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Shock Year: 1968

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

Nixon Nominated August 8
Nixon Nominated

At the Republican convention in Miami, Richard Nixon edges out Nelson Rockefeller and Ronald Reagan for the party's presidential nomination. In his acceptance speech, he promises to bring "an honorable end to the war in Vietnam." The next day, he names Spiro Agnew of Maryland as his running mate.

Promise of Detente

Newly appointed Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon says that if elected, he will "extend the hand of friendship to all peoples," including those in the Soviet Union and China.

August 20
Soviet Invasion

The reformists' "Prague Spring" ends in Czechoslovakia when the Soviet Union sends more than 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops into the nation to begin a campaign of brutally enforced "normalization." U.S. president Lyndon Johnson cancels the September 30 S.A.L.T. summit meeting, which had been scheduled for joint U.S.-Soviet arms limitations talks.

August 26
D.N.C. Opens

Mayor Richard Daley opens the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. While the convention moves haltingly toward nominating Hubert Humphrey for president, the city's police attempt to enforce an 11 o'clock curfew. On the first night, demonstrations are widespread, but generally peaceful. Over the next two days, however, tension and violence will increase.

August 28
Chicago Violence

Chicago police assault demonstrators outside the Democratic convention, arresting 175 and sending more than 100 people to the hospital.

Humphrey Nominated

The chaos outside in the streets mirrors the confused proceedings inside the Democratic convention. Ultimately, Vice President Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota receives the party's nomination for the presidency.

August 29
RFK Memorialized

Delegates to the Democratic National Convention screen Robert Kennedy Remembered, a tribute commissioned by the Kennedy family, produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker Charles Guggenheim, and narrated by actor Richard Burton. The half-hour film is also aired nationally on all three broadcast television networks. It earns a five-minute standing ovation from the entire body of delegates, who then sing an impromptu chorus of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." The New York Times reports that the hall erupted in "a thunder of hand-clapping and foot-stamping that drowned out the chairman's gravelings... It seemed that the convention had been momentarily united in emotion for the first time all week." Guggenheim's film will go on to win an Academy AwardŽ.

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