Sunday, May 27, 2018

CNN documentary "1968": the most pivotal year of my own lifetime

Sunday night May 28 CNN aired the first two parts of the 4-part 4-hour documentary “1968: The Year that Changed America” from Playtime and Tom Hanks (best link). 

The documentary seemed to expand from the “1968” episode of CNN’s “The Sixties”. It emphasized tha 1968 was a pivotal year in which the country almost came apart.
The first episode is called “Winter” and focused on the Tet Offensive in Vietnam at the end of January.  I went into the Army personally on Feb. 8.  The episode said that white people went out of the way to avoid redress of racial grievance out of desire to remain segregated and not even have to see blacks.  In the Army it was different.  Blacks were more likely to wind up in infantry and become casualties in Vietnam but were much more respected within the ranks or in Basic Training. The episode ends with LBJ’s announcement that he will not run – the lowest day of my tenure in Special Training.
The second episode was called “Spring” and focused first on the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis and on the resulting riots, and then on candidacy of Robert Kennedy and his assassination in Los Angeles in June 1968.  Had be not been attacked, he might have won the nomination and handily defeated Nixon.  He hung on for over 24 hours before passing away.  I was at Fort Myer at the time. 
The episode re-aired on Saturday, June 27, 2020. 

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