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"1968": A Pivotal Year in American History and Politics

  • Word Count: 398
  • Approx Pages: 2
  • Has Bibliography

             It was the year that encapsulated all the tumultuousness, the
             violence, the anger and the idealism of the 1960s. So many important and
             tragic events occurred in 1968 that it is rightly considered the most
             pivotal year in recent American history.
             Vietnam was on everyone's mind in 1968 and it was the bloodiest year
             of the entire War[1]. The astonishing Tet offensive by the North Vietnamese
             forces that swept through South Vietnam and even threatened to over-run the
             American Embassy in Saigon exploded the myth of an imminent American
             victory in the War. The event shocked the American public and convinced
             them about the futility of the Vietnam War. The My Lai Massacre, in which
             American soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians on March
             16, 1968, outraged the world and further reduced support for the War in the
             The President Johnson, confronted by the ferocity of the anti-war
             sentiments, saw the writing on the wall and announced his decision not to
             seek re-election. Senator Robert Kennedy decided to run for the
             Presidential election and evoked enthusiastic support from a broad range of
             Americans, including the increasingly estranged African Americans. The
             brief optimism generated by Kennedy's candidature was tragically nipped in
             the bud when he was assassinated on June 5 in San Francisco. Coming as it
             did on the heels of the killing of Martin Luther King just two months
             earlier, the event signified to many the unraveling of the American
             The year is also significant in American history as the American
             public elected Richard Nixon, albeit by a narrow margin, as their President
             in 1968. The decision served to extend the Vietnam War as Nixon, despite
             his campaign pledge to withdraw from the War, further escalated it by
             1968 was indeed a pivotal year in American history that signified all
             the complexities and contradictions of the time

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"1968": A Pivotal Year in American History and Politics. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:59, October 22, 2016, from