Richland High School Class of 1968 - 1968 in Review
US GDP (1998 dollars): $910.6 billion
Federal spending: $178.13 billion
Federal debt: $368.7 billion
Median Household Income (current dollars): $7,743
Consumer Price Index: 34.8
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.05 ($0.06 as of 1/7/68)
Sports in 1968
Green Bay d. Oakland (33-14)
Detroit d. St. Louis Cardinals (4-3)
NCAA Basketball Championship
UCLA d. North Carolina (78-55)
Lew Alcindor scored 34 points as the Bruins blasted North Carolina 78-55 in the NCAA title game at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. The victory gave UCLA its fourth championship in five years. With their entire starting lineup back from the 1967 national championship season, the Bruins were favored to win again in 1968. However, they entered the NCAA tournament ranked second in the nation behind Houston after a two-point defeat to the Cougars in the Astrodome, a loss that snapped UCLA's winning streak at 47. In the NCAA semifinals, however, the Bruins exacted revenge, crushing Houston 101-69 as Alcindor, Lucius Allen and Mike Lynn each scored 19 points. Five players averaged in double figures in scoring for the 29-1 Bruins in 1968, led by Alcindor's 26.2. He was named the college player of the year.
NCAA Football Champions
Ohio St. (10-0-0)
Boston d. LA Lakers (4-2)
Montreal d. St. Louis (4-0)
Women: Billie Jean King d. J. Tegart (9-7 7-5)
Men: Rod Laver d. T. Roche (6-3 6-4 6-2)
Texas State Basketball Champions
4A: Houston Wheatley 85, Thomas Jefferson 80
3A: Lake Highlands 51, Lubbock Dunbar 49
2A: Kirbyville 57, Mexia 52
1A: Aspermont 52, Louise 50
B: Kennard 64, Friendswood 49
North Korea seizes US Navy ship Pueblo; holds 83 on board as spies (Jan. 23).
North Vietnamese launch the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War (Jan.-Feb.).
American soldiers massacre 347 civilians at My Lai (March 16). Background: Vietnam War
Czechoslovakia is invaded by Russians and Warsaw Pact forces to crush liberal regime (Aug. 20).
U. S. Events
President Johnson announces he will not seek or accept presidential renomination (March 31).
Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, is slain in Memphis (April 4).
James Earl Ray, indicted in King murder, is sentenced to 99 years.
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is shot and critically wounded in Los Angeles hotel after winning California primary (June 5)—dies June 6.
60 Minutes airs on CBS, beginning its reign as the longest-running prime-time newsmagazine.
The motion picture rating system debuts with G, PG, R and X.
The rock musical Hair opens on Broadway.
2001: A Space Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, Funny Girl, The Lion in Winter, Oliver!
William H. Gass, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country
Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge
Fiction: The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron
Music: Echoes of Time and the River, George Crumb
Oscar, Best Picture: In the Heat of the Night, Walter Mirisch, producer (United Artists)
Other Nominees for Best Picture: Bonnie & Clyde; Dr. Dolittle; The Graduate; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Best Actor: Rod Steiger - In the Heat of the Night (not Dustin Hoffman - The Graduate!)
Best Actress: Katherine Hepburn - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Best Supporting Actor: George Kennedy - Cool Hand Luke
Best Supporting Actress: Estelle Parsons - Bonnie & Clyde
Directing: Mike Nichols - The Graduate
Debra Dene Barnes - Kansas
Summer Olympics - Mexico City
The Games of the Nineteenth Olympiad were the highest and most controversial ever held.
Staged at 7,349 feet above sea level where the thin air was a major concern to many competing countries, the Mexico City Olympics were another chapter in a year buffeted by the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the Democratic Convention in Chicago, and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Ten days before the Olympics were scheduled to open on Oct. 12, over 300 Mexico City university students were killed by army troops when a campus protest turned into a riot. Still, the Games began on time and were free of discord until black Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who finished 1-3 in the 200-meter run, bowed their heads and gave the Black Power salute during the national anthem as a protest against racism in the U.S.
They were immediately thrown off the team by the USOC.
The thin air helped shatter records in every men's and women's race up to 1,500 meters and may have played a role in U.S. long jumper Bob Beamon's incredible gold medal leap of 29 feet, 21/2 inches –beating the existing world mark by nearly two feet.
Other outstanding American performances included Al Oerter's record fourth consecutive discus title, Debbie Meyer's three individual swimming gold medals, the innovative Dick Fosbury winning the high jump with his backwards “flop” and Wyomia Tyus becoming the first woman to win back-to-back golds in the 100 meters.
Winter Olympics - Grenoble
For the first time since they began attending the Winter Games in 1956, the Russians did not win the most medals—Norway did.
This was also the first year that the IOC permitted East and West Germany to participate as separate countries.
The host French team finished fourth in the overall standings—their best showing ever—thanks mainly to 24–year-old Jean-Claude Killy, who became the first skier to sweep all three Alpine events since Toni Sailer in 1956.
Killy was awarded his third gold medal in the slalom only after original winner Karl Schranz of Austria was disqualified for missing two gates on his second run in the two-heat race. Schranz had been allowed to retake his second heat run when a spectator interrupted his initial attempt, but officials ruled the missed gates came before the interruption.
Once again, the U.S. won only one gold medal—19–year-old Peggy Fleming in women's figure skating. Three of the five silver medals won by the U.S. came in one event—the women's 500–meter speed skating race, where Jenny Fish, Dianne Holum and Mary Myers tied for second place with a time of 46.3 seconds.