The story of America in 1968, told with content curated from the Internet Archive. By Christine Lusey
#4 on Billboard magazine’s Top Hot 100 songs of 1968. It was recorded by Otis Redding days before his death on December 10, 1967 in a plane crash; it would become the first posthumous single to reach #1 on US charts. (via the Internet Archive)
Senator Robert Kennedy had just won the 1968 California Democratic Primary, and headed to the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles to make his victory speech.
Kennedy thanked various supporters, volunteers and even his dog, Freckles. Sounding tired from the long day, Kennedy assured the crowd he wasn’t giving his gratitude in order of importance, before thanking his wife, Ethel. The crowd roared and called for Ethel to speak; she politely thanked them but declined to take the mic. “Let Freckles say a word!” someone yelled. “Freckles has gone home to bed,” Kennedy answered. “He thought very early that we were going to win, so he retired.”
Kennedy told the audience:
“What I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis and that what has been going on within the United States over the period of that last three years, the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society, the divisions, whether it’s between blacks and whites, between the poor and the more affluent, or between age groups or on the war in Vietnam, that we can start to work together. We are a great country, an unselfish country and a compassionate country.”
After finishing his speech and making his way through the crowd, Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan and died 26 hours later.
This nearly hour-long Pacifica Radio recording of the events from that evening includes a speech from then-Speaker of the California State Assembly, Jesse Unruh, Kennedy’s speech, the shooting and eyewitness accounts. (via the Internet Archive)
From the Kent State Chestnut Burr, 1968. In two years, the Ohio National Guard would open fire on unarmed students during a protest of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, killing four (including two students who were just walking to their next class) and wounding nine. (via the Internet Archive)
Among other highlights, the 90-minute live demo introduced the world to the computer mouse, word processing, hypertext and video conferencing. You can watch the whole presentation in the Doug Engelbart Video collection in the Internet Archive.