Articles on 1968

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The Left’s Gift to Nixon

The Left’s Gift to Nixon.
1968 is often remembered as a time when protest galvanized the left. But it was also the year that Richard Nixon won the White House — which Republicans would control for most of the next two decades.

Why God Votes Republican

In 1968 the Protestant Left lost its political clout over their opposition to the Vietnam War – and opened the door for the rise of the modern Religious Right.

The Mother of All Demos

The Mother of All Demos.
In 1968 computers were the size of a room. But after the founding of Intel and the introduction of the mouse that year they would eventually fit in a pocket – and change the Silicon Valley forever.
A Detroit police officer makes an arrest during the riots of 1967. AP Photo/File

Detroit is Burning

Detroit is Burning.
In 1967 race riots nearly tore Detroit apart. The next year, the Kerner Commission, appointed by president Lyndon Johnson, placed the blame on the way the police and had handled the response.

An Interracial Kiss – on Another Planet

An Interracial Kiss – on Another Planet. CC BY-ND33.8 MB (download)
In 1968, the idea of romance between the races was still a controversial proposition. That made it all the more revolutionary when an episode of Star Trek featured a kiss between black and white characters, the first interracial kiss on American TV.
Nervous about how southern television viewers would react, NBC executives closely monitored the filming of the kiss between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner. U.S. Air Force

TV’s first interracial kiss launched a lifelong career in activism

The career arc of Nichelle Nichols – the first black woman to have a continuing co-starring role on TV – shows how diverse casting can have as much of an impact off the screen as it does on it.

Fear of a Non-Nuclear Family

Fear of a Non-Nuclear Family. CC BY-ND38.2 MB (download)
In 1968 the idea of the ideal American family was the father as breadwinner, stay-at-home mom, two kids and a white picket fence. But the women's movement and other forces were beginning to change this – and inspire a conservative backlash that persists to this day.
The poor treatment of Vietnam War veterans, many of whom had PTSD, angered Natasha Zaretsky’s Midwestern students. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Red-state politics in and out of the college classroom

A scholar raised by leftist San Francisco parents in the 1970s ends up teaching in the heartland, where her students represent a very different kind of politics. What she learns from them is profound.

Revolution Starts on Campus

Revolution Starts on Campus. CC BY-ND47 MB (download)
Fifty years ago, students rose up against authoritarian governments, racial inequality and, most passionately, the war in Vietnam. Two historians reflect on those momentous days in 1968 – and discuss what current movements learn from them.
Black power militant H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael (right) appeared at a sit-in protest at Columbia University in New York City on April 26, 1968. AP

1968 protests at Columbia University called attention to ‘Gym Crow’ and got worldwide attention

The 1968 protests at Columbia University led the institution to abandon a gym project that residents considered racist and cut off its defense work – and generated worldwide attention in the process.
Pope Paul VI banned contraception for Catholics in the 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae.” AP Photo/Jim Pringle

How the Catholic Church came to oppose birth control

July marks 50 years of Pope Paul VI's encyclical prohibiting contraceptive use. For many years prior to it, the church had not been so explicit on its stance. How did it become such a thorny issue?
People dressed as sperm cells at Papal Nuncio building in The Hague for the sixth birthday of the encyclical, ‘Humanae Vitae.’ Nationaal Archief

How Catholic women fought against Vatican’s prohibition on contraceptives

On the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, an encyclical released by Pope Paul VI calling for prohibition on contraceptive use, a scholar describes the struggles of Catholic women, as well as their activism.

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