What Happened in 1968

Significant Events

  • Jan 21 The Battle of Khe Sanh - one of the most publicized and controversial battles of the Vietnam War - begins at the Khe Sanh Air Base
  • Feb 1 Saigon police chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executes Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém with a pistol shot to head. The execution is captured by photographer Eddie Adams and becomes an anti-war icon.
  • Apr 4 US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Apr 11 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs 1968 Civil Rights Act
  • Apr 20 British politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial "Rivers of Blood" speech
  • Apr 23 1st decimal coins issued in Britain (5 & 10 new pence, replacing shilling and two-shilling pieces)
  • Aug 20 During the night 200,000 Warsaw Pact Soviet led troops invade Czechoslovakia in response to the Prague Spring
  • Aug 24 France becomes the world's fifth thermonuclear power with a detonation on Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific
  • Nov 12 US Supreme Court: Epperson v. Arkansas, court declares unconstitutional Arkansas law banning teaching evolution in public schools
  • Dec 9 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) is publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.
More Historical Events

1968 in Film & TV

  • Feb 27 CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite delivers a scathing editorial on America's chances of winning the Vietnam War
  • Apr 2 "2001 A Space Odyssey" directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, premieres at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C.
  • Sep 14 1st broadcast of "60 Minutes" on CBS-TV
  • Sep 26 "Oliver!" directed by Carol Reed and starring Mark Lester and Ron Moody premieres in London (Best Picture 1969)
  • Oct 1 Cult zombie film "Night of the Living Dead" directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones and Judith O'Dea premieres in Pittsburgh

1968 in Music

  • Jan 22 "Lady Soul" 14th studio album by Aretha Franklin is released (Billboard Album of the Year 1968)
  • Feb 16 Beatles George Harrison, John Lennon and their wives fly to India for transcendental meditation study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
  • Feb 29 Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" wins Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the first rock LP to do so
  • Mar 17 Bee Gees make their US TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" performing "To Love Somebody" and "Words"
  • Jun 1 Simon & Garfunkel's single "Mrs Robinson" from "The Graduate" hits #1 (first rock song to win Grammy for Record of the Year)

1968 in Sport

  • Feb 23 Wilt Chamberlain becomes 1st NBAer to score 25,000 points
  • Mar 4 Italian boxer Nino Benvenuti regains world middleweight title with a 15-round points decision over American champion Emile Griffith at Madison Square Garden, NY; last of famous trilogy of fights
  • Oct 12 19th Summer Olympic Games open at Mexico City, Mexico; first Olympics in Latin America
  • Oct 16 Americans Tommie Smith (gold 19.83 WR) and John Carlos (bronze) famously give the Black Power salute on the 200m medal podium during the Mexico City Olympics

Did You Know?

Houston Cougars defeat the UCLA Bruins 71-69 to win basketball's Game of the Century and end UCLA's 47 game winning streak

On January 20, 1968


World Leaders in 1968

Famous People in 1968

Would You Believe?

Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.

On December 10, 1968

Famous Weddings

  • Jan 20 Actress Sharon Tate (24) weds actor/director Roman Polanski (34) in Chelsea, London
  • Feb 20 Comedian John Cleese (Monty Python) marries actress Connie Booth
  • Mar 1 Singer-songwriter and actress June Carter (38) weds singer-songwriter Johnny Cash (36) at a church in Franklin, Kentucky
  • Apr 20 The Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein (24) weds fellow reporter Carol Honsa
  • Apr 28 Business magnate Alan Sugar (21) weds hairdresser Ann Simons in Great Portland Street Synagogue

Famous Divorces

  • Aug 8 Actor Jack Nicholson (31) divorces Sandra Knight (28) after 6 years of marriage
  • Aug 16 Singer/actor Frank Sinatra and 3rd wife actress Mia Farrow divorce after 2 years of marriage
  • Aug 22 Cynthia Lennon sues Beatle member John Lennon for divorce on grounds of adultry
  • Nov 8 Cynthia Lennon is granted a divorce from Beatle member John
  • Nov 9 Serial killer John Wayne Gacy (26) divorces first wife Marlynn Myers after 4 years of marriage
More Weddings & Divorces