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How did the Civil War affect civilians?

A Devastated LandscapeBefore the Civil War, the American landscape had largely been spared the damage that internecine conflicts had wrought in other parts of the world. Nonetheless, 19th century photographers in America were able to record a panorama of the war damage done to the South from 1861-1865. Images of Southern cities once under siege by Federal forces, such as Atlanta, Savannah, Richmond, or Charleston, showed that they were left mere skeletons. These were moving and disturbing images of a defeated South, but the cities would quickly return to their former grandeur.Most Civil War battles took place on farms, in plowed fields and pastures, or among orchards and woodlots where their effects had longer lasting consequences. The collective picture of a scorched and broken landscape in 1865 suggested the end of rural life as it had previously been known in the South. The economic cost of the devastation wrought in these battles was almost incalculable and historians have been hard pressed to attach a specific dollar amount to the sufferings that it caused.[i] Farmhouses, barns, and other outbuildings were blown up, burned, or left mere skeletons stripped of boards by the troops of both sides. Farm fences everywhere disappeared in the smoke of a thousand nightly campfires. Throughout the South–and especially where the most modest farms were mere clearings in a vast forested canopy–soldiers felled whole stands of living trees and used the trunks to build campsites, fortifications, and so-called corduroy roads. Winter quarters, field breastworks, and temporary bridges were almost always constructed of newly-felled logs. Moreover, artillery fire, especially during sieges and great battles, destroyed trees in unimaginable numbers leaving behind forests of useless stumps and splintered wood. Moreover, the prosecution of battle in a sometimes tinder-dry environment caused sweeping brushfires as during the so-called Battle of the Wilderness where both wounded men and animals died in agony in the spreading flames.[ii]Farm animals–especially the horses and mules who were essential participants in 19th-century warfare, but also the local meat animals like cattle, sheep, chickens, and hogs–died in appalling numbers wherever armies marched. Animals, confined together for the first time in the hundreds in depots, camps, and fortifications, exchanged pathogens and died by the thousands. Disease deaths among draft animals, added to the natural loss in battle, necessitated their re-supply from farther and farther away, so that the war’s animal impact became continental in scope. As expected, many horses and mules were maimed and killed by bullets and exploding shells. Since their carcasses were so much larger than those of dead men, horses and mules presented daunting sanitary challenges on the battlefield, and onsite burial was usually hasty and incomplete. Parts of the South smelled of death.[iii]An Absence of MenThe Civil War involved the entire population in a way unparalleled by any conflict since the American Revolution. Before a single man had been killed in battle, the absence of men from the counting-house, factory, plantation, or farm had had an immediate effect on their families as well as their communities. The military mobilization of close to 4 million men in as many years–the largest attempted in American history to that time–generally affected their ability to properly support their families in ways that few had envisioned. The official population of the country–North and South combined according to the 1860 U.S. Census–was somewhat over 32 million including 4 million black slaves.[iv] Mobilization was especially difficult in the manpower-hungry South where a larger proportion of white men were pulled into service than in the North. Louisa Walton reported that her region of South Carolina had been thinned out of men by 1862, and in Shelby County, Alabama, it was reported that 1600 of the 1800 male residents (89 percent) were in the army. Consequently many women were trying to do a man’s business, managing businesses and farms, or working for wages for the first time. In some cases they seemed to have usurped their husbands’ places–a situation that created somewhat of a gender crisis during the war and a transformation among the roles of men and women that may have had a destabilizing effect in its aftermath.[v]With their means of making a living gone and their place in the community ripped asunder, Southern men, in particular, were left with little of their former gender identities beyond their personal honor and their continued allegiance to the “lost cause” of Southern independence. Immediately after the war, the public was swamped with war stories, journals, memoirs, and battle descriptions. Former army commanders renewed wartime arguments about tactics and strategies in print in an attempt to dissemble the reasons for their failure to secure disunion. Many pointed to the exhausted condition of the Southern manpower pool and its economic infrastructure as proximate causes for the South’s surrender.[vi]The fact was that the South had not merely lost the war. It had been beaten and beaten badly. Its economy, industry, agriculture, and population had been sorely pressed. Its cities had been invaded and devastated. Southern manhood was generally considered to have failed to defend hearth and home. Unlike most southern men, many Northerners avoided this gender identity confrontation, and came home to cities untarnished by war and festooned with red, white, and blue ribbons with the sustaining knowledge of having fought the good fight while rescuing the enslaved from cruel bondage and maintaining the sacred union. In either case, an entire generation of men shared a common set of battlefield experiences that bound them together.Women too shared a physiological bond brought on by the war. Both Northern and Southern women had attempted to adjust as best as possible to the extended absences of husbands and fathers during the war years, and many widows would have to do so permanently. Rev. Wm. H. McIntosh of Charleston, Tennessee noted that “especially of late [1862]… the illustrations of the uncertainty of life been multiplied in our community, and in our church. But a few days ago this bell rung out in doleful tones the solemn news that another ‘goeth to his long home’–not the infirm, the aged, but the young, with the flush of early manhood on his cheek, and before the hopes of youth had passed the vanity of life.” [vii]So common were the battlefield deaths on both sides–some 630,000 men in 4 years–that whole communities of women were in simultaneous mourning. The absence of a so-called “bread winner” or other male source of income most stressed middle- and lower-class families who had few financial resources or reserves. Many upper-class women had servants, hired help, or slaves on which to rely in the absence of their men, but they found their situations strained nonetheless. After watching her brothers depart for the war, Kate Stone correctly speculated that they who stayed home might find it harder than those who left.[viii]The task was generally more difficult for Confederate women than for those in the North or Midwest because the real shooting war was often taking place in their front yard where they were trying to raise their children and care for their homes. It was difficult to maintain some facsimile of family stability while literally under fire from Northern guns. This was particularly true of the main theaters of the war in northern Virginia and Tennessee and in Southern cities under siege such as Vicksburg, Atlanta, or Charleston. Annie M. Sehon of Nashville wrote, “O my precious sister … We are in hourly expectation of hearing the approach of the Northern Army … [and] all our Government officers fly tonight for their lives … I cannot tell you how my heart is almost breaking to part from my precious Husband who is far more than life to me. Without him I would pray, pray for death, pray that God would take me from this prison world to my husband in Heaven for I know he will be there if he falls, he is so good, so pure, so noble.”[ix]Thousands of slaves attached themselves to the Union forces during the Civil War. A nearby battle insured that hundreds of blacks would come flooding across the Federal lines as soon as the firing had stopped regardless of which side had won the battle. Federal military commanders were hard-pressed as to what to do with so many refugees, who often required food, shelter, medical care, clothing, and protection from Southern forces.Women in disputed areas of the rural South also had to cope with the additional threats posed by runaway slaves, uncompromising foragers, and unrestrained deserters. The Confederate military often used its scant reserve forces to hunt them, offered rewards for their capture, and relied on home guard patrols and local law enforcement officials to arrest them or at least drive them from the region. The Southern military also hoped to stop men from deserting by threatening severe punishments like whippings, brandings, and imprisonment. Death was an empty threat in an army so bereft of manpower.