1968: The Year That Changed History 

It was a year of seismic social and political change across the globe. From the burgeoning anti-Vietnam war and civil rights movements in the United States, protests and revolutions in Europe and the first comprehensive coverage of war and resultant famine in Africa. The world would never be the same again.

Popular Musicians

  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Supremes
  • The Beatles with " Hey Jude "
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Gary Puckett and The Union Gap
  • The Grateful Dead
  • The Monkees
  • Simon and Garfunkel " Mrs Robinson "
  • The Beach Boys
  • The Bee Gees
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • Cream
  • The Doors " Hello I Love You "
  • Pink Floyd
  • Moody Blues
  • Bobby Goldsboro " Honey "
  • Marvin Gaye " I heard it through the Grapevine "
  • David Bowie

Economics

US GDP (1968 dollars):  $910.6 billion
Federal spending:  $178.13 billion
Federal debt:  $368.7 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  $7,743
 
Consumer Price Index:  34.8
Unemployment:  3.8%
Cost of a first-class stamp:  $0.05 ($0.06 as of 01/17/68)

 U.S. Statistics

President:  Lyndon B. Johnson
Vice President:  Hubert H. Humphrey

Population:  200,706,052
Life expectancy:  70.2 years

In 1968:

  • The three Apollo 8 astronauts became the first men to orbit the moon and return safely.
  • President Johnson calls a halt to bombing in Vietnam.
  • Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is killed by a gunshot on a balcony outside of his motel room in Memphis, Tennesse.
  • Sirhan Sirhan is indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury on a first degree murder charge in the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy.
  • The Democratic Convention in Chicago marred by Vietnam protestors.
  • In Connecticut, Yale announces plan to go coed.
  • Frisco's Haight-Ashbury is hippie haven.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy weds Aristotle Onassis, a shipping magnate.

Sports:

  • Oakland: Catfish Hunter pitches perfect game.
  • Thousands of irate fans jam NBC switchboards as Jets-Raider game telecast is terminated with one minute to go so viewers can see "Heidi."
  • Green Bay over Oakland 33-14 for their 2nd straight Super Bowl.
  • Jean-Claude Killy wins three gold medals in skiing events at the Olympics held in France. 
  • Billie Jean King wins third Wimbledon title.
  • Arthur Ashe is the first black to win the United States Open championship.
  • NBA Championship: Boston defeated the Lakers 4-2.
  • World Series: Detroit defeated St. Louis Cardinals 4-3.

Arts and Entertainment:

  • Placido Domingo debuts at Met.
  • Literature: Kurt Vonnegut's "Welcome to the Moon."
  • Music: Beatles' "Hey Jude;" Marvin Gaye's "I Heard it Through the Grapevine;"Otis Reddings' The Dock of the Bay."
  • Film of the year: "In the Heat of the Night.
  • Album of the year: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Band, Beatles.
  • Song of the year: "Up, Up, And Away" by Jimmy L. Webb
  • Miss America: Debra Barnes, Kansas