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World Events:
  • North Korea seizes US Navy ship Pueblo; holds 83 on board as spies (Jan. 23).

  • North Vietnamese launch the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War (Jan.-Feb.).

  • American soldiers massacre 347 civilians at My Lai (March 16). Background: Vietnam War

  • Czechoslovakia is invaded by Russians and Warsaw Pact forces to crush liberal regime (Aug.

  • Population: 3.556 billion

US Events:
  • President Johnson announces he will not seek or accept presidential renomination (March 31).

  • Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, is slain in Memphis (April 4).

  • James Earl Ray, indicted in King murder, is sentenced to 99 years.

  • Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is shot and critically wounded in Los Angeles hotel after winning California primary (June 5)—dies June 6.

  • President: Lyndon B. Johnson
    Vice President: Hubert H. Humphrey
    Population: 200,706,052
    Life expectancy: 70.2 years
    Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 33.7
    Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):
Economics:

US GDP (1998 dollars):   $910.6 billion
Federal spending:   $178.13 billion
Federal debt:   $368.7 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
$7,743
Consumer Price Index:   34.8
Unemployment:   3.8%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.05 ($0.06 as of 1/7/68)

Sports:

Super Bowl
Green Bay d. Oakland (33-14)

World Series
Detroit d. St. Louis Cardinals (4-3)

NBA Championship
Boston d. LA Lakers (4-2)

Stanley Cup
Montreal d. St. Louis (4-0)

Wimbledon
Women: Billie Jean King d. J. Tegart (9-7 7-5)
Men: Rod Laver d. T. Roche (6-3 6-4 6-2)

Kentucky Derby Champion
Forward Pass

NCAA Basketball Championship
UCLA d. North Carolina (78-55)

NCAA Football Champions
Ohio St. (10-0-0)

Entertainment:

Events

  • 60 Minutes airs on CBS, beginning its reign as the longest-running prime-time newsmagazine.

  • The motion picture rating system debuts with G, PG, R and X.

  • The rock musical Hair opens on Broadway.

Movies

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, Funny Girl, The Lion in Winter, Oliver!

Books

  • William H. Gass, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country

  • Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge

  • Pulitzer Prizes
    Fiction: The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron
    Music: Echoes of Time and the River, George Crumb

    Oscars awarded in 1968
    Academy Award, Best Picture: In the Heat of the Night, Walter Mirisch, producer (United Artists)

    Nobel Prize for Literature: Yasunari Kawabata (Japan)

    1968 Emmy Awards

    1968 Tony Awards

    Grammys awarded in 1968
    Record of the Year: "Up, Up and Away," 5th Dimension
    Album of the Year: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (Capitol)
    Song of the Year: "Up, Up and Away," Jimmy L. Webb, songwriter

    Miss America: Debra Dene Barnes (KS)

Science:
  • Prototype of world's first supersonic airliner. The Soviet-designed Tupolev Tu-144 made its first flight, Dec. 31. It first achieved supersonic speed on June 5, 1969.

  • The largest reservoir of American petroleum north of Mexico is discovered in Alaska.

  • Amniocentesis is developed. Background: reproduction

  • Nobel Prizes in Science

    Chemistry: Lars Onsager (US), for development of system of equations in thermodynamics

    Physics: Luis Walter Alvarez (US), for study of subatomic particles

    Physiology or Medicine: Robert W. Holley, Har Gobind Khorana, and Marshall W. Nirenberg (all US), for studies of genetic code

Deaths:
  • John Coltrane

  • Woody Guthrie

  • Langston Hughes

  • Alice B. Toklas

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

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