[x]The loss of male farm workers and hired hands to the war effort particularly increased the burdens sustained by the farming families who made up the overwhelming majority of U.S. households. The Confederacy was the first to initiate a mandatory draft that removed many poor white farm workers from the soil, but it exempted many of those employed in the mechanical trades and slaveowners with more than twenty slaves. This left the lowest class of farm families (so-called poor whites) at a distinct manpower disadvantage, and brought forth in many quarters accusations of “Rich man’s war, Poor man’s fight!” The Federal government followed with its own draft that also exempted tradesmen and mechanics, but the North padded its ranks from the multitude of unemployed immigrants from the cities.Lacking men to hire in place of absent fathers and brothers, children were often forced to fill the need for adult labor. Adolescent boys (under 16 years of age) were exempt from the draft, but their assistance had always been calculated as part of available labor force on the family farm or in the manufactory. Girls and young women often found that they now had to take the place of their fathers and husbands clearing fields, making hay, and cutting firewood. At age twelve Marion Drury had to assume the work and responsibilities of a man because most of her mother’s farmhands had gone into the army. Anna Shaw was only fourteen when she took on her father and brothers’ jobs in addition to teaching school, sewing, cleaning, and tending to boarders. At fifteen Helen Brock was branding calves and erecting fences, and Fannie Eisele began to plow the family fields when she was only ten years old. [xi]Between late 1862 and early 1865, Southerners struggled with an appalling rate of inflation. The price of wheat rose nearly 1,700 percent; bacon soared 2,500 percent; and flour almost 2,800 percent. By the final stages of the war it was recorded that a pair of shoes cost at least $600 (CSD) and that $1,500 (CSD) was needed to purchase a simple wool overcoat.[xii]Nonetheless, living in a Northern city did not make life any easier for families destitute of their men. The cost of rent, fuel, food, and clothing was higher in the city, and urban dwellers did not have the option of “living off the land.” When pressed for payment by landlords or shopkeepers, they generally depended on their husband’s military pay or the benevolence of relatives. While many men wrote regularly to their families expressing pitiable longing and loneliness for them and sending home money, the military mail services–especially in the South–were not entirely reliable, and soldiers were often out of touch with their families for extended periods. One federal officer testified about receiving a letter from a destitute young wife, anxious for news of her husband. She had received no word of him in months and only nine dollars since he had enlisted. She and her children had therefore been evicted from their home. "Here are four pages of pathos that make me want . . . to kick him for not deserving them," wrote the officer after investigating the case and finding the man pathetically irresponsible. "Apparently a fairly educated and quite worthy girl has married a good-looking youth of inferior nature and breeding who has not the energy to toil effectively for her, nor the affection to endure privations for her sake." Certainly similar scenes were played out many times, and many other inquiries from worried wives had tragic endings.[xiii][i] Estimates range from $6.6 to 10.3 billion with the South bearing 60 percent of the total cost. On a per capita basis, the costs to the Northern population were about $150 –or roughly equal to one year's income. The Southern burden (with $2 billion figured as the loss of slave property due to emancipation) was two and a half times that amount– $376 per man, woman and child. See Ransom, Roger. "Economics of the Civil War". http://EH.Net Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Whaples. Accessed April 2009. URL: http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/ransom.civil.war.us[ii] Jack Temple Kirby, “An Environmental View on the American Civil War.” Accessed April 2008. URL: The Encyclopedia of Earth[iii] See Kirby.[iv] David Woodward, Armies on the World, 1854-1914 (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1978.[v] James M. Volo and Dorothy Denneen Volo, eds., The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life in America, Vol. II, Series edited by Randal M. Miller (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2008) xxxxxx 011 men011 Domestic Life: Men Encyclopedia (2008)[vi] Volo, James M. and Dorothy Denneen Volo. Family Life in 19th-Century America (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2007), 47.[vii] W. H. McIntosh, “James C. Sumner, the Young Soldier Ready for Death,”Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Accessed April 2008. URL: W. H. McIntosh, (William H.) James C. Sumner, the Young Soldier Ready for Death.[viii] Browne, Ray B. and Lawrence A. Kreiser, Jr. The Civil War and Reconstruction (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003), 11.[ix] Annie M. Sehon, Nashville, Feb 16, 1862. Kimberly Family Personal Correspondence, Manuscripts Dept., Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Accessed April 2008. URL: Kimberly Family. Personal Correspondence, 1862-1864[x] Paul Randolph Dotson Jr. “The Effects of Confederate Deserters on the Floyd County Homefront.” Accessed April 2008. URL: ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations[xi] Volo and Volo, (2007), 319.[xii] R. Neil Fulghum, “Moneys for the Southern Cause,” The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865. Accessed April 2008. URL: Currency Introduction[xiii] Croushore, James H., ed. A Volunteer’s Adventure, by Captain John W. De Forest (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949), 46.

What decade would you consider as the peak of American life?

First, the premise of the question seems to imply that there was a single greatest decade where we reached a peak, from which we have declined. I’m not sure I agree with that.As far as a single decade where we accomplished the most good, I would vote for the 1940s. Here are results for individual decades, as I understand them:1780–1790: We ratified the Constitution and elected Washington President. But it was also the decade of Shay’s Rebellion and opportunists buying up Revolutionary War debts at pennies on the dollar, to wreak financial havoc later. These two developments indicated the constant struggle between financial elites and the common man that would persist through our history.1790–1800: We saw a democratic transition of power, as Washington declined to run for a third term. But it was also the decade of the Whiskey Rebellion and the Alien and Sedition Acts.1800–1810: One of our most intelligent Chief Executives, Thomas Jefferson, was President, completing the Louisiana Purchase and dispatching the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Three of the most important Supreme Court decisions were handed down: Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, and Dartmouth v. Woodward. But Jefferson also imposed a disastrous embargo and put his own former Vice President on trial for “constructive treason,” a dubious legal doctrine that John Marshall decisively quashed in Richmond.1810–1820: This decade included Victory in the War of 1812, the opening of the Erie Canal, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Era of Good Feeling, but the British marched into Washington DC itself and burned the Capitol and the White House.1820–1830: This decade saw the election of the first true President of the “common man.” But that same figure, Andrew Jackson, the hero of New Orleans, brutally mistreated Native Americans.1830–1840: New states were established west of the Mississippi, Jackson faced down Calhoun in the Nullification Crisis, and Webster decisively affirmed the doctrine of “Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever,” in his debate with Hayne. This was the only time in our history that the budget was completely in balance. William Lloyd Garrison established The Liberator to advocate for abolition. Still, Jackson petulantly refused to renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States, leading to the Panic of 1837, and ill-advised incursions into Mexican territory led to the massacre at the Alamo. An anti-slavery editor, Elijah Lovejoy, was killed by a pro-slavery mob.1840–1850: Gold was discovered in California, but we also fought the Mexican War, a blatant move to extend slave territory. Nativist political parties arose, the Know-Nothings and the Anti-Masonic party. Persecution of Mormons resulted in the murder of their founder, Joseph Smith, at the hands of a mob.1850–1860: We sought better relations with Canada and entered on relations with Japan, Congress passed the Compromise of 1850, the party of Lincoln was founded in Ripon, and Lincoln and Douglas held their memorable debates, but our last President to hold slaves in office, Zachary Taylor, was followed by two decidedly mediocre Presidents, Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce, followed by one of the worst Presidents in history, James Buchanan, whose dithering led to the Civil War. Pro- and anti-slavery settlers took bloody revenge on each other in Kansas, and John Brown was hanged after his raid on Harper’s Ferry.1860–1870: I would vote for this decade second after the 1940s. This was the decade of the Gettsyburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments; Union victory in the Civil War established once and for all that the United States was not a mere conditional federation from which a state could withdraw, and the Transcontinental Railroad was completed. We purchased Alaska from Russia. But one of our greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was struck down, and Lincoln was followed by one of the most inept Presidents in history, Andrew Johnson. We lost 529,000 men in the Civil War.1870–1880: The Freedmen’s Bureau worked to educate freed slaves, and freedmen such as Hiram Rhodes Revels served in state government for the first time. An American invented the telephone, and we celebrated our centennial. But the Administration of Grant was one of the most