Does 2017 compare to 1968? It helps to have a sense of history. The saying, “it could be worse” is true.
- “One month into 1968, the Vietnamese celebrated their new year and the Viet Cong launched its Tet Offensive. The chief of the South Vietnamese national police was photographed executing a captured Viet Cong officer, horrifying viewers across the world. Communist forces rapidly overran most of Hue, and hundreds of U.S. Marines were killed taking it back over the following month. On February 27, Walter Cronkite told a stunned American public that the war could “only be ended by negotiation, not victory.” By March, anti-war sentiment in America had become mainstream.
- “About two weeks after the last fighting in Hue ended, Eugene McCarthy came within eight points of defeating sitting president Lyndon Johnson in the New Hampshire primaries; a few days later, Robert F. Kennedy entered the race, and just weeks after that Johnson declared he would no longer stand for reelection.
- “Four days after Johnson’s announcement, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, touching off riots in more than 100 American cities that would decimate countless neighborhoods for decades to come.
And the list goes on. Seriously. 1968 was not a great year. One of the worst ever.