1968 January


Alexander Dubcek receives adulation from Czech citizens in 1968.

5th Alexander Dubcek becomes the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. A prelude to the ‘Prague Spring’ of 1968.

Agartali conspiracy

Sheik Mujibur Rahman arrested, now referred to as Bangladesh’s ‘Father of the Nation’.

6th Sheik Mujibur Rahman and 34 others from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) arrested for conspiracy to secede, known as the Agartala conspiracy. Demonstrations and civil war followed, leading to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.


Otis Redding 1941 – 1967.

8th Release of Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay less than a month after his death in a plane crash.


Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem.

11th The government of Israel expropriated 838 acres of former Jordanian land in East Jerusalem to restore the Jewish quarter. This part of Jerusalem has the most holy places for the three largest monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The United nations has repeatedly condemned Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem.

Brit Leyland

British Leyland logo, previously BMC.

17th Motor manufacturing conglomerate British Leyland formed, becoming the sixth largest car company in the world. The ‘Austin’ factory in Longbridge, Birmingham, was a major part of the group.

21st Battle of Khe Sanh (Vietnam) began and lasted for 77 days.

21st A US B52 bomber crashes in Greenland with four nuclear bombs on board prompting a radiation alert.

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Commemorative stamps from Vietnam. Khe Sanh and 30 years after the Tet Offensive.

30st Viet Cong troops launch the Tet Offensive one day early in South Vietnam.

31st North Vietnamese unleashes the full Tet Offensive on nearly all of South Vietnam’s military bases and major cities.

1968 February

 February 1, 1968

1st Vietnam War: A Viet Cong officer named Nguyễn Văn Lém is executed by Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, a South Vietnamese National Police Chief. The event is photographed by Eddie Adams. The photo makes headlines around the world, eventually winning the 1969 Pulitzer Prize, and sways U.S. public opinion against the war.

Hovercraft plus coaches

5th The SRN4 (Saunders-Roe Nautical 4), the world’s largest hovercraft, was launched. It would enter commercial service on 1 August 1968 and would run for 22 years, ceasing on 1 October 2000.

5th All but one of the 19 crew on the British fishing trawler Ross Cleveland died when the ship capsized in a storm and sank off the coast of Isafjordur at Iceland. The Ross Cleveland was the third fishing vessel from the English port of Hull to have been lost in Iceland within less than a month; the St Romanus had disappeared on January 11 and the Kingston Peridot had vanished on January 26, each with twenty crew on board.


6th The BeatlesMike LoveMia FarrowDonovan and others travelled to India to visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at Rishikesh in India’s Uttarakhand state.

7th ‘It became necessary to destroy the town to save it’ became one of the most famous quotes arising out of the Vietnam War, as a news story about the death and destruction caused by American forces during the retaking of the South Vietnamese coastal city of Ben Tre. At least 1,000 civilians had died and 45 percent of Ben Tre’s buildings were destroyed in the bombardment by American airplanes and shelling by U.S Navy ships. The phrase, however, was actually coined by the reporter who asked the question: ‘So you had to destroy the village in order to save it?’ and then attributed the words to Major Brown.

8thcivil rights protest staged at a white-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina is broken up by highway patrolmen; 3 college students are killed.

12th Vietnam WarPhong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre.

The Exodus 1968

Leaving Nairobi before immigration restrictions are brought in.

22nd British Home Secretary James Callaghan announced his government’s decision to introduce the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 in response to the arrival of 7,000 Asian refugees who had been expelled from Kenya and who, as members of a British Commonwealth nation, had British passports. The law limited the immigration of people with British passports into the United Kingdom to those who had a ‘substantial connection’ with Britain.

The rest of 1968 SORRY – you will have to wait for the rest of this page. Any suggestions?












I did not have a record player or a record collection but in London I was able to see and hear more live music. These are the songs that meant something to me during 1968.
The Beatles




During 1968 I started some serious reading but I was still catching up on some modern classics from earlier in the century.