1968 in the News

Strikes & Riots
The year 1968 began with a major garbage strike in New York, and saw riots in many major cities in response to the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April and other gut-wrenching conditions and events.

The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper publication is curtailed by picketers in January and February. The strike ends at the end of February.

In February, New York is without garbage service. 10,000 sanitation workers are out on strike. Mountains of garbage pile up--100,000 tons--there is a State of Health Emergency. The strike is settled after nine days.

Garbage strike

A few hundred Columbia University students sieze and occupy several buildings to protest University involvement in weapons research, and wreck the office of President Grayson Kirk. The NYPD ended the demonstrations April 30, with violent clashes.

Columbia University takeover

San Francisco State College experiences riots and sit-ins throughout the year. Among the student demands are 1) an end to ROTC; 2) return to faculty of an activist sociology professor; 3) admission of 300 ghetto kids; and 4) more minority faculty members. In May, President John Summerskill leaves the campus abruptly and files to Ethopia to look for a new job, leaving the campus in the hands of the militant student sit-in. The cops oust the students. Strikes and turmoil continue througout the year.

Students battle the Berkeley City Council over using Telegraph Avenue for rallies.

In the Haight-Ashbuy district of San Francisco, police are pelted with rocks and bottles after a pair of narcotics arrests in the neighborhood. This escalates to barricades and firebombs; "outside agitators" are suspected.

A prison revolt in Ohio is crushed by 500 cops. Five prisoners are killed.

50,000 to 70,000 students march peacefully in Mexico to protest police intervention.

Street battles in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention. Twenty-four newsmen are hurt by police, along with hundreds of protesters. A report by the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence cites "mindless" attacks by police on youth.

New York teachers go on strike in October. The students go on strike in November.

Massive strikes occur in Europe during 1968.



This website is currently under development and will be updated periodically. Images are from the editor's collecton of photos, and scans from print journals from 1968. If you would like to offer comments or suggestions contact the webmaster at thatwasthen1968@gmail.com

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