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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

1968: Beyond the Revolution

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In the year 1968, the South was burning. The United States was about to invade Cambodia and Laos. The antiwar movement came of age, and Richard Nixon became president. Detroit was a city in chaos. And, while there was a certain rhythm to the year, it was nevertheless among the most tumultuous in American history.

In the events leading up to President Johnson’s Jan. 19 resignation, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated; the 1968 Olympics came and went; and the social, political and economic crisis of the year led to the rapid escalation of the war in Vietnam.

To mark the passing of another tumultuous year, the George P. Shultz Center for International Security Policy and the Hoover Institution launched a new project on Tuesday. It is called “1968: Beyond the Revolution,” and there’s a promise to improve upon a project Shultz did in 2008, called “The Year of Protest: Peace, Weapons and the Tumultuous Years 1968-1970.”

“The study of 1968 was led from the start by President Shultz himself, who came to a painful and wrenching conclusion about how America fell behind the times,” Debra DeLee, president of the Shultz Center, said in a statement. “Then President Bush determined to rebuild a reset button on our foreign policy and political culture. By the launch of this project, we will have four years of living testimony from a whole new generation of historians. And of course, this will have profound lessons for the political and cultural landscape of today.”

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