1968 was a highly turbulent year.
-To paraphrase Bob Dylan-
The times were indeed changing!
What happened in 1968 major news stories included: Dr. Christian Barnard performed the first successful heart transplant, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the first Big Mac goes on sale at McDonalds costing 49 cents, NASA launches Apollo 7 (first manned Apollo Mission), Apollo 8 orbits the moon, Boeing 747 made its maiden flight, the emergency 911 telephone service is started, and Robert Kennedy was killed. More Americans were against the war in Vietnam and more riots were occurring throughout the cities in America that year. The First Philadelphia Bank installed the first ATM in the US. The first "Black Power" salute was seen on television worldwide during an Olympic media ceremony, and Yale University announced that women for the first time would be admitted to the university.
The average cost of a new home was $14,950.00. The average income per year was $7,850.00. Average monthly rent was $130.00. Gas per gallon was 34 cents. The average cost of a new car was $2,822.00. Movie tickets were $1.50. The Federal Hourly Minimum Wage was $1.60 an hour.
The music scene was once again taken over by the Beatles. The Beatles created Apple Records and recorded “Hey Jude” as the first single on the label. Led Zeppelin performed live for the first time. Fashion flirted with see through blouses. Midis and maxis joined the mini skirt as part of the fashion trends.
Popular films for that year were: The Graduate, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Bonnie & Clyde, Valley of the Dolls, The Odd Couple, Planet of the Apes and Rosemary’s Baby. It was also the year that the first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired on televison, which provided a stable, warm culture icon for generations of children. “Mod Squad” debuted on television cashing in on the culture of the 60’s!
Other popular Musicians were: The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Grateful Dead, The Monkeys, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach boys, The Bee Gees, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Doors, Moody Blues, Marvin Gaye and David Bowie. Elvis had his comeback special aired on television.
We will all remember the year 1968 not only because it was the year we graduated from high school, but because it’s events played a huge role in shaping life and culture over the next 50 plus years that have followed.