corrupt in history, involving Grant’s own Vice President, Schuyler Colfax, in the Credit Mobilier scandal, despite Grant’s personal honesty. Irresponsible underwriting of railroad bonds led to the Panic of 1873, and Republican President Rutherford Hayes used federal troops to suppress labor strikes. The Republican victory of 1876 was blatantly stolen from the real winner, Democratic lawyer Samuel Tilden, and the Republicans secured their victory through a corrupt bargain with Southern die-hards, agreeing to withdraw Union troops and cancel Reconstruction in return for Southern Support. The Ku Klux Klan was founded, and we pursued brutal wars against Native Americans.1880–1890: President Chester Arthur began to modernize the Navy to steel-hulled ships and began to reform the Civil Service. Secretary of State James J. Blaine sought to establish good relations with Latin America and helped found the Organization of American States. But Blaine himself was disgraced by corruption, and an unbalanced disappointed office seeker struck down President James A. Garfield in a Washington train station. In Chicago, a political rally that ended with a bomb being thrown resulted in the trial and hanging of seven political agitators who probably had nothing to do with the bomb.1890–1900: We celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyages with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, featuring the largest peacetime gathering in American history, the Sherman Antitrust Act was signed into law, a populist movement led by Ohio businessman Jacob Coxey mounted a march on Washington, William Jennings Bryan began a populist movement at the Chicago Democratic convention of 1896, and Herman Hollerith invented a tabulating machine, an ancestor of the computer, to count the national census. But the decade also saw another financial panic, an unnecessary war with Spain, and the 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, establishing legal segregation. A wave of unspeakably barbaric race-based lynching swept the United States, prompting a bitter Mark Twain to compose his essay “The United States of Lyncherdom.” Americans overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii and deposed its last queen.1900–1910: We built the Panama Canal, the Wright brothers began manned flight, and President Teddy Roosevelt became the first President to win a Nobel Peace Prize, for his role in ending the Russo-Japanese War. But another President was assassinated in 1901, we suppressed an indigenous independence movement in the Philippines, waterboarding insurgents, and when Teddy Roosevelt had Booker T. Washington as his dinner guest at the White House, Southern newspapers said Roosevelt had turned the White House into a “coon café,” and one South Carolina editor said whites would have to “shoot ten thousand of those n___s to teach them their place.” A panic in 1907 was resolved only because J.P. Morgan corralled bankers and forced them to underwrite loans to support the nation’s faltering finances.1910–1920: The Federal Reserve was founded and the 19th Amendment gave women the vote; Woodrow, Wilson, the only President in history to hold a Ph.D., was elected; the United States joined European Allies to win World War I, and Wilson proposed a League of Nations to promote world peace. Wilson also appointed Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court as the first Jewish justice. But Wilson, a Southern racist, endorsed D.W. Griffith’s cartoonishly racist film The Birth of a Nation, ordered civil rights activist William Monroe Trotter out of the Oval Office, and let cabinet members hound blacks out of the Civil Service. A Georgia minister started the Klan once more, which had died out decades before. European crowds shouted their adoration of President Wilson when he went to the Peace Conference of Versailles, but his peace proposals were dead on arrival in the Republican Congress, led by bitter opposition from Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. A 29-year-old Southeast Asian patriot, Ho Chi Minh, came to Paris to hand Wilson a letter asking for liberation of Vietnam from the French, but Wilson probably never saw it. Wilson himself, incapacitated by a stroke, did not even meet with his own Cabinet for 6 months, while his wife and his private secretary ran the government of the United States. Wilson still hoped for a third term and was bitterly disappointed when the Democratic convention of 1920 did not nominate him by acclamation, even though he could no longer even compose a thousand-word article for a law journal. Attorney General Mitchell Palmer, concerned about “Red agitators,” directed the FBI to carry out intrusive raids of suspected dissidents, violating civil rights. An influenza epidemic in 1919, with contagion exacerbated by gatherings to celebrate the end of World War I, killed scores of thousands in the United States.1920–1930: An American author, Sinclair Lewis, was the first American to receive a Nobel Prize for literature, and Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic. The stock market and general prosperity reached unprecedented heights, and the President addressed the nation by radio for the first time. A young Democratic politician, Franklin D. Roosevelt, came to national attention for the first time. On the other hand, Warren Harding was one of the worst Presidents in history, with his administration plagued by the Teapot Dome scandal concerning oil leases; 53-year-old Harding fathered an illegitimate child by his 23-year-old lover, Nan Britton, and after Harding’s death, photos were discovered of him posing with nude 16-year-old farm girls. The sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited, leading to the rise of criminal syndicates, and the Democratic party in 1924 split over its inability to take a definite position on the role of the Klan in politics. A high school science teacher, John Scopes, was put on trial in Dayton, Tennessee, for teaching evolution to his students. The stock market crashed in 1929 and led to the Great Depression, while our President, Herbert Hoover, insisted that business conditions were just fine and that people simply needed to have confidence.1930–1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected for the first two of four Presidential terms and began ambitious federal programs under the heading of “The New Deal” attempt to bring America out of the Great Depression. Prohibition was repealed, and the Tennessee Valley Authority was established, with a chain of hydroelectric dams to relieve flooding and provide power to rural areas. President Roosevelt named the first African-American Army General, Benjamin O. Davis. But the Depression persisted, and at its height, national unemployment probably reached around 25%. The United States turned away a ship full of Jewish refugees from the Third Reich and would not approve visas for the family of Anne Frank. In 1932, an encampment of embittered World War I soldiers in Washington, DC, insisting on being paid bonuses promised by Congress 14 years before, was violently dispersed by troops under Major Dwight D. Eisenhower, acting reluctantly under the orders of General Douglas MacArthur. As the soldiers and their families fled bullets and tear gas, MacArthur commented, “Thank God this country still knows how to handle a mob.”1940–1950: Thomas Dewey of New York successfully prosecuted mobsters, leading to the execution of Louis Lepke Buchalter and the deportation of Lucky Luciano. Entering World War II on the side of the Allies, the United States helped defeat Hitler. The war with Japan was brought to a successful conclusion, and the United Nations was founded. Despite President Roosevelt’s sudden death just before the end of the war, his Vice-President, Harry Truman, the last President who never attended college, took over and retained most of Roosevelt’s capable advisors. General George C. Marshall formulated the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe, saved starving thousands, and probably kept some countries from being drawn into the Communist orbit. Truman integrated the U.S. military. Television became commercially viable, and the Ed Sullivan show began. The government passed the GI bill, financing college educations for veterans. On the other hand, nuclear weapons were used in war for the first time in history, causing unspeakable suffering. Distrust between the U.S. and its former Soviet allies led to the “Iron Curtain” separating Warsaw Pact nations from the West, while Truman felt compelled to enunciate the Truman Doctrine, outlining a plan to contain the Soviets. In formulating the American response to the new state of Israel, Truman declined to push for a two-state solution, even though this approach was favored by George Marshall. A severe housing shortage left returned veterans and their families living in cardboard boxes.1950–1960: Harry Truman relieved Douglas MacArthur of command in Korea, reaffirming the principle of civilian control of the military. A United States delegation met with a Soviet delegation in Geneva. The Supreme Court reversed its earlier Plessy v. Ferguson decision with its 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, striking down the principle of “separate but equal” facilities for the races. President Eisenhower ordered the integration of Little Rock, Arkansas public schools and sent federal troops to enforce it. Congress passed a bill to construct the interstate highway system. