The year 1968 began like any new year in that people expected it to be auspicious but subsequent events made it otherwise. In retrospect, this year turned out badly for almost everyone as the Vietnam War escalated and American troops were having a hard time trying to defeat ill-equipped but well-motivated and ably-led communist troops from North Vietnam. …
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It was a year dominated by negative news ranging from the arrests of prominent people like Dr. Benjamin Spock and other anti-war activists for violating military draft laws, the capture of an American intelligence ship (U.S.S. Pueblo and imprisonment of its crews for eleven months), and the assassination of Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King in Memphis. The benefit of hindsight can determine it was indeed a bad year such that political activist, critic, and commentator Tomas Emmet Hayden remarked “it was fitting that such a bad year would end with the election of Richard Nixon” (Kurlansky 366). His march to the presidency began in February 1968 when he entered the New Hampshire primary to declare his candidacy and eventually won only narrowly over his opponents. He promised to unite the nation but was a divisive figure and the first U.S. president in history to resign his office due to Watergate.
However, there was one event which shocked everybody in America and everyone in the world. This was the My Lai Massacre in which American ground troops from the Charlie Company rampaged through a Vietnamese village in retaliation for guerrilla attacks and killed more than 500 helpless civilians (South Kingstown High School 1). This was not known for more than a year but its significance was it made America lose its moral high ground.
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