Wednesday, August 06, 2008

40 Years Ago

(An occasional reminiscence on the events of 1968)

Somehow July slipped by me, so, a bit late, here's what we were doing that month in 1968:

On July 1, President Johnson signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, an agreement with 58 other countries in efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
Also that day, customs stops ended between European Common Market countries. (But the UK's admission was still being thwarted by deGaulle).

Early in the month, Intel Corp. was founded.

Gen. Creighton Abrams took over command in Vietnam. Congress passed a 10 percent federal income tax surcharge to help finance the cost of the war. Early in the month, North Vietnam released 3 American pilots shot down over Hanoi. Later, President Johnson met with Vietnamese president Thieu in Hawaii.

In France, a new government was formed July 13. Two days later, France detonated a nuclear bomb in the Pacific.

Later in July, a fight between two Mexico city schools led to a police/miliitary attack, becoming a riot; there were brutality accusations. On July 26, a demonstration crossed the lines of a march supporting the July 26 revolution in Cuba; this led to several more days days of rioting, 1 dead.

On July 17, Saddam Hussein was involved in a military coup that overthrew the government, bringing the Baath party into power, and became vice chairman of the military council in Iraq.

On July 25th, Pope Paul VI published the encyclical Humanae Vitae, condemning birth control.

And a new group, formerly Bob Dylan's backup, released an eagerly anticipated album: The Band's Music from Big Pink. This would quickly become one of my favorites.

On the radio: Tiptoe thru the Tulips, by Tiny Tim. Number one: Herb Albert's This Guy's in Love with You. Yellow Submarine, the movie, came out in Britain. We couldn't wait to see it when it would be released later in the year in the U.S.; we began painting copies of some of the artwork from the movie.

Back in Washington, we'd discovered the agony of DC's hot humid summers. With no air conditioning, sleeping at night meant a window fan and lying barely covered on top of the bed.

But the parks were full of people, especially the park in Dupont Circle and the 'P Street beach' next to Rock Creek just across the bridge from Georgetown. Some days the places looked like a 'be-in' with hippie clothes, beads, incense and marijuana smoke; at Dupont there was more of an African American crowd with lots of drumming.

We got to meet some of the neighbors on the sidewalks on our street, too.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home