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What The Camera Saw / Special Edition: A Look Back
at 1968

The Pursuit of Peace

July 28, 1998|BETTIJANE LEVINE

It was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. A nation sick of war soared high on dreams of love and peace. At first, only the young were brave. Flower children blossomed. Boys grew long hair, girls went bra-less in see-through blouses. Repression was banned by everyone under 30. Parents watched as their own uptight 1950s values washed away in the tide of their children's new morals and new music. San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district became official Hippie Heaven, one of many places where the pendulum sometimes swung too far. Sex was mistaken for love, peace achieved through pot pipes. "Hair" opened on Broadway. Good vibes spread throughout the land. Although the young had started it all, many parents soon saw fit to follow. For a brief moment in time, it looked as if love might really conquer all. That proved a bit too optimistic . . . but at least it was a start.

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ALSO IN 1968

January

14: The NFL's Green Bay Packers, coached by Vince Lombardi, defeat the AFL's Oakland Raiders, 33-14, to win the Super Bowl.

27: Otis Redding's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" is released posthumously and goes to No. 1 on the singles charts. Other 1968 hits: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, "Stand by Your Man" by Tammy Wynette, the "Mission: Impossible" theme.

February

1: Lisa Marie Presley is born to Priscilla and Elvis.

6: A consumer-protection law is proposed to protect the public against sales scams, inferior products, and fish and poultry that are not handled or inspected properly.

March

12: The Grammy award for record of the year goes to "Mrs. Robinson," by Simon & Garfunkel from the film "The Graduate."

12: The Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theatre in the Los Angeles County Music Center celebrate their first birthdays.

April

10: Academy Awards are presented to Katharine Hepburn ("The Lion in Winter") and Barbra Streisand ("Funny Girl"), who tie for best actress, and Cliff Robertson ("Charly") for best actor. Best picture: "Oliver!" Best song: "Windmills of Your Mind" (from "The Thomas Crown Affair"). Other films released in 1968 include "Planet of the Apes."

27: Boxer Jimmy Ellis defeats Jerry Quarry in a bout to name the new world heavyweight champ to succeed Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), who was stripped of the title for refusing to be drafted into the Army.

29: The musical "Hair" moves to Broadway. Openings of the season include "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" with Zoe Caldwell, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," "The Great White Hope," "Plaza Suite."

May

15: The tallest building in Los Angeles, the 42-story Crocker Citizens Plaza, is completed.

June

12: "Rosemary's Baby"--directed by Roman Polanski and starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes and Ruth Gordon--is released and causes a nationwide sensation.

13: An all-time high is set at the New York Stock Exchange, when 21.35 millio shares are traded.

28: President Johnson signs a law designating four holidays that will fall on Mondays every year to provide long weekends for Americans: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day.

July

1968 summer reading lists include "Topaz" by Leon Uris, "The Confessions of Nat Turner" by William Styron, "Rosemary's Baby" by Ira Levin, "Myra Breckenridge" by Gore Vidal and 'Airport" by Arthur Hailey.

August

26: "Hey Jude" is released by the Beatles. It becomes their all-time biggest hit.

30: Americans set a new automobile vacation record when 105 million people take to the roads for pleasure trips. The new national system of interstate highways has been 68% completed, with about 28,000 miles of road open to travel.

October

10: The Detroit Tigers win the World Series, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals.

11-22: Apollo 7 Capt. Wally Schirra orbits the earth 163 times in the spaceship that will carry the first Americans to the moon the following year.

November

5: Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African American woman elected to Congress.

17: Yale University announces it will admit women for the first time in its 267-year history.

December

9: The first White House wedding in 53 years: Lynda Bird Johnson weds Marine Capt. Charles Robb.

12: The Rolling Stones' "Beggars Banquet" enters the pop charts.

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