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Something I wrote in my spare time, a brief overview of 1968..:

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  • Something I wrote in my spare time, a brief overview of 1968..:

    The early to middle part of the Sixties may not have seemed like much(except for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement, and the 1965 Watts Riots), but the latter part of it certainly became a huge deal.

    The sniper shootings at the University Of Texas in 1966 was only just the beginning.

    The cynicism of 1967 was a foreshadow of things to come.

    The madness of 1968 was definately the beginning of the end.

    As a student of history, it is true that the Sixties was a turning point. But the major turning point in that turbulent decade was the year 1968 - a tulmutuous year in a turbulent decade. A time where everything came to a violent head.

    Having had some family serve in the Vietnam War and hearing their accounts of that controversial conflict(my late father, uncle, and a handful of cousins)and of what they witnessed when they returned home, it makes me wonder how mankind ever got out of the Sixties alive.

    The human race had spent the past two decades living in fear of nuclear annihilation since the start of the Cold War, and still remembered the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cuban Missile Crisis only six years prior. However, the anti-nuclear message was not the only sociopolitical subtext to be found in the fabric of society. Given that 1968 was probably the most tumultuous year of the Sixties, with the world in a state of momentous political and social change, there was more to it on the religious, political, social, and racial fronts.

    The children of the Baby Boom were coming of age in a much more dynamic and confused world than the relatively stable and prosperous Fifties that they had grown up in. The conflict in Vietnam had escalated in January of that year during the Tet Offensive, feeding a growing anti-war sentiment both in the United States and around the world. Russia invaded Czechoslovakia to put down the 'Prague Spring' democratic movement. The dream of 'Camelot' died with Senator Robert Kennedy's assassination in a Los Angeles hotel. The civil rights movement mourned the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which triggered a summer of looting in several major U.S. cities(Washington D.C., Memphis, the west end of Louisville, Kentucky among many), The Chicago National Democratic Convention was interrupted by hundreds of anti-war protesters... and so on. Between the start of 1968 and the end of the decade, no corner of the globe was untouched by political unrest and social upheaval.

    1968 was a year where everything changed. Whether it was for the better or the worst, that is up to civilization to decide.

    Bottom line is this. If you could sum up the Sixties at best, it would be a decade best described as a huge culture clash between the conservative elders and the liberal youth.

    If you could sum up 1968, it would be a year of shocks and violent upheavals.
    "Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America--not on the battlefields of Vietnam."

    --Marshall McLuhan, 1975

  • #2
    Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated
    "Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America--not on the battlefields of Vietnam."

    --Marshall McLuhan, 1975

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Zach, did you write this, or did you use a source?

      I think 1968 as far as the Vietnam War would be the turning point since the Tet Offensive is considered the turning point of the war.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sgt. Rock View Post
        Hi Zach, did you write this, or did you use a source?

        I think 1968 as far as the Vietnam War would be the turning point since the Tet Offensive is considered the turning point of the war.
        Some of it I wrote and some I had a source for, it was intended for academic use so I have the source saved somewhere. Thanks for the comment.
        "Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America--not on the battlefields of Vietnam."

        --Marshall McLuhan, 1975

        Comment


        • #5
          1968 was the year that changed my life. I got drafted, sent to Vietnam and my wife had an affair.

          You had a good home but you left / You're right
          You had a good home but you left / You're right
          Jody was there when you left / You're right
          Your baby was there when you left / You're right

          But I knew the army would take care of me because I had an education. The drill sergeant asked for all of the PhD's and MA's to step forward and we had KP the first two weeks. I knew I was where I was appreciated.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would add that the older generation had grown up in the years of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. They had watched Europe slip into Fascism and War. They had fought the war that ended that threat. Then they returned home, went to college or technical school, and built the economy that their children inherited. Many of them were open to new ideas, such as raising children according to the theories Dr. Spock, and more importantly, that Civil Rights in this country needed to be guaranteed for all.
            dit: Lirelou

            Phong trần mi một lưỡi gươm, Những loi gi o ti cơm s g!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lirelou View Post
              I would add that the older generation had grown up in the years of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. They had watched Europe slip into Fascism and War. They had fought the war that ended that threat. Then they returned home, went to college or technical school, and built the economy that their children inherited. Many of them were open to new ideas, such as raising children according to the theories Dr. Spock, and more importantly, that Civil Rights in this country needed to be guaranteed for all.
              Sure my father but what does that have to do with 1968? The Detroit race riots were in 1967. I believe my fathers generation was very racist as was most of the Army during WWII. It was my generation born at the end of WWII that changed everything. Buy again what does it have to do with 1968?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mark45y View Post
                1968 was the year that changed my life. I got drafted, sent to Vietnam and my wife had an affair.

                You had a good home but you left / You're right
                You had a good home but you left / You're right
                Jody was there when you left / You're right
                Your baby was there when you left / You're right

                But I knew the army would take care of me because I had an education. The drill sergeant asked for all of the PhD's and MA's to step forward and we had KP the first two weeks. I knew I was where I was appreciated.

                I'm Sorry, about that.
                "Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America--not on the battlefields of Vietnam."

                --Marshall McLuhan, 1975

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RedWhiteAndBlue View Post
                  I'm Sorry, about that.
                  Nothing bad to you but "Sorry bout that" might have been the Vietnamese National Anthem.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mark45y View Post
                    Sure my father but what does that have to do with 1968? The Detroit race riots were in 1967. I believe my fathers generation was very racist as was most of the Army during WWII. It was my generation born at the end of WWII that changed everything. Buy again what does it have to do with 1968?
                    I don't know about the racist thing. I grew up in Montana in the 1950s and 60s. While living in a rural town at age six, I brought home a word from the other kids. It was the "n" word. My mother, who grew up north of Chicago, told me that word was never to be spoken in our house again and she better not ever hear of me saying it.

