The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because President Lyndon B. Johnson had announced he would not seek reelection, the purpose of the convention was to select a new presidential nominee to run as the Democratic Party’s candidate for the office. The keynote speaker was Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii).
Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and Senator Edmund S. Muskie of Maine, were nominated for President and Vice President, respectively.
The convention was held during a year of violence, political turbulence, and civil unrest, particularly riots in more than 100 cities following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4. The convention also followed the assassination of Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, who had been murdered on June 5. Both Kennedy and Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota had been running against the eventual Democratic presidential nominee, Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
Chicago’s mayor, Richard J. Daley, intended to showcase his and the city’s achievements to national Democrats and the news media. Instead, the proceedings became notorious for the large number of demonstrators and the use of force by the Chicago police during what was supposed to be, in the words of the Yippie activist organizers, “A Festival of Life.” Rioting took place between demonstrators and the Chicago Police Department, who were assisted by the Illinois National Guard. The disturbances were well publicized by the mass media, with some journalists and reporters being caught up in the violence. Network newsmen Mike Wallace and Dan Rather were both roughed up by the Chicago police while inside the halls of the Democratic Convention.
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