1968: 50 Years Later - Part 1: Turbulence and Tragedy

May 25, 2018

Senator Robert F. Kennedy raises his hand with the "V-sign" to the crowd of supporters at the Ambassador Hotel with wife Ethel at his side. Los Angeles, California, June 5, 1968. Moments later he was shot. He died on June 6th at 1:44 AM at the Good Samaritan Hospital.
Credit David Kennerly / Getty Images

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 9 PM

The year 1968 will long be remembered for its political and social upheaval. As Americans reeled from the assassinations of two prominent leaders and sentiment deepened against the Vietnam War, politicians from both parties struggled to respond to aggravated constituents and build consensus.

Join Ken Rudin for 1968: 50 Years Later, a special three-part series looking back on the dramatic political events of 1968. Ken speaks with journalists, historians, and several key figures of the time to reflect on how it all affected the two major parties and the country, and explore how those events continue to shape politics today.

Part 1: Turbulence and Tragedy

After a disappointing result in the New Hampshire Primary, President Lyndon B. Johnson drops his bid for re-election. The Gene McCarthy campaign is furious as Bobby Kennedy enters the race. On the Republican side, Richard Nixon launches a political comeback. The nation reels after the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. And the assassination of RFK on the night of the California primary sends the Democratic Party into a tailspin.

"Part 2: A Party Divided" will air Aug. 27 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

"Part 3:  The Voters Have Their Say" will air Sept. 10.