Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Martin Luther King Jnr Killed in 1968

This post is one of a series this week in anticipation of the 4th April 2008, the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jnr.

Do you remember 1968? What else was happening in your country in the year when King was killed?

In New Zealand, Keith Holyoake was Prime Minister, former PM Walter Nash died and Alison Durban won the Golden Disc with the song, I have loved me a man.

In Australia John Gorton was sworn in as Australian Prime Minister after Harold Holt disappeared at Portsea, Billy Graham returned to Australia, the Big Mac became part of Aussie cuisine, Rain Lover won the Melbourne Cup, the Carlton Blues won the AFL flag, the Aussie Cricket team beat India 4 nil and the Hit Song of the Year was Hey Jude!

South Africa went without the tour of the MCC cricket team because they refused to accept the presence of Basil D’Oliveira, a Cape Coloured, in the visiting side.

Nigerian forces captured Port Harcourt thus prompting the Biafran crisis.

Border clashes are happening between the Middle East between Israel and Jordan.

An illegal civil rights march took place in Derry, Northern Ireland.

The film and later the musical Oliver! opened in London.

Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy married on the Greek Island of Skorpios.

In Iraq Saddam Hussein became Vice Chair of the Revolutionary Council after a coup.

In Italy Pope Paul VI published an encyclical condemning Catholics for using the Pill and other forms of birth control.

France exploded its first Hydrogen bomb but not in its own backyard.

The Rodney Riots took place in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Olympic Games were held in Mexico City and two African-Americans gave the black power salute on the victory dais.

Pierre Trudeau became Canada’s 15th Prime Minister.

In the USA the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, the Vietnam War raged with the Battle of Khe Sanh, the Tet offensive, the Battle of Saigon and the Mai Lai massacre; Robert Kennedy entered the race for the Democratic Party nomination but was killed three months later, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, Richard Nixon wins the Presidential election and the Musical Hair begins on Broadway.

It was against this kaleidoscopic backdrop of war, conflict, celebration and success that Martin Luther King Jnr lived and died.

Dr King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Source: Many of the above items come from the article ‘1968’ Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: American newspapers on 5 April 1988.