Chicago 1968


Episode Info

The Democratic Convention of 1968, in Chicago, seemed to confirm the worst suspicions of both extremes of the political spectrum. As this episode of the PBS series The American Experience shows, America in 1968 was at war in Vietnam, and it was a war that was getting more and more unpopular. Chicago mayor Richard Daly, an old-style Democratic political boss, was angered by anti-war protestors outside the convention, and sent his police force in to break up the protests. In what has been described as a "police riot," the Chicago police, in riot gear and wielding night sticks and firing tear gas, indiscriminately cracked the heads of innocent bystanders and newsmen as well as protestors exercising their rights of free speech. This documentary postulates that this nationally televised violence played a significant role in Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey's loss of the 1968 presidential election to Republican Richard Nixon.