Magazine article USA TODAY

1968: A Year like No Other

Magazine article USA TODAY

1968: A Year like No Other

Article excerpt

The Vietnam War; civil rights and women's lib; MLK and RFK; "Laugh-In" and love-ins--through Sept. 2, the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia; Pa., presents "The 1968 Exhibit," a multimedia, multigenerational focused exhibition that brings one of the U.S's most colorful, chaotic, culture-shifting years to life. Whether you remember the year personally or discovered Jimmi Hendrix from iTunes, "Planet of the Apes" on Netflix, and Vietnam in textbooks, "The 1968 Exhibit" is an experience to be shared and discussed across generations.

"As we were developing the exhibit and talking to people who experienced that year, the one word that came up over and over was 'overwhelming,'" says Brian Horrigan, Minnesota Historical Society exhibit curator. "People described being caught up in this seemingly endless cascade of shocking events, shaking the country--the world, really--to its very core."

A turning point for an entire generation coming of age and a nation engaged in war, 1968 was comprised of 12 months of memory-stamping events, including the peak of the Vietnam War; the assassinations of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy; riots at the Democratic National Convention; Black Power demonstrations at the Summer Olympics; feminist demonstrations at the Miss America Pageant; and much more. The year also featured memorable moments in pop culture history, including movies like "2001: A Space Odyssey," television shows like "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," the opening of the musical "Hair," and the release of "The White Album" by the Beatles.

"The year 1968 was a pivotal chapter in our nation's history, as 'We the People' pushed the boundaries of the Constitution and our freedoms by exercising our right to free expression, protest, and petition in revolutionary ways," notes Vince Stango, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center. "This exhibition does a good job balancing the highs and lows experienced by our nation during the year. It promises to be a nostalgic flashback for those who lived it and eye-opening for anyone who wasn't yet alive to experience it firsthand."

Organized by the months of the year, the exhibit features more than 100 artifacts, including:

* A reconstructed Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" helicopter used in the conflict in Vietnam. …

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