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee convened a commission to investigate organized crime. The polio vaccine was introduced. William Faulkner became the third American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Popular TV shows such as Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best portrayed the United States as a land of attractive suburbs, full of polite, well-dressed middle class people. On the other hand, the Korean War entered a stalemate that persists today. The CIA deposed a democratically elected head of state in Iran. Russia detonated a hydrogen bomb and went into space before we did. The death of Emmett Till in Mississippi highlighted continuing mistreatment of blacks by whites. A popular TV show was Amos and Andy, featuring blacks acting like buffoons. The House Un-American Activities Committee forced Hollywood actors, directors, and writers to name associates who might be “communist sympathizers” on pain of being hounded out of the industry if they refused. In the Senate, a red-baiting demagogue, Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, held televised hearings purporting to prove that the State Department was “filled with Communist agents.”1960–1970: John F. Kennedy was elected President, inaugurating the “Camelot” era in which the White House seemed to be the headquarters of a new era of hope, energy, optimism, and cultural sophistication. His successor, Lyndon Johnson, marshaled Congressional forces to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; following the example of his idol, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Johnson advocated for a “Great Society” in which poverty would be eliminated. James Meredith integrated the University of Mississippi. President Kennedy declared that we would go to the Moon, and that happened, in 1969. A youth-oriented movement stressing greater personal freedom culminated in such events as the Woodstock Festival in 1969. The Supreme Court ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright established the principle of a right to legal counsel even if a defendant could not afford it; Griswold v. Connecticut strengthened personal privacy rights; Miranda v. Arizona stipulated that arrestees must be read their rights, and Loving v. Virginia helped to legalize interracial marriage. On television, Bill Cosby, as a United States government agent, and Diahann Carroll, as a nurse, presented blacks as worthy of respect, as opposed to the clownish stereotype of Amos and Andy, which went off the air. The first black Supreme Court justice was appointed.On the other hand, we imposed an embargo on Cuba, nearly went to war with the Soviets over their plan to put missiles in Cuba aimed at the United States, and became involved in the quagmire of Vietnam. Civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi and Alabama, and civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers were assassinated. President John F. Kennedy and later, his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, were assassinated. President Kennedy had endless sexual liaisons in the White House on which the press remained silent and pursued an affair with a woman, Judith Campbell Exner, who was simultaneously the mistress of a Chicago mobster, Sam Giancana. Race riots broke out in Los Angeles, Detroit, and Newark. Chicago was rocked by riots in 1968 as students and other protested the Vietnam War during the Democratic convention. The nation was shocked by violent crimes, including a mass shooting from atop a tower on a Texas college campus by Charles Whitman, the slaughter of a group of student nurses in Chicago, by Richard Speck, and the slaughter of a pregnant actress and her friends in a Beverly Hills house by cult leader Charles Manson and his followers.1970–1980: Richard Nixon became the first President to visit China and opened diplomatic relations with a Communist nation we had previously shunned. The United States sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union with Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). The Washington Post published the Pentagon Papers, exposing the misconduct of the Vietnam War and later broke the story of Watergate, becoming a national paper in the process. The Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade established the principle of a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. The first reality documentary, An American Family, was broadcast in 1973. The last execution for some years was carried out in Utah in 1976. The Concorde, a supersonic passenger jet, began operation. Limited cable TV programming began, and ATMs were invented, as were the first home game consoles, precursors of the personal computer. President Gerald Ford, a man of great personal decency, pardoned his predecessor, Richard Nixon, in the hope of avoiding years of political and legal wrangling and national bitterness. His wife, Betty, openly acknowledged her previous rehab treatment and, later, her breast cancer. The United States withdrew from Vietnam. The election of Jimmy Carter, former Governor of Georgia, seemed to promise an era of hope and personal decency.On the other hand, Nixon mined Haiphong Harbor in Vietnam in an attempt to win the war. Our retreat from Vietnam, in 1975, was seen by many as ignominious and led to years of acrimony among Americans. The 1979 films Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter symbolized the deep American ambivalence about the war. National Guard troops at Kent State University in Ohio fired on student demonstrators, killing one. Nixon obstructed justice by covering up the Watergate break-in and then fired the special prosecutor assigned to investigate him. He finally resigned to avoid impeachment. His successor, Ford, let himself be advised by such men as Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon and Henry Kissinger in the State Department. The Carter administration could not work well with the Democratic Congress, and the national economy suffered high inflation. The country suffered from what Carter called “the national malaise,” and Carter dismissed most of his Cabinet. Carter served just one term, in part because he was seen as weak in the wake of the storming of the American embassy in Tehran and the 444-day captivity of Americans by Iranian radicals. Rev. Jerry Falwell of Lynchburg, VA began the “Moral Majority Movement,” the foundation of the religious right.1980–1990: The IBM PC was marketed in 1981, and the first cell phone call was made in 1983. The Apple Macintosh, with its icon-based graphical user interface, also dates from the early 1980s. President Ronald Reagan met with Soviet Premier Gorbachev, urged him to tear down the Berlin Wall, and advocated for peace between the two countries (although Gorbachev appears to have been inclined toward peace in part because he thought the Strategic Defense Initiative, or “Star Wars,” was real and operational, which it wasn’t). Reagan bombed Libya, which seems to have made Qadafi decide to give up his own attempt to develop nukes, though he took revenge for the bombing two years later with the Lockerbie bombing. The U.S. economy improved from the doldrums of the 1970s. The Soviet Union basically collapsed around 1989, which some commentators heralded as “the end of history” (since events were no longer determined by a seemingly endless conflict between two lethally armed super powers).On the other hand, violent crime continued to shock us. Reagan was shot in March, 1981, and the Pope two months later, though both recovered. John Lennon had been shot to death in 1980. AIDS entered the national consciousness for the first time, and no one knew what it was or what to do about it. Reagan was seen by many as mismanaging the economy, getting Congress to enact large tax cuts without corresponding reductions in spending. He was criticized for his handling of an air traffic controller’s strike. His administration was nearly brought down when it was discovered that a Marine Lieutenant Colonel, Oliver North, was running an operation out of the White House itself, apparently without Reagan’s knowledge, to illegally sell arms to Iran, our enemies, to raise money to finance Central American paramilitary death squads, called “Contras.” We invaded the Caribbean Island of Grenada. Democratic attempts to win the White House, with Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and Michael Dukakis in 1988, were seen as ignominious failures. In the 1988 GOP primary in New Hampshire, the eventual nominee, George H.W. Bush, was defeated by a TV preacher, Pat Robertson. When Bush eventually got the nomination, he chose for his running mate a shallow young lawyer, Dan Quayle, given to saying things like “A mind is a terrible thing to lose” and “I was not born in this century” (he was about 35). Quayle also “corrected” a student in a spelling bee to the wrong spelling of “potato.” Meanwhile, there were notable scandals of supposed child sex abuse rings in day care centers, which were shown to be non-existent. A New York real estate tycoon, Donald Trump, published The Art of the Deal. The attempts of the American government to aid Afghan muhajideen fighters against the Soviet occupation contributed to the eventual formation of Al Qaeda.1990–2000: Bill Clinton, only the second President born after 1911, who had met President Nixon as a teenager, was elected and sought to move Democratic politics in a more centrist direction. His wife, Hillary, herself a lawyer, sought to enhance the role of First Lady to be more of an integral player on the President’s team, sponsoring healthcare reform.On the other hand, Bill was seen by many on the left as a sort of cynical sellout for political gain, and his welfare reform program as uncaring. He approved the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a mentally retarded man who may not have been capable of understanding the charges against him, as proof of his commitment to law and order. He supported the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 to erase what many saw as necessary boundaries between consumer banking