LIFE Magazine January 10, 1969
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Pg… January 1968: "Hey, hey L.B.J., how many kids have you killed today?" Martin Luther King plans a spring march on Washington. In Cape Town, Philip Blaiberg gets a dead man's heart. We agree with the Russians on a treaty draft to hold down the spread of nuclear weapons. Annoy says it "Will it" start talking if we stop bombing. Hopes rise. The Pueblo is seized. The Tet offensive rips into Saigon and 37 other cities of South Vietnam. "Lots of trouble. Storms double."
Pg… February 1968: stone by stone, the citadel of Hue is smash. Are we destroying a country to say that? The president makes the joint Chiefs signed their guarantee that Khesanh can be held: "I don't want any damned Dienbienphu." Passport applications go up 20%. "I don't want to be the only ones staying in America," cries one fugitive. Mia Farrow consults with the Maharishi in India. Richard Nixon starts his run and George Romney wets. Look sharp at George Wallace. : March 1968 a presidential commission reports: "our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal." A gold rush in Paris shakes the dollar. 500 Americans die each week in Vietnam. Gene McCarthy turns the game upside down in New Hampshire and Robert Kennedy starts his run. The Poles fight their cops in Warsaw. But Czechoslovakia is where it's beginning to Hampton. The President stops bombing 90% of the North and saves his big surprise for TV: "I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party." "Down in the hollow of the sap house is wreathed in steam."
Pg… April 1968: Martin Luther King is dead in Memphis. 200,000 march behind the Mule life and drawn casket in Atlanta. "Go home and get your gun," cries Stokely Carmichael. In 125 smoking cities, 46 are killed, 2600 are injured, 21,000 arrested. Mayor Daley issues in order to the Chicago police: "shoot to kill any arsonist. Shoot to cripple or maim anyone looting." It takes 1000 cops to crush a student revolt in Colombia. The McCarthy children's Crusade keeps going. Humphrey and Rockefeller declare themselves in the race. A relief column for the Marine garrison at Khesanh hikes in over a moonscape created by 103,000 tons of bombs. "How many boys today have a jackknife for fashioning a willow whistle?"
Pg… May 1968: The barricades are up in Paris. Better them than us. Peace talks began, too, and Premier George Pompidou reflects on the civilization "the materialistic and soulless modern society." Back home, Ralph Abernathy leads a ragtag army to Washington: "the poor will plague the pharaohs of this nation…." Bobby beats Gene in Indiana… "you see what sacrifices I'm willing to make to be president," he says. "I cut my hair." Gene stomps him in Oregon and he is the first losing Kennedy. "How's for a jog in this here fog?" : June 1968. Why? Robert F. Kennedy is murdered, and there are no answers for the unbelievable. We mourn with the widow and go to Arlington again. What the hell kind of a country is this? Vietnam is the longest war, Americans have fought. Though Rockefeller and McCarthy will challenge our, Nixon and Humphrey seem sure now to get their nominations. Dr. Spock is convicted of conspiracy for counseling young men to evade the draft. Abe Fortas is accused of being too much of a crony to be Chief Justice. Pierre Trudeau is elected prime minister in Canada. And still, Kennedy–––
Pg… July 1968: Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical Humanae Vitae: "Conforming to the fundamental principles of the human and Christian vision of marriage, we must once again state that there must be excluded absolutely, as a licit way in which to regulate births, the direct interruption of the generative process." Next question. In Biafra thousands of children starve to death each day. There's such an air traffic mess that travelers can't get off the ground or back on it. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is signed
Pg… August 1968: "the forgotten Americans, the non–shooters, and then demonstrators, they are decent people. They work hard and they save and they pay their taxes and day care." That is Richard Nixon in Miami, caressing the constituency he hopes will make him president. Did somebody say Spiro Agnew? On to Chicago for another round of non–thrills. Then suddenly the top blows off. Cops, hippies, yippies, clubs and the florid, furious face of Mayor Daley fill millions of screens. The McCarthy Crusade ends in a bloodied Hilton headquarters. Gratified Hubert kisses the tube. The Russians and their accomplices roll in and take over Czechoslovakia. In Prague a few people die. Most just hoot
Pg… September 1968: Russia's Zond 5, guided remote and with no man aboard, sails out around the moon and circles it from 1200 miles up. NASA's retiring chief, James Webb, says the accomplishment assures us a solid grip on second place in the space race. The approach of a cool fall makes us realize the summer was not as long and violently hot as expected. In Mexico City. It is terribly violent. The students start to riot. Then the army moves in and between 40 and 50 die. Yves St. Laurent contributes a full–length black chiffon dress to be seen through except at the hips, where there are ostrich feathers. Humphrey is reeling.
Pg… October 1986: Jacqueline Kennedy marries a mature Greek, prominent in the shipping business. And the whole world just relaxes for a few days and gossips about it. George Wallace also picks a running mate, and General Curtis LeMay rattles the shutters with: "if I found it necessary, I would use anything we could dream up–including nuclear weapons." In the Olympics two of our 107 winners celebrate with a clenched fist salute to Black power during the national anthem. Apollo 7 puts our astronauts into space for the first time in 23 months. Wally Schirra is grumpy when he has a cold. Humphrey is playing desperate catch–up politics with Nixon. The President speaks: "I have now ordered that air, naval and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam cease."
Pg… November 1968: By moonrise on election night the race is too close to call, but by next mid–day it's clear that Nixon's the one. His popular margin over Humphrey is virtually invisible, but his electoral vote lead his big, 301–191.The Democrats still control both houses of Congress, so Nixon has the enviable distinction of being the first president with such a problem 1849. George Wallace doesn't really have it. Dissent to the Pope's Humanae Vitae grows, and in Washington, priests and laymen, including Eugene McCarthy, urged their bishops towards leniency on artificial contraception. The franc flutters, but de Gaulle, imposing strong economy measures, won't let it fall. Saigon finally decides to send a delegation to the Paris talks. Says Joan Baez of campus demonstrations: "You don't accomplish anything by breaking in and smoking the president's cigars."
Pg… December 1968: The words from Apollo 8 as it heads for the dark side of the Moon touch us all. Borman, Lovell, Anders – of all the men who have ever looked up at the sphere riding the night skies, they have made it their, and their flight fills a huge Christmas eve audience with rare optimism and hope. The year is ending far better than it began–the crew of the Pueblo is released after his savage ordeal. Julie and David linked the two reigning Republican families. But all is never well. The Vietnam talks in Paris don't start because no table is shaped to fit everyone's politics. In the mid–east there is bad trouble–Arab attacks and violent Israeli retaliation. But those three come home again–right squarely in the bulls eye after a voyage of more than half a million miles–and we wind up this 12–month journey winging
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