The Year 1968- Scipione & Stoner


The year of 1968 was filled with major events. Some of the events that occurred was the tet offensive, Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated, RFK was killed, Apollo 8 was launched, and Richard Nixon became president. The tet offensive was named after the Vietnamese new year holiday. On that day in history the North and South decided to not fight each other. Notably, the North decided to bomb the South on this day. The South took initiative and didn’t over react like the North was hoping they would. The only gain for the North was the propaganda that was released to countries such as the United States which showed the deaths of those in the south. Martin Luther King Jr was major figure who took for equal rights. He stood for racial equality, which is the idea that any individual deserves to be judged on his or her own merits rather than the color of their skin. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968 by James Earl Ray, who was a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary. His death made the movement of equality strengthen. Robert F Kennedy, commonly known as RFK, was a politician in America who served as a Senator for New York until he was assassinated. During the campaigning season during the US Presidential election of 1968, he was shot while in the Ambassador Hotel by Sirhan Sirhan, was a mid twenties Palestinian immigrant. After he was assassinated, Richard Nixon became President. The last main event during this year was the launch of Apollo 8. This occurred on December 21, 1968 and it was the second manned mission in the US from the space program. It successfully left the Earth’s Orbit, reached the Earth’s moon, orbited it and then returned safely to back. All of these events led up to many different effects for the future of our society and lifestyle.


So what-

Every event that occurred had an effect on what America was changing into. Each event meant something different for every American. For some, King’s assassination meant the end of a strategy of nonviolence, but others simply reaffirmed the need to carry on his work. Leaders within the SCLC confirmed that they would carry on this Poor People’s Campaign in his absence. Some black leaders argued the need to continue King’s tradition of nonviolence. Another example is the King of Rock, Elvis Presley.  Most of America was infatuated by Elvis Presley and his new role in the Music Industry. Others simply thought he was the source of rebellion in the modern teens. The assassination of RFK is very important because it shows how one of the most well protected figures in the country can be shot down without any knowledge. Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to leave Earth’s orbit and the first to travel to another Moon. This allowed for the crew of Apollo 8 to, for the first time, set eyes on the far side of the moon. This showed other countries, especially Soviet Union who was on the mission of space, that we are not far behind. Once Nixon became president is was very important because it made a rise of conservatives because he was a republican who defeated his democratic opponent. Nixon also promised an end to the vietnam war, which made citizen’s hopes rise. He also made the relationship with China strengthen by not ignoring them like the previous US officials have done.


Now what-

The year 1968 was a year that America will never forget. Major events accorded such as the beginning of the Vietnam war, RFK being killed, Richard Nixon took presidency, and Martin Luther King Junior bringing justice to African Americans. The turbulent 1960s reached a boiling point in the 1960’s. Yes, this was a big year then, but why is it so important now? Multiple things in our everyday lives would be    altered in the space time continuum if the events in 1968 had never occurred. For example, Martin Luther King Junior changed the United States forever. African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million people in America. Imagining our country still separated from segregation, makes me realize that so many things would be different. Some of our favorite foods and products are the creation of an African American person, but they would have never had the chance to create it if we were still segregated. If the Apollo 8 had never launched in 1968, we may not have ever landed on the moon. If Richard Nixon had not been elected as president after RFK was killed, we might not have ever opened our relationship with China because he was the first president to go there.