In January 1968 a surprise attack by the North Vietnamese, known as the Tet Offensive, convinced many Americans that the war was not going to end very soon. Large scale opposition flared against the Jonhson administration and its policies. Federal troops put down race riots while bitter protests
erupted on campuses in the USA.
In Paris that May, there was a “social revolution”. In Germany, a student movement driven by Rudi Dutschke reached fever pitch. The optimistic “Prague Spring” provided fuel for the Soviet invasion later in the year.
Two extraordinary champions for change, Martin Luther King and Senator Robert F Kennedy, were both brutally assassinated.
The Mexico Olympics provided a big moment for 1968 with Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ black gloved fists at the ceremonies.
‘Barbarella’ caused a stir in the cinema. HAL the beginning of the computer age in Kubrick’s ‘2001’ and Charlton Heston’s dramatic realisation in ‘Planet of the Apes’ were also signs of change.
Aretha Franklin hit the scene with ‘Think’. Mary Hopkins iconic hit ‘Those Were the Days’ dominated the airwaves across the world, and the anthemic ‘Born to be Wild’ by Steppenwolf and Arthur Brown’s ‘Fire’ a backdrop to the times.
A search for meaning in space developed with the first full picture of the Earth coming back from Apollo 8.
The world was changing. The space age was arriving and the dawn of a new era was upon us.
• Joe Boyd, Music Producer
• Will Hodgkinson, Times Music critic and writer
• Bonnie Greer, Author and Journalist
• Neil Norman, Music and Film critic
• Derek Malcolm, Film Critic Cannes Film Festival
• Tim Weiner, Pulitzer winning reporter and author on the FBI
• Richard Gid Powers, US author and Journalist.