Episode #222: 1968 — Turbulence and Tragedy
A half-century later, 1968 remains etched in our collective memory, a year of tremendous hope and utter tragedy. This week we take the first of three looks at that iconic year.
Gary Eichten, a longtime reporter and host for Minnesota Public Radio, talks about Eugene McCarthy, his lonely challenge to President Johnson, his strong showing in the New Hampshire primary … and his sense of betrayal after Robert Kennedy entered the race.
Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University and biographer of Lyndon Johnson, talks about LBJ’s surprise decision to drop out of the race not long after the New Hampshire results.
Gordon Durnil, a former Indiana state GOP chair, talks about his role with Richard Nixon’s campaign in the Hoosier State in 1968, what he represented and how he became the antidote to all of the disarray on the Democratic side.
And Larry Tye, author of a biography of Robert Kennedy, on RFK’s belated entry into the race, his masterful speech in Indianapolis the night of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and how his vast promise came to a crushing end the night of the California primary.
Music used in this podcast: