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Shock Year: 1968

  Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

February 1
Execution Photo

American photographer Eddie Adams takes a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of South Vietnamese policeman Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner. The image's brutality shocks viewers and reinforces doubts about America's South Vietnamese allies, further galvanizing the anti-war movement.

February 2
Candidate Nixon

California Republican Richard Nixon announces that he will run for president.

February 6
Winter Olympics

The 10th Winter Olympic Games -- the first to be broadcast live and in color -- open in Grenoble, France. East and West German athletes participate on separate teams, and the International Olympic Committee enacts mandatory drug and gender verification testing of all athletes.

Democratic Sniping Democratic Sniping

A Look magazine article quotes Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Eugene McCarthy on the much-discussed prospect of Robert Kennedy entering the race. McCarthy says Kennedy "will have a fight on his hands to see who has the most strength. I will not step aside voluntarily."

February 7
Illegal Drug Use

President Lyndon Johnson establishes the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to stop the spread of illegal drug use. More Americans have begun "tripping" on L.S.D. -- lysergic acid diethylamide, a hallucination-inducing drug first synthesized in the 1930s.

February 10
U.S. Gold Medal

Nineteen-year-old Peggy Fleming wins America's sole gold medal at the Grenoble Winter Olympics, in women's figure skating.

Pulsars Found February 24
Pulsars Found

Astrophysicists Jocelyn Bell and Anthony Hewish discover pulsating stars, or "pulsars," at a British observatory, making waves in the fields of astrophysics and cosmology.

Cronkite Questions War February 27
Cronkite Questions War

In a special report following a trip to Vietnam, well-respected mainstream journalist Walter Cronkite questions Washington's optimism in the wake of the Tet Offensive. Cronkite asks whether the war is winnable and advocates a negotiated withdrawal, "not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could."

Request for Troops February 28
Request for Troops

General William Westmoreland asks President Johnson to send an additional 206,000 soldiers to Vietnam. Johnson delays and eventually denies the request, but allows the number of soldiers to increase gradually.

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