It was the summer of 1968. I was between my 7th and 8th grade years. I was being encouraged to learn more about our government and the politics around us. The nation was broiling from the summer heat and the riots and protests of the younger generation, opposed to the Vietnam conflict.
It was a sad year. I was in Miami in February and encountered this weird thing called a “teachers’ strike.” In April, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was gunned down in cold blood, as was NY Senator Bobby Kennedy as he was about to clinch the nomination of the Democratic Party as the candidate for president.
Senator Kennedy had challenged the sitting president, Lyndon B. Johnson, with regard to the escalation of the Vietnam conflict. There are those who, even today, believe the supposed “attack” in the Gulf of Tonkin was a fake. For that, we lost a large number of our young people. Senator Kennedy was successful in challenging LBJ and was about to win the nomination, perhaps even the presidency. What a shame.
The untimely death of Senator Kennedy threw the 1968 DNC convention into an uproar that spilled into the streets of Chicago, as college students protested and were subsequently beaten up with police brutality.
About the same time, a rock group with an awesome wind section was rising to notoriety. The group consisted of professionally trained musicians – playing rock music. It was called Chicago Transit Authority, but ultimately shortened its name to Chicago. From it’s first album comes a CTA musical statement about the negative and fear politics of 1968, which has, once again, reared it’s ugly head – in 2016 (“Prologue / Someday August 29, 1968“). In 1968, following two assassinations in this nation, rioting erupted in the street. So, if people are disappointed because no one is paying attention to the attention to the Democratic Party issue of the “Super Delegates.” This problem still exists today and is, once again, dividing the Democratic Party along the lines of young and old. It should not be this way. In fact, if America would gain some intelligence and LEARN from history, it would not be this way. But America ignores historians like me. They don’t want to hear it because it “hurts.” Wait until they see what REALLY hurts because we don’t learn from history.
One more tune from the CTA album is an instrumental called “Liberation.” It took up an entire side of one vinyl LP.