1968 Democratic Convention – History Repeats Itself

Though a kid, I lived in Chicago during the riots of the 1968 Democratic Convention. All I remember was terrible riots on black-and-white television. The riots have ominous parallels to today.Image result for 1968 Democratic Election

The 1968 Democratic Convention was held at the International Amphitheater in Chicago during August
26-29. Ten thousand protesters demonstrated at the Convention, the Chicago Hilton and Grant Park. During that year, riots occurred in more than 100 cities following the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. However, many protesters were anti-Vietnam War. Americans were split over the war. Many young people wanted to know why America was fighting. The same questions are asked today with American intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thirty-six newsmen were arrested at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Mike Wallace and Dan Rather were assaulted by Chicago police. Security guards roughed up Dan Rather in the convention hall as he tried to approach a Georgia delegate. Does this remind you of Donald Trump and Michelle Fields?

Twenty-two thousand men in uniform were sent to maintain order. This consisted of Chicago police and the National Guard. Unfortunately, the violence escalated throughout the week. One hundred and seventy-eight people were arrested, eleven hundred people were injured, and 400 were treated for mace and teargas.

History is stranger still. Hubert Humphrey had 561 delegates, Kennedy had 393 delegates and McCarthy had 258 delegates. McCarthy was anti-war while Vice President Humphrey was pro-war. The Democratic Party nominated Humphrey, even though 80% of primary voters were anti-war. Also, Humphrey didn’t enter 13 state primary elections, and yet he won the nomination.

Does this sound familiar?…Ted Cruz and John Kasich have stayed in the race for the Republican nomination hoping that history will repeat itself. In 1968, people were shocked when Humphrey got the nomination. If Donald Trump is shy 10 delegates of the nomination, I predict rioting will follow. In fact, rioting has already occurred at Trump rallies.

In 1968, anti-war demonstrators pelted Chicago police in Grant Park with food, rocks and pieces of concrete. Protesters shouted: “Hell no. We won’t go!” and “Pigs are whores!” Does this remind you of Black Lives Matter with their chants of “What do we want?…Dead cops? When do we want them?…Now!”

In 1968, there was division in the Democratic Party. In 2016, there is division in the Republican Party. What happened in ‘68?…Richard Nixon won the Presidency. The rest is history.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather