1968 Facts, Fun Trivia and History
Quick Facts from 1968
Top Ten Baby Names of 1968
Lisa, Michelle, Kimberly, Jennifer, Melissa, Michael, David, John, James, Robert
Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols
Ewa Aulin, Honor Blackman, Veronica Carlson, Julie Christie, Yvonne Craig, Catherine Deneuve, Barbara Eden, Barbara Feldon, Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Peggy Lipton, Virna Lisi, Ann-Margret, Elizabeth Montgomery, Caroline Munro, Turia Mau, Julie Newmar, Ingrid Pitt, Diana Rigg, Elke Sommer, Stella Stevens, Sharmila Tagore, Twiggy, Raquel Welch, Barbara Windsor
Sex Symbols, Hollywood Hunks and Leading Men
Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood, Peter Fonda, Marvin Gaye, Robert Goulet, Jimi Hendrix, Englebert Humperdink, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Steve McQueen, Roger Moore, Jim Morrison, Joe Namath, Paul Newman, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Redford, Omar Sharif, William Shatner
“Book ’em, Dano”
“You’ve come a long way, baby.”
“I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois, on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you.”
“Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”
“Ring around the collar”
“They’re coming to get you, Barbara.”
“Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”
“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do
The Quote for the 21st Century
Philip K. Dick, the author of the science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, said, “There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be, ‘My phone is spying on me.'”
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year
Apollo 8 Astronauts (William Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell)
Debra Barnes (Pittsburgh, KS)
Dorothy Anstett (Washington)
The Heidi Game AFL Championship Game: With the Jets leading 32-29 with only 65 seconds left, the Raiders quickly scored 14 points to win, 43-32. Meanwhile, millions of American television viewers could not see Oakland’s comeback. The NBC television network cut off the live broadcast for a pre-scheduled airing of Heidi, a new made-for-TV version of the classic children’s story.
Philadelphia Eagles Fans booed Santa Claus and threw snowballs at him. The real Santa could not attend, so Eagles management approached a fan to do the job…
Lin Zhao’s parents learned their daughter was executed in 1968 only after a Chinese Communist Party official asked them to pay the five-cent fee for the bullet used to kill her.
The Doors’ Jim Morrison, at a Miami concert, drunkenly screeched, “There are no rules!” and exposed his privates.
Pop Culture Facts & History:
Best known for developing microprocessors today, Intel was founded.
A college football game between Harvard and Yale ended in a 29-29 tie, but the next day, the Harvard Crimson ran the headline “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29”. Since Yale had been so heavily favored, Harvard viewed the tie as a de facto victory.
Aretha Franklin won the first ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’ Grammy Award in 1968 and won the same Grammy Award for the following seven consecutive years (1968-1975).
21-year-old Chemical Bank employee Francine Gottfried was called “Wallstreet’s Sweater Girl” and was known for catching people’s eye (mostly men) on her walk to work each morning for a few weeks in September 1968.
The film Grand Budapest Hotel was shot at 1.37, 1.85, and 2.35:1 ratio, matching the film ratio of the referred time, to inform the viewer where he is in the timeline, which alternates between the 1930s, 1968, and 1985.
The Candy Desk, a tradition of the US Senate since 1968, whereby a senator who sits at a desk near a busy entrance keeps a drawer full of candy for members of the body.
Singer Presents… Elvis (aka The ’68 Comeback Special) aired on NBC.
Snoopy is NASA’s official safety mascot. Every astronaut since 1968 has been given a silver Snoopy pin to bring into space. After returning, the astronauts present the pin as a special recognition to a civilian team member who helped keep them safe.
John Lennon, after taking a large amount of LSD, called an emergency meeting of The Beatles to inform them that he was Jesus Christ reincarnated.
Some people were upset that Memorial Day was changed in 1968 to be the last Monday of May rather than the 30th, saying: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day.”
Andy Warhol was fortunate to survive an assassination attempt by Valerie Solanas in 1968. He had been declared dead in the emergency room and had nine damaged organs, and he never fully recovered- he had trouble eating and swallowing for the rest of his life and wore a girdle to hold in his bowels.
Robert P. McCulloch bought the (New) London Bridge for $2.5 million, had it dismantled in England, and shipped it to Lake Havasu, AZ, as a tourist attraction for his new retirement real estate development.
Voter turnout for US Presidential Elections has been below 60% since 1968, until 2020. The highest voter turnout for a US presidential election was in 1876, with 81.8% of males over 21 voting. Republican Governor Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio won despite Democratic Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York earning most of the popular vote.
In what was the most-watched television broadcast at the time, the crew of Apollo 8 read in turn from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the moon. The founder of American Atheists responded by suing the United States government, alleging violations of the First Amendment.
Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1968: $54,000
1988 Christmas (?), Film Die Hard is a sequel to Frank Sinatra’s 1968 movie The Detective.
Harriet Glickman wrote to Charles Shulz, creator of Peanuts, about the racial strife gripping the United States following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Their correspondence convinced him to create the character of Franklin.
In 1968, Major League Baseball delayed its opening day for three days to honor the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress when she was chosen to represent New York’s 12th district. When Chisholm became the first black candidate to seek her party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1972, her campaign slogan was “Unbought and Unbossed.”
Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two African-American athletes who gave the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics, were also shoeless (socks only) during the protest. This was to represent black poverty. Peter Norman, the third man in the iconic black power salute photo from the 1968 Olympics, was treated as an outcast when he returned to Australia. He wasn’t given a formal apology until six years after his death. Both Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at Norman’s funeral.
Hundreds of anti-lynching bills were introduced from 1882 to 1968. The Senate would not pass them. In 2005, the Senate formally apologized for stopping these bills.
In addition to profanity and depictions of sex in film, the Hays Code of 1930 to 1968 also forbade depictions of interracial relationships.
The Censored Eleven Cartoons
11 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons were deemed too politically incorrect to air, and United Artists withheld them from syndication. They have not been seen on regular television since Hittin’ the Trail for Hallelujah Land (1931), Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time (1936), Clean Pastures (1937), Uncle Tom’s Bungalow (1937), Jungle Jitters (1938), The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938), All This and Rabbit Stew (1941), Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943), Tin Pan Alley Cats (1943), Angel Puss (1944), Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears (1944).
On April 23, 1968, students protesting the Vietnam War took over Columbia Univ. in NYC, occupying buildings for a week.
African-American Dan Bullock altered his birth certificate so that he could join the Marines in 1968. Six months later he became the youngest service member to die in combat in Vietnam. He was 15.
My Lai Massacre: a company of American soldiers killed over 500 civilians of My Lai on March 16, 1968. The incident was covered up for over a year and only one man was convicted, William Calley, of the 14 charged. Given a life sentence of house arrest in 1971, he was paroled in 1974.
Vietcong AP Photojournalist Eddie Adams took a photograph of an officer shooting a handcuffed prisoner in the head at point-blank range and earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1969. Although it changed the viewpoint of the war in many American’s eyes, the victim was, in fact, a Vietcong ‘revenge squad’ leader, having killed dozens of (unarmed) civilians that very same day.
The United States lost an H-Bomb (serial number 78252) in a crash off the Thule, Greenland US Airbase.
The USS Pueblo (AGER-2), an American vessel was captured by North Korea. The crew was abused, and to show the world, they gave the middle finger in propaganda photographs, claiming it was a “Hawaiian good luck sign”.
The USS Scorpion (SSN-589), a nuclear submarine that sank in deep water in 1968 is still resting at the bottom of the sea a few hundred miles southwest of the Azores, Portugal. Its nuclear reactor and nuclear weapons have never been recovered.
There were four mysterious submarine disappearances. The USS Scorpion, the Israeli submarine INS Dakar, the French submarine Minerve, and the Soviet submarine K-129 all went down.
In the 1968 Olympics, Kenyan Kipchoge Hezekiah Keino was late for the 1500m final because he was stuck in traffic. He ran 2 miles to make it to the event on time and still won the gold. He was also suffering from Gallstones.
The Mother Of All Demos
The computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, bootstrapping, and a collaborative real-time editor were all demonstrated for the first time.
Seven minutes to midnight, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Nobel Prize Winners
Physics – Luis Walter Alvarez
1st Appearances & 1968’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents
Don’t Break The Ice, Hot Wheels, Battling Tops, Silly Putty*, Whirlee Twirlee
Nikolai Konstantinov made the first computer animation. “Kitty” was created with BESM-4. It’s a silhouette of a cat.
|The earliest computer animation was started in 1967 by Charles Csuri of a hummingbird.|
Hot Wheels were introduced in 1968.
Roy Jacuzzi invented the first self-contained, fully integrated whirlpool bath and named it the Jacuzzi®.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood debuted on NET (now PBS)
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, was dedicated.
Semiconductor company Intel was founded.
On February 16, 1968, Alabama Senator Rankin Fite made the first 911 call in the United States in Haleyville, Alabama. It was a test, not a real emergency.
Best Film Oscar Winner
In the Heat of the Night (presented in 1968)
Plaza Suite (Play) Opened on February 14, 1968, and closed on October 3, 1970
Popular and Best-selling Books From 1968
A Small Town in Germany by John le Carre
1968 Most Popular TV Shows
1. Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In (NBC)
1968 Billboard Number One Songs
March 16 – April 12:
September 21 – September 27:
World Series Champions: Detroit Tigers
More 1968 History Resources:
Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)