How did the tragic events of 1968 affect the story of our nation?

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1968 was an especially tumultuous year, and many historians would say it was a turning point in our country's history.  Unfortunately, it was a year full of tragedies and disappointments.  Consider the following events and the impact they had on us:

The Tet Offensive - This all out attack by the Vietcong and North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War severely strained Americans' belief that the fight should continue.  Over 3900 Americans would die in the offensive.  1968 was the bloodiest year of the war for the United States, with over 11,000 killed and 45,000 wounded.

Assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. - The revered, non-violent civil rights leader was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee in April of 1968. Besides ending most of the progress of the Civil Rights Movement, it also led to widespread riots and bloodshed in major American cities across the country, a tragic contrast to the teachings of Dr. King.

Assassination of Robert Kennedy - Considered the favorite for election as President, many Americans hoped RFK's candidacy might signal the start of a better future for the country.  His life was taken in June of 1968 by Sirhan Sirhan in a hotel ballroom after a campaign speech and another of America's best and brightest was snuffed out.