It's been 50 years. 1968 was an extraordinary year - unlike any other for most Baby Boomers. So, I'll go back to my own memories of the year and trace some of its changes.
January. I graduate from high school a semester early. A friend and I tour the state in my 60s-era muscle car. I get my first look at Tijuana. We fly from LA to Las Vegas to see the Bill Cosby show. Cosby is heckled about the Vietnam War and harshly responds to the heckler. The North Vietnamese orchestrate the Tet Offensive, one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War.
February. I turn 18.
March. I start at Santa Clara University. It's my first quarter. All my classmates are in their third quarter. It's the first time in my life that I smell marijuana. In 1968 possession of marijuana is a California felony and carries an automatic one to ten-year prison sentence. ROTC is required for all male students. I'm required to march in a Saturday-morning military parade. I don't know how to march. I've been in high school when all of my classmates were learning to march. I run into the student soldiers ahead, to the side and behind me. I hear a lot of swearing -it is directed at me. I feel like Gomer Pyle. March 31. LBJ announces he will not seek another term as President.
April. Martin Luther King is assassinated.
May. The Rolling Stones release "Jumping Jack Flash." I play it so much that the dorm resident has to tell me to stop it. I attend a Doors concert at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Jim Morrison spends a good deal of time sitting on stage next to a bottle of whiskey...
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