and investment banking. He supported the “Defense of Marriage” Act, defining marriage as between a man and a woman, for which he later apologized, and also supported “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” a measure to allow gays to serve in the military in secret. The image of the military was tarnished by the Tailhook scandal, an incident of unrestrained groping of female service members at a gathering of officers. Hillary’s attempt at healthcare reform went down to ignominious defeat, and the GOP recaptured Congress in 1994, leading to Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” and, later, a government shutdown. Bill, a notorious womanizer, was later found to have had an affair with a White House intern, and articles of impeachment were filed in the House accusing him of obstruction of justice. He and Hillary were continually hounded by allegations of shady dealings in the Whitewater real estate deal, as well as the supposed murder of a political operative, Vince Foster. Clinton was impeached in the House, though not removed from office by the Senate.2000–2010: George W. Bush, a former Governor of Texas and son of the 41st President, was elected on a program of “compassionate conservatism,” promising to be “a uniter, not a divider.” After the United States was attacked by Muslim fanatics on 9/11, Bush appeared in a Washington, DC mosque and said “The face of terrorism is not the true face of Islam. Islam is peace.” The United States captured Saddam Hussein, a brutal dictator, tried him and hanged him in 2004. Bush was succeeded by our first African-American President, Barack Obama, a Harvard Law graduate who, as an unknown Illinois State Senator, had given the opening address at the 2004 Democratic convention, electrifying the nation with his assertion that we need not be divided as a nation but could simply be “Americans.” Veteran civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who had sought the Democratic nomination in 1984, wept for joy the night Obama was elected. Obama got Congress to pass a bailout program for a disastrously weakened economy, leading to one of the longest peacetime expansions of the economy in history. Later, he got Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act, providing health insurance to millions who had previously been without coverage. Obama also persuaded Congress to bail out the distressed American automobile industry, which would have cost the country thousands of jobs had it collapsed altogether. In 2011, Obama authorized a special Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama Bin Laden.On the other hand, Bush’s 2000 election was seen as stolen, since it was clear that his opponent, Al Gore, had won the popular vote. The outcome came down to a recount in Florida, which the Supreme Court stopped. Bush dismissed a Presidential intelligence briefing that warned that Al Quaeda would attack the United States with airplanes and then became obsessed with the idea that Saddam Hussein had conspired with Osama Bin Laden, which was not true, any more than the questionable intelligence asserting that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (it is possible that Saddam may have had programs at one time to develop WMD and that his own scientists were afraid to tell him that the programs had been discontinued, but in any case, the so-called intelligence that there were currently WMD was very questionable). A botched hunt for Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan allowed him to escape. Bush’s Administration persuaded itself, groundlessly, that the Iraqis would welcome us and that their oil would pay for the invasion. Later, American soldiers were found to have tortured and abused prisoners at the notorious Abu Ghraib facility, while others were sent to Guantanamo. Domestically, Bush tried to partially privatize Social Security under the aegis of the “Ownership Society,” while cooperating with credit card companies to limit consumer bankruptcy relief from credit card debt and with drug companies to pass the absurdly expensive Medicare Part D, a misconceived prescription drug benefit for seniors. In foreign policy, Bush persuaded the former Soviet Republic of Georgia that they might be offered NATO membership and then sat on his hands when an aggressive Russia started a war with Georgia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia. In his personal style, Bush was a dolt, given to malapropisms such as “The terrorists want to hurt our country, and so do we” and “It’s time for mankind to enter the Solar System.” Bush made a fool of himself by walking onto the deck of an aircraft carrier in a flight suit in front of a banner that read “Mission Accomplished,” as occupied Iraq was actually descending into chaos. While New Orleans was being flooded by Katrina, Bush endorsed the comically inept head of FEMA, Michael Brown, saying “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.”Obama’s election was seen as a startling sign of racial progress in our country, but Congressional Republican leadership under Mitch McConnell announced at once that they would oppose everything he stood for and pursue the goal of making him a one-term President, after which Obama was blamed by whites for failing to meet Congress halfway. Donald Trump, a failed businessman and reality TV star, became even more prominent by promoting the idea that Obama had not actually been born in the United States and was ineligible for the Presidency. Obama himself is a very intelligent man who seemed to confuse promise with performance and left office faintly puzzled that the world did not share his warm self-regard. Having accepted the Presidency of the Harvard Law Review without authoring a single article, having published two memoirs and accepted a Nobel Peace Prize without ever having actually accomplished anything to that point, Obama outsourced his “signature achievement,” healthcare reform, to Nancy Pelosi and let Congress draft it in a way that when it was later defended before the Supreme Court, the Administration’s argument that it was a tax contradicted the very language of the statute itself; he promised the public that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” and, when the web site to sign up for healthcare turned out to be non-operational, professed himself as surprised as anyone, which turned out to be a customary approach; Paul Krugman eventually dubbed him “President Bystander.” Perpetually keeping his finger up to the breeze of public opinion (a tendency that Harper’s warned about in an article before he was elected), Obama declared that he was “evolving” on the issue of gay marriage and gays in the military. Despite a reputation as a public speaker, Obama clumsily borrowed a trope from Elizabeth Warren (if you built a business enterprise, you still benefited from public infrastructure and other benefits provided by society) and clumsily shortened it to the bald reduction “You didn’t build that.” Though the Republican Congress was outrageously perverse, Obama was not seen as a strong or effective negotiator with them. He discontinued Bush’s reliance on “enhanced interrogation” but carried on an illegal drone war that killed hundreds of civilians, executed a United States citizen without trial, and even killed his son. He consented to TSA officers placing their hands inside traveler’s clothing and touching their private areas over their underclothes, forcing women to remove breast prostheses and underwire bras, and forcing the elderly to remove diapers, and blandly assured the public, in a State of the Union Address, that they could take the train instead. When he appeared at a memorial service for victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings, he began his address by calling out “Helloooo, Boston!” as though he were at a picnic or pep rally. Exiting Marine 1, he returned a soldier’s salute by casually lifting his coffee cup to his temple. Recently, he has agreed to an official portrait that seems to suggest that he might have felt more at home taking a Hepplewhite chair from the Oval Office and squatting in the bushes, a tendency of which no one would have suspected him to this point. Guantanamo remains open, despite Obama’s promise to close it (another point on which Congress fought him tooth and nail).2010–2020: There’s really nothing to say about our present decade except to name Trump, whose election is the worst thing that the United States ever did and an indication that our 400-year experiment in democracy is a failure. No one, including, apparently, Trump himself, expected him to win, so the Democratic leadership blandly sidelined a candidate who actually stood for something and ran one of the most unlikable candidates in history, a monster of vanity and deceit, who published a book after her defeat asking “What Happened” that reminded one commentator on the left of Hillary asking us to walk with her through the five stages of grief. SNL eulogized the failed campaign by having Kate McKinnon perform Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which implied that this word would be Hillary’s answer at the Last Judgment, when a much more characteristic response from her will be “It was someone else’s fault.”As Andrew Sullivan warned before Trump was elected, a Trump Presidency, for our Constitutional republic, would be an extinction-level event. He was right. Trump is mounting a slow-motion coup to destroy the very government that he was elected to preside over, though he is too stupid to understand that he is doing this, and Republicans in Congress are too craven to stop him. Meanwhile, he is itching to use his “nuclear button” and General McMaster talks complacently about a “bloody nose” strike at Kim.A year from now, the question in the OP may be a moot point.