                    Our parents generation may have grown up and lived in a Jim Crow world, but they were the ones that changed it. It was the generation of our parents that passed the Civil Rights Act and ended Jim Crow. They passed the Voter Rights act. Judges from the generation of our grandparents decided Brown v. Board of Education, ending the "separate, but equal" lie.

                    President Harold Truman, a World War I vet, ended discrimination in the armed forces by executive order in 1948, before I was born. Our generation did go through a lot. I graduated from high school and entered the Army in 1968. But we don't hold exclusive rights on changing the world.
                    No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was born in 1942 while my father was in England. He would be in the third wave to land on the Normandy shores and made it all the to just over the Rhine river before being wounded and returned home.
                      We grew up in a very patriotic family. When Vietnam became the hotspot, I volunteered.
                      "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
                      - Col. David Hackworth

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But I knew the army would take care of me because I had an education. The drill sergeant asked for all of the PhD's and MA's to step forward and we had KP the first two weeks. I knew I was where I was appreciated
                        This may surprise you, Mark, but it wasn't the Army's job to 'take care of you'. Wow, you actually had to work with your hands, cleaning dishes, washing pots and pans, cleaning out the grease trap. And you're still bitter about it. I'm sure I speak for many when I say that you have our deepest sympathies.

                        As for what our parent's generation had to do with ours: Ditto what Montana said. We may have helped change the world, but we didn't start from Ground Zero.
                        dit: Lirelou

                        Phong trần mi một lưỡi gươm, Những loi gi o ti cơm s g!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lirelou View Post
                          This may surprise you, Mark, but it wasn't the Army's job to 'take care of you'. Wow, you actually had to work with your hands, cleaning dishes, washing pots and pans, cleaning out the grease trap. And you're still bitter about it. I'm sure I speak for many when I say that you have our deepest sympathies.

                          As for what our parent's generation had to do with ours: Ditto what Montana said. We may have helped change the world, but we didn't start from Ground Zero.
                          It's my recollection that practically everywhere I went for training (Basic, AIT etc) there was a thing called "Zero Week". There was no training for that first 7 days, and we all were required to perform KP.
                          Vietnam - US Army, Aug 66-Feb 68
                          Vietnam - USG Civilian, Feb 68-Aug 71
                          Special Agent/Criminal Investigator - US Customs Jan 72-Jan 2001
                          Wannabe Concert and Sports Photographer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nbrooks503 View Post
                            It's my recollection that practically everywhere I went for training (Basic, AIT etc) there was a thing called "Zero Week". There was no training for that first 7 days, and we all were required to perform KP.
                            That's my recollection. Zero week was the time that a training company was formed up at the replacement station. I went into Fort Lewis. As it happened, the three guys and I who rode the train from the Butte AFEES station, were the first four members of 1st Platoon, of Echo Company, 3rd battalion, 1st training Brigade (we had "E-3-1" stenciled on our maggot stripe). So we did a lot of waiting around until the platoon was filled and our Drill Sergeant took over. After receiving our cue-ball haircuts and military issue, we did perform some details, including KP, police call, and various and sundry things.

                            Another NCO, not a drill sergeant, had already taught us the basics of making a formation, marching to cadence, left-face, right-face etc. We then had our first "cattle car" ride to our training company area. Which we we informed we were never allowed to leave except in formation. Fort Lewis basic training area was closed to outsiders and the insiders were not allowed to leave on their own. Our only break came on Thursdays, when we would be marched to get our cue-balls polished. Those lucky enough to be the first to get haircuts got more time in the adjacent snack-bar, until the platoon was finished.

                            The best platoon of the week got to use the company day-room on Sunday. Otherwise, we all pulled details, including lots of KP. I hated pots and pans. Dining Room Orderly was the more cushy KP job, except during meals, when the cadre expected us to serve them as waiters. That would have been OK but they seemed to delight in dropping us for push-ups and "dying cockroaches" still, you got a lot of goof off time and didn't have to get wet.

                            But it was a right of passage for everyone. I learned from several push-ups not to put my hand over the top of a drill sergeant's cup while serving him coffee. As they say, "we'll all laugh about this later."
                            No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MontanaKid View Post
                              I don't know about the racist thing. I grew up in Montana in the 1950s and 60s. While living in a rural town at age six, I brought home a word from the other kids. It was the "n" word. My mother, who grew up north of Chicago, told me that word was never to be spoken in our house again and she better not ever hear of me saying it.

                              Our parents generation may have grown up and lived in a Jim Crow world, but they were the ones that changed it. It was the generation of our parents that passed the Civil Rights Act and ended Jim Crow. They passed the Voter Rights act. Judges from the generation of our grandparents decided Brown v. Board of Education, ending the "separate, but equal" lie.

                              President Harold Truman, a World War I vet, ended discrimination in the armed forces by executive order in 1948, before I was born. Our generation did go through a lot. I graduated from high school and entered the Army in 1968. But we don't hold exclusive rights on changing the world.
                              The civil rights acts of 1964 and 1968 not 1944 or not 1948. I went to college in 1960. It wasn't my father's civil rights movement. Speaking of 1968 it was civil rights act of 1968 that was signed during The King assassination riots, also known as the Holy Week Uprising, was a wave of civil disturbance which swept the United States following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.

                              After the Watts Riots in 1965 and the Detroit riot of 1967, the military began preparing heavily for black insurrection. The Pentagon's Army Operations Center thus quickly began its response to the assassination on the night of April 4, directing air force transport planes to prepare for an occupation of Washington, D.C. The army also dispatched undercover agents to gather information. Perhaps it was quiet in Montana but the rest of the country was rioting.

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