Two political issues that recurred during Robert Kennedy's life -- the fight against Communism, and the struggle for racial equality -- exploded in 1968.
A growing number of Americans despaired over their nation's military involvement in Vietnam, fueling a youth counterculture. "Hippies" grew their hair long, protested the war and the pro-war "Establishment," and "turned on" with psychedelic drugs. Student uprisings in foreign places, including Prague, Paris, and Mexico City, erupted during a Cold War standoff between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
At home, despite the civil rights movement's successes, Americans remained divided over race relations. Protesters turned to radical language and methods. Two assassinations added turmoil and uncertainty to a year full of shocks.
Examine some of the events of 1968 in this interactive timeline.
Some timeline text adapted from The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968. Used with permission of the Scholarly Technology Group at Brown University.