What was the craziest year of the 1960s?

1968-January 5 – Prague Spring: Alexander Dubček is chosen as leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.[1]January 8 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson endorses the I'm Backing Britain campaign for working an additional half-hour each day without pay.[2]January 10 – John Gorton is sworn in as the 19th Prime Minister of Australia, taking over from John McEwen after being elected leader of the Liberal Party the previous day, following the disappearance of Harold Holt. Gorton became the first and so far only Senator to become Prime Minister; though he immediately transferred to the House of Representatives through a by-election in Holt's vacant seat of Higgins.January 14 – The Green Bay Packers defeat the Oakland Raiders by the score of 33-14 in Super Bowl II at the Miami Orange Bowl.January 15 – An earthquake in Sicily kills 380 and injures around 1,000.[3][4]January 17 – Lyndon B. Johnson requests a bill ending the gold convertibility of the U.S. dollar.January 21 Vietnam War – Battle of Khe Sanh: One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war begins, ending on April 8.A U.S. B-52 Stratofortress crashes in Greenland, discharging 4 nuclear bombs.January 22 – Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In debuts on NBC.January 23 – North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo, claiming the ship violated its territorial waters while spying.January 25 – The Israeli submarine INS Dakar sinks in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 69.January 23 USS PuebloJanuary 28 – The French submarine Minerve sinks in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 52.January 30 – Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive begins, as Viet Cong forces launch a series of surprise attacks across South Vietnam.January 31 Việt Cộng soldiers attack the US Embassy, Saigon.Nauru president Hammer DeRoburt declares independence from Australia.February[edit]Main article: February 1968February 1 Vietnam War: A Viet Cong officer named Nguyễn Văn Lém is executed by Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, a South Vietnamese National Police Chief. The event is photographed by Eddie Adams. The photo makes headlines around the world, eventually winning the 1969 Pulitzer Prize, and sways U.S. public opinion against the war.The Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central Railroad merge to form Penn Central, the largest ever corporate merger up to this date.February 6–February 18 – The 1968 Winter Olympics are held in Grenoble, France.February 8 – American civil rights movement: A civil rights protest staged at a white-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina is broken up by highway patrolmen; 3 college students are killed.February 11 Border clashes take place between Israel and Jordan.Madison Square Garden in New York City opens at its current location.February 12 – Vietnam War: Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre.February 13 – Civil rights disturbances occur at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.February 17 – Administrative reforms in Romania divide the country into 39 counties.February 19 The Florida Education Association (FEA) initiates a mass resignation of teachers to protest state funding of education. This is, in effect, the first statewide teachers' strike in the United States.NET televises the very first episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.February 24 – Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive is halted; South Vietnam recaptures Huế.February 25 – Vietnam War: Hà My massacre.February 27 – Ex-Teenagers singer Frankie Lymon is found dead from a heroin overdose in Harlem.March[edit]Main article: March 1968March 2 – Baggeridge Colliery closes marking the end of over 300 years of coal mining in the Black Country of England.[5]March 6 – Un-recognized Rhodesia executes 3 black citizens, the first executions since UDI, prompting international condemnation.March 7 – Vietnam War: The First Battle of Saigon ends.March 8 The first student protests spark the 1968 Polish political crisis.The Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-129 sinks with all 98 crew members, about 90 nautical miles (104 miles or 167 km) southwest of Hawaii.[6][7]March 10–11 – Vietnam War: Battle of Lima Site 85, the largest single ground combat loss of United States Air Force members (12) during the (at this time) secret war later known as the Laotian Civil War.March 11 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson mandates that all computers purchased by the federal government support the ASCII character encoding.[8]March 12 Mauritius achieves independence from British rule.U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson barely edges out antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, a vote which highlights the deep divisions in the country, and the party, over Vietnam.March 13 – The first Rotaract club is chartered in North Charlotte, North Carolina.March 14 – Nerve gas leaks from the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground near Skull Valley, Utah.March 15 – British Foreign Secretary George Brown resigns.March 16 Vietnam War – My Lai Massacre: American troops kill scores of civilians. The story will first become public in November 1969 and will help undermine public support for the U.S. efforts in Vietnam.U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy enters the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.March 17 – A demonstration in London's Grosvenor Square against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War leads to violence; 91 people are injured, 200 demonstrators arrested.March 18 – Gold standard: The United States Congress repeals the requirement for a gold reserve to back U.S. currency.March 19–March 23 – Afrocentrism, Black Power, Vietnam War: Students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., signal a new era of militant student activism on college campuses in the U.S. Students stage 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 the Vietnam War, and demanding a more Afrocentric curriculum.March 22 – Daniel Cohn-Bendit ("Danny the Red") and 7 other students occupy the administrative offices of the University of Nanterre, setting in motion a chain of events that lead France to the brink of revolution in May.March 24 – Aer Lingus Flight 712 crashes en route from Cork to London near Tuskar Rock, Wexford, killing 61 passengers and crew.March 26 – Joan Baez marries activist David Harris in New York.March 28 – Brazilian high school student Edson Luís de Lima Souto is shot by the police in a protest for cheaper meals at a restaurant for low-income students. The aftermath of his death is one of the first major events against the military dictatorship.March 31 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces he will not seek re-election.April[edit]Main article: April 1968April 2 Bombs explode at midnight in two department stores in Frankfurt-am-Main; Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin are later arrested and sentenced for arson.The film 2001: A Space Odyssey premieres in Washington, D.C.April 3 – The American movie Planet of the Apes is released in theaters.April 4 Martin Luther King Jr. is shot dead at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots erupt in major American cities, lasting for several days afterwards.Apollo program: Apollo-Saturn mission 502 (Apollo 6) is launched, as the second and last unmanned test-flight of the Saturn V launch vehicle.AEK Athens wins the FIBA European Cup Winners Cup Final against Slavia Prague, in front of a record attendance of 80,000 spectators. It was the first major European trophy won at club level of every sport in Greece.April 6 La, la, la by Massiel (music and lyrics by Manuel de la Calva and Ramón Arcusa) wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1968 for Spain, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.A shootout between Black Panthers and Oakland police results in several arrests and deaths, including 17-year-old Panther Bobby Hutton.A double explosion in downtown Richmond, Indiana kills 41 and injures 150.April 7 – Racing driver Jim Clark is killed in a Formula 2 race at Hockenheim.April 8 – The Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (under Department of Justice) (BNDD) is created.April 10 – The ferry TEV Wahine strikes a reef at the mouth of Wellington Harbour, New Zealand, with the loss of 53 lives, in Cyclone Giselle, which created the windiest conditions ever recorded in New Zealand.April 11 Josef Bachmann tries to assassinate Rudi Dutschke, leader of the left-wing movement (APO) in Germany, and tries to commit suicide afterwards, failing in both, although Dutschke dies of his brain injuries 11 years later.German left-wing students blockade the Springer Press HQ in Berlin and many are arrested (one of them Ulrike Meinhof).U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.MGM's classic film The Wizard of Oz makes its NBC debut after being telecast on CBS since 1956. It will remain on NBC for the next 8 years.April 18 – John Rennie's 1831 New London Bridge is sold to Arizona entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch and is rebuilt in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, reopening on October 5, 1971.April 20 Pierre Elliott Trudeau becomes the 15th Prime Minister of Canada.