa had the protesters removed by police in a bloody confrontation.

In major cities, FM "underground" stations, shunning the commercial hits in favor of psychedelic and folk-rock album tracks, grew so much in popularity they became the commercial successes they claimed they were countering.

Drug-soaked riffs from Jerry Garcia's Grateful Dead and other eclectic bands set the soundtrack for a youth population which was overwhelmingly anti-war. Pro-war youth had very few voices in the U.S. because most of them were fighting overseas.

Dr. Benjamin Spock was indicted for conspiracy to aid and abet draft evasion. He and "beat poet" Allan Ginsberg had been arrested during their attempt to shut down the draft induction center in New York City.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at a motel in Memphis, shortly after giving a speech in which he hinted that his days were numbered. Two days earlier, one person died when violence broke out at a march in Memphis led by Dr. King in support of a garbage collectors' strike.

North Korea seized the U.S.S. Pueblo, claiming the ship had violated their territorial waters. The crew - who were physically and mentally abused by their captors - were freed after eleven months of touch-and-go negotiations.

President Johnson announced he would not seek re-election.

Chicago Police and the National Guard attempted to control anti-war protesters with violence at the Democratic National Convention. Bystanders, politicians and news reporters were beaten on live television in the ensuing mayhem.

Senator Robert F. Kennedy, brother of the slain president, was assassinated moments after he learned he'd won the Democratic primary election in California. Jordanian Sirhan Sirhan was charged with the killing.

John F. Kennedy's widow, Jaqueline, married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

Republican Richard M. Nixon narrowly defeated Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey for the presidency. Independent George Wallace received over 9,000,000 popular votes.

As psychedelic album rock proliferated on the FM band, AM hit radio had a resurgence of pop songs like This Guy's In Love With You by Herb Alpert, Honey by Bobby Goldsboro and Love Is Blue by Paul Mauriat. Rock songs ruling the charts included Hello, I Love You by the Doors, People Got To Be Free by the Rascals and I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye.



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