By 1968, the United States had been involved with the Vietnam War for multiple years while dealing with instability and unrest with the people both politically and socially. 1968 was an extremely important year in United States History. In both national politics and the issue of Civil Rights, 1968 was a major turning point from the period that preceded it.
1968 was the end of the dominance of the Democratic party. Beginning in the 1932 election, Democratic candidates had won a total of seven out of nine presidential elections. In the beginning of the 1968 election cycle, it seemed most likely the Democrats would once again win an eighth election as well. However, because of the Vietnam war and civil rights issues that caused national turmoil, it would end with the election of Nixon and losses in all but one of the next five presidential elections. Nixon’s victory in the 1968 election was the result of crafty campaigning and the collapse of essentially every viable Democratic candidate.
During the beginning of the election Lyndon B. Johnson, while wounded during Vietnam was favored to win the election, but the Tet offensive in January of 1968 in Vietnam and the riots and protests at home eventually led him to decline the Democrat’s nomination for President. Robert F. Kennedy became the Democratic candidate shortly after Johnson’s announcement, but was assassinated in Los Angeles, California in June after winning the California primary. With no candidate available, the Democratic Convention turned into chaos. Anti-War and Civil Rights protesters in Chicago for the Convention turned violent, embarrassing Democrats and making them seem incompetent. It took roughly 8 years for the Democratic party to recover and that would only be a temporary relief.
A second 1968 turning point occurred in the Civil Rights movement. Prior to 1968, led by Martin Luther King Jr. and other non-violent African American Civil Rights activists in America had achieved great...