[9]English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.[10]April 23 President Mobutu releases captured mercenaries in the Congo.Surgeons at the Hôpital de la Pitié, Paris, perform Europe's first heart transplant, on Clovis Roblain.The United Methodist Church is created by the union of the former Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren churches.April 23–April 30 – Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University in New York City take over administration buildings and shut down the university (see main article Columbia University protests of 1968).April 26 – The nuclear weapon "Boxcar" is tested at the Nevada Test Site in the biggest detonation of Operation Crosstie.April 29 – The musical Hair officially opens on Broadway.May[edit]Main article: May 1968May 2 – The Israel Broadcasting Authority commences television broadcasts.May 3 – Braniff Flight 352 crashes near Dawson, Texas, killing all 85 people on board.May 13 – Paris student riots: One million march through the streets of Paris.May 13 – Manchester City wins the 1967–68 Football League First Division by 2 clear points, over club rivals Manchester UnitedMay 14 – The Beatles announce the creation of Apple Records in a New York press conference.May 15 – An outbreak of severe thunderstorms produces tornadoes, causing massive damage and heavy casualties in Charles City, Iowa, Oelwein, Iowa, and Jonesboro, Arkansas.May 16 – Ronan Point, a 23 floor tower block in Canning Town, east London, partially collapses after a gas explosion, killing 5.May 17 – The Catonsville Nine enter the Selective Service offices in Catonsville, Maryland, take dozens of selective service draft records, and burn them with napalm as a protest against the Vietnam War.May 18 – Mattel's Hot Wheels toy cars are introduced. West Bromwich Albion win the Football Association Cup, defeating Everton 1-0 after extra time. The winning goal was scored by Jeff Astle.May 19 A general election is held in Italy.Nigerian forces capture Port Harcourt and form a ring around the Biafrans. This contributes to a humanitarian disaster as the surrounded population already suffers from hunger and starvation.May 22 – The U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard, 400 miles southwest of the Azores.May 29 – Manchester United wins the European Cup Final, becoming the first English team to do so.May 30 – Bobby Unser wins the Indianapolis 500.June[edit]Main article: June 1968June 2 – Student protests have started in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.June 3 – Radical feminist Valerie Solanas shoots Andy Warhol as he enters his studio, wounding him.June 4 – The Standard & Poor's 500 index closes above 100 for the first time, at 100.38.June 5 – U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Sirhan Sirhan is arrested. Kennedy dies from his injuries the next day.June 7 – The Ford sewing machinists strike started in the United Kingdom.June 8 – James Earl Ray is arrested for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr..June 10 – Italy beats Yugoslavia 2–0 in a replay to win the 1968 European Championship. The original final on June 8 ended 1–1.June 12 – The film Rosemary's Baby premieres in the U.S.June 17 – The Malayan Communist Party launches a second insurgency and the state of emergency is again imposed in Malaysia.June 20 – Austin Currie, Member of Parliament at Stormont in Northern Ireland, along with others, squats a house in Caledon to protest discrimination in housing allocations.June 23 A football stampede in Buenos Aires leaves 74 dead and 150 injured.The first round of voting took place in the French National Assembly elections that had been scheduled following the public unrest of May.June 24 – Giorgio Rosa declares the independence of his Republic of Rose Island, an artificial island off Rimini, Italy. Italian troops demolish it not long after.June 26 The Bonin Islands are returned to Japan after 23 years of occupation by the United States Navy.The “March of the One Hundred Thousand” took place in Rio de Janeiro as crowds demonstrated against the Brazilian military government.June 30 – The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy heavy military transport aircraft first flies in the U.S. This model will still be in service 40 years later.July[edit]Main article: July 1968July 1 The Central Intelligence Agency's Phoenix Program is officially established.The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty opens for signature.July 4 – Yachtsman Alec Rose, 59, receives a hero's welcome as he sails into Portsmouth, England after his 354-day round-the-world trip.July 15 – The soap opera One Life to Live premieres on ABC.July 17 – Saddam Hussein becomes Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Council in Iraq after a coup d'état.July 18 – The semiconductor company Intel is founded.July 20 – The first International Special Olympics Summer Games are held at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill, with about 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.July 23–July 28 – Black militants led by Fred (Ahmed) Evans engage in a fierce gunfight with police in the Glenville Shootout of Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.July 25 – Pope Paul VI publishes the encyclical entitled Humanae vitae, on birth control.July 26 – Vietnam War: South Vietnamese opposition leader Trương Đình Dzu is sentenced to 5 years hard labor, for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.July 29 – Arenal Volcano erupts in Costa Rica for the first time in centuries.July 30 – Thames Television starts transmission in London.July 31 – Dad's Army was broadcast for the first time.August[edit]Main article: August 1968August 2 - The 7.6 Mw Casiguran earthquake affected the Aurora province in the Philippines with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), killing at least 207 and injuring 261.August 5–August 8 – The Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida nominates Richard Nixon for U.S. President and Spiro Agnew for Vice President.August 11 – The last steam passenger train service runs in Britain. A selection of British Railways steam locomotives make the 120-mile journey from Liverpool to Carlisle and return to Liverpool – the journey is known as the Fifteen Guinea Special.August 18 – Two charter buses are pushed into the Hida River on National Highway Route 41 in Japan, in an accident caused by heavy rain; 104 are killed.August 20–August 21 – The Prague Spring of political liberalization ends, as 750,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 6,500 tanks with 800 planes invade Czechoslovakia. It is dated as the biggest operation in Europe since WWII ended.August 21 – The Medal of Honor is posthumously awarded to James Anderson Jr.– he was the first black U.S. Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor.August 24 – France explodes its first hydrogen bomb.August 22–August 30 – Police clash with anti-war protesters in Chicago, Illinois, outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which nominates Hubert Humphrey for U.S. President, and Edmund Muskie for Vice President. The riots and subsequent trials were an essential part of the activism of the Youth International Party.August 28 – John Gordon Mein, US Ambassador to Guatemala, is assassinated on the streets of Guatemala City. First US Ambassador assassinated in the line of duty.August 29 – Crown Prince Harald of Norway marries Sonja Haraldsen, the commoner he has dated for 9 years.September[edit]Main article: September 1968September 6 – Swaziland becomes independent.September 7 – 150 women (members of New York Radical Women) arrive in Atlantic City, New Jersey to protest against the Miss America Pageant, as exploitative of women. Led by activist and author Robin Morgan, it is one of the first large demonstrations of Second Wave Feminism as Women's Liberation begins to gather much media attention.The crash of Air France Flight 1611 kills 95 people, including French Army General René Cogny as the Caravelle jetliner plunges into the Mediterranean Sea while making its approach to Nice following its departure from the island of Corsica.The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) is founded.September 13 Albania officially withdraws from the Warsaw Pact upon the Soviet Union-led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, having already ceased to participate actively in Pact activity since 1962.U.S. Army Major General Keith L. Ware, World War II Medal of Honor recipient, is killed when his helicopter is shot down in Vietnam. He is posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.An agreement for merger between the General Electric Company and English Electric, the largest industrial merger in the UK up to that time.September 14 – Detroit Tiger Denny McLain becomes the first baseball pitcher to win 30 games in a season since 1934. He remains the last player to accomplish the feat.September 17 – The D'Oliveira affair: The Marylebone Cricket Club tour of South Africa is cancelled when the South Africans refuse to accept the presence of Basil D'Oliveira, a Cape Coloured, in the side.September 20 – Hawaii Five-O debuts on CBS, and eventually becomes the longest-running crime show in television history, until Law & Order overtakes it in 2003.September 21 – The Soviet's Zond 5 unmanned lunar flyby mission returns to earth, with its first-of-a-kind biological payload intact.September 23 – Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive comes to an end in South Vietnam.September 24 – 60 Minutes debuts on CBS and is still on the air as of 2018.September 27 – Marcelo Caetano becomes prime minister of Portugal.September 29 – A referendum in Greece gives more power to the military junta.September 30 – Boeing introduces its largest passenger aircraft up to that time, the Boeing 747 at a public event at Paine Field, near Everett, Washington.October[edit]Main article: October 19681968 Summer OlympicsOctober 1 – Night of the Living Dead premieres in the United States.October 2 – Tlatelolco massacre: A student demonstration ends in bloodbath at La Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, Mexico, 10 days before the inauguration of the 1968 Summer Olympics. 