violence was rampant
The Tet Offensive- launched by the North Vietnamese and their Vietcong allies, stunning the U.S. military command in South Vietnam. Shattered the credibility of American officials who had repeatedly claimed the enemy to be virtually beaten. After media coverage of the fighting, there was strong opposition to the war. Opened a year of political trouble. Congress refused to send more troops. President Johnson stepped down and announced that he would not seek the Democratic Party's nomination.
Martin Luther King Jr.- stood firmly in opposition to the war. Reached a turning point in his life. Abandoned his customary caution in criticizing U.S. policy in Vietnam. In 1968, he chose to speak in Memphis, Tennessee. Was shot and killed as he stepped out on the balcony of his motel. Thousands of people around the world mourned his death. Riots broke out in more than 100 cities.
The Democratic Campaign- Kennedy emerged as the candidate of choice. Had a strong record on civil rights and interpreted the war as unjust. Ran against McCarthy. Had the support of African Americans and Latinos. Was assassinated a the final tabulations of his victory came in.
Division within the U.S.- events surrounding the Democratic convention in Chicago showed the division that existed in the U.S. Antiwar activist had called for a massive demonstration at the delegates' hotel and at the convention center. Media focused on the YIPPIES an organization of politicized hippies. Were refused a parade permit by the mayor for their "Festival of Life." Led to police riots in which policemen randomly assaulted demonstrators and television crews filming the event as well as casual passerby. Protest and social strain spread worldwide.