Don’t Look Back

by mollykl

I don’t really do the thought-provoking look back on my life on my birthday. I figure the mistakes I’ve made I obviously can live with (for obvious reasons), the path not taken is so far gone as to not even matter any more, and if I’m not the person I thought I’d be by now (i.e. a grown-up) then it’s come with its own trade offs. I don’t look back on my life, but if you know me then you know how much I love history.

1968 was not a banner year for a lot of reasons: the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Tet Offensive, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the Battle of Khe Sanh…oy, do I have to go on? But amidst the funereal theme of 1968 there are a few standouts- some are biggies and some just elicit a smile.

On April 11, 1968 President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Do I need to explain this any more than that? Nope. I will point out that it was the boorish redneck Texan who saw this one through – not some smooth politician who could play the game. Sometimes in politics you just need a really large set of balls.

For my sci-fi friends November 22 was the date of the first inter-racial kiss on television…on….Star Trek of all things. When the network censors balked at showing it, and wanted a non-kiss version, William Shatner reportedly ruined all of the other takes so they had to use the take with the kiss.

Some of the greatest bands, can I say in history or is that bravado?, were formed in 1968: Rush, Yes, and a little-known group (you’ve probably never heard of them) called Led Zeppelin.

Songs from 1968 include, and I’m just listing my faves here: All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix, Blackbird – the Beatles, Carolina in My Mind- James Taylor, Springtime for Hitler – Mel Brooks, Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell and Sympathy for the Devil – the Rolling Stones. So much about me is becoming clear, isn’t it?

And finally, on December 24th, the first manned spacecraft orbits the moon.

400px-NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-Earthrise

 

“Earthrise” the photo taken of the Earth by Astronaut William Anders.

Of the thousands of congratulatory telegrams received by the astronauts upon their return one offered a sincere thanks after a year of disaster: “You saved 1968.”

 

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