300-400 are estimated to have been killed.October 3 – In Peru, Juan Velasco Alvarado takes power in a revolution.October 5 – Police baton civil rights demonstrators in Derry, Northern Ireland, marking the beginning of The Troubles.October 7 – At the height of protests against the Vietnam War, José Feliciano performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Tiger Stadium in Detroit during Game 5 pre-game ceremonies of the 1968 World Series between the Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals. His personalized, slow, Latin jazz performance proved highly controversial, opening the door for later interpretations of the national anthem.October 8 – Vietnam War – Operation Sealords: United States and South Vietnamese forces launch a new operation in the Mekong Delta.October 10 – 1968 World Series: The Detroit Tigers defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the best of 7 series (4 games to 3) after being down 3 games to 1, completing an unlikely comeback against the heavily favored Cardinals led by the overpowering right-handed pitcher Bob Gibson. The final score of Game 7 is 4-1.October 11 Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission (Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham). Mission goals include the first live television broadcast from orbit and testing the lunar module docking maneuver.in Panama, a military coup d'état, led by Col. Boris Martinez and Col. Omar Torrijos, overthrows the democratically elected (but highly controversial) government of President Arnulfo Arias. Within a year, Torrijos ousts Martinez and takes charge as de facto Head of Government in Panama.October 12–October 27 – The Games of the XIX Olympiad are held in Mexico City, Mexico.October 12 – Equatorial Guinea receives its independence from Spain.October 14 – Vietnam War: The United States Department of Defense announces that the United States Army and United States Marines will send about 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours.October 16 In Mexico City, African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in a black power salute after winning, respectively, the gold and bronze medals in the Olympic men's 200 metres.Kingston, Jamaica is rocked by the Rodney Riots, provoked by the banning of Walter Rodney from the country.October 18 – US athlete Bob Beamon breaks the long jump world record by 55 cm / 21 3/4ins at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. His record stands for 23 years, and is still the second longest jump in history.October 20 – Former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis on the Greek island of Skorpios.October 22 – The Gun Control Act of 1968 is enacted.October 25 – Led Zeppelin makes their first live performance, at Surrey University in England[11]October 31 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in the Paris peace talks, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.November[edit]Main article: November 1968November 5 U.S. presidential election, 1968: Republican challenger Richard Nixon defeats the Democratic candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and American Independent Party candidate George C. Wallace.Luis A. Ferré, of the newly formed New Progressive Party is elected Governor of Puerto Rico, by beating incumbent governor Roberto Sánchez Vilella of the People's Party, Luis Negrón López of the Popular Democratic Party and Antonio J. Gonzalez of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, he also becomes the first "statehooder" governor of the Island.November 11 – A second republic is declared in the Maldives.November 14 – Yale University announces it is going to admit women.November 15 – Vietnam War: Operation Commando Hunt is initiated to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh trail, through Laos into South Vietnam. By the end of the operation, 3 million tons of bombs are dropped on Laos, slowing but not seriously disrupting trail operations. [12] [13]November 17 – The Heidi Game: NBC cuts off the final 1:05 of an Oakland Raiders–New York Jets football game to broadcast the pre-scheduled Heidi. Fans are unable to see Oakland (which had been trailing 32–29) score 2 late touchdowns to win 43–32; as a result, thousands of outraged football fans flood the NBC switchboards to protest.November 17 - British European Airways introduces the BAC One-Eleven into commercial service.November 19 – In Mali, President Modibo Keïta's regime is overthrown in a bloodless military coup led by Moussa Traoré.[14]November 20 – The Farmington Mine disaster in Farmington, West Virginia, kills seventy-eight men.November 22 The Beatles release their self-titled album popularly known as the White Album."Plato's Stepchildren", 12th episode of Star Trek 3rd season is aired, featuring the first-ever interracial kiss on U.S. national television between Lieutenant Uhura and Captain James T. Kirk.November 24 – 4 men hijack Pan Am Flight 281 from JFK International Airport, New York to Havana, Cuba.November 26 – Vietnam War: United States Air Force First Lieutenant and Bell UH-1F helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescues an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire, earning a Medal of Honor for his bravery.December[edit]Main article: December 1968December 3 – The videotaped NBC television special Singer Presents...ELVIS (sponsored by The Singer Company, the American sewing machine manufacturer) marks the comeback of Elvis Presley after the legendary musician had been away from singing.December 6 – The Rolling Stones release Beggars Banquet, which contains the classic song "Sympathy for the Devil."December 9 – Douglas Engelbart publicly demonstrates his pioneering hypertext system, NLS, in San Francisco, together with the computer mouse, at what becomes retrospectively known as "The Mother of All Demos".December 10 – Japan's biggest heist, the never-solved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.December 11 The film Oliver!, based on the hit London and Broadway musical, opens in the U.S. after being released first in England. It goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is filmed but is not released until 1996.December 13 – Prompted by growing unrest and proliferation of pro-communist terrorist actions, Brazilian president Artur da Costa e Silva enacts the so-called AI-5, the fifth of a series of non-constitutional emergency decrees that helped stabilize the country after the turmoils of the early 1960s.December 17 – In England, Mary Bell, aged 11, is found guilty of murdering two small boys and sentenced to life in detention, but is later released from prison in 1980 and granted anonymity.December 20 – The Zodiac Killer is believed to have shot Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday on Lake Herman Road, Benicia, San Francisco Bay, California.December 22 David Eisenhower, grandson of former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, marries Julie Nixon, the daughter of U.S. President-elect Richard Nixon.Mao Zedong advocates that educated urban youth in China be sent for re-education in the countryside. It marks the start of the "Up to the mountains and down to the villages" movement.December 24 – Apollo program: The manned U.S. spacecraft Apollo 8 enters orbit around the Moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders become the first humans to see the far side of the Moon and planet Earth as a whole, as well as having traveled further away from Earth than any people in history. Anders photographs Earthrise. The crew also reads from Genesis.December 26 – Led Zeppelin make their American debut in Denver.December 28 – Israeli forces fly into Lebanese airspace, launchin an attack on the airport in Beirut and destroying more than a dozen aircraft.Dates unknown[edit]The Khmer Rouge is officially formed in Cambodia as an offshoot movement of the Vietnam People's Army from North Vietnam to bring communism to the nation. A few years later, they will become bitter enemies.United Artists pulls eleven Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons in its library from television due to the depiction of racist stereotypes towards African-Americans. These cartoons come to be known as the Censored Eleven. Above is taken from Wikipedia

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