1968…The Year That Changed The World

My wife Meg and I had a chance to watch the recent Tom Hanks-produced CNN Special “1968”, about that revolutionary period 50 years ago that defined a generation and re-wrote history as we knew it back then.  From the March decision by then-President Lyndon Johnson refusing to run for reelection to the Christmas Eve broadcast from The Apollo 8 Mission in The Moon’s Orbit, the year 1968 was like no other: the assassinations of Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy, the escalation and devastation of The Vietnam War, the changing of attitudes toward marriage and human sexuality, and the psychedelic music that was being made, all rocked our collective foundations to the core.  My wife and I were only 3 in 1968, but our parents and grandparents must have thought the world had flipped completely off its axis. My father was 28 then…I asked him recently what he thought about the condition of the world at the time, having been born and raised in Southern California and discharged from The Army the previous year. He was a conservative young man, married for 6 years at that point with two young boys and a daughter on the way; he seemed to discard the notion that anything “spectacular” was going on in the culture in 1968: “It all looks like a crazy time when you look back, but it isn’t any crazier than what we’re going through now.” Good point, Pop.

John Young

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