tv The Sixties CNN February 14, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> if you look at the whole year as theatre, as a real acts of tragedy, there's an almost poetic feeling to it. 1968 was one god damn thing after another. >> hardly a day goes by without a new report of another demonstration or protest against the vietnam war. >> there is, in the land, a certain restlessness. >> lyndon johnson, whatever else one thinks of him, his
reputation will always have the stone of vietnam around it. >> we live in the middle of a beast. lyndon johnson is a common murderer. >> johnson did things that no other president did. civil rights, great society. he should have been somebody that every young person and every liberal would have celebrated, but they didn't. he became the vietnam war president. >> we'd been told repeatedly that we're succeeding, we're defeating them. they can't hold out. johnson kept saying, there's light at the end of the tunnel. >> this is a cbs news special report. saigon under fire. >> the enemy in vietnam has demolished the myth that a live military strength controls that country. >> the american embassy is under siege. inside are the vietcong terror squads that charged in during the night. >> the tet offensive was an
enormous game changer. they were shooting up the american embassy. they had hit dozens of cities all over vietnam. it was a tremendous shock. >> we have known for several months now that the communist planned a massive, winter-spring offensive. we do not think that our military operations are going to be at all materially affected. >> he was unable to be honest with the american people, because, of course, he was unwilling to simply say, this is an unwinnable war. >> cronkite's vietnam report, reel one, take four. >> these ruins are in saigon, capital of the largest city of south vietnam. >> when he went to vietnam during tet, it was the first time, and maybe the only time, that walter had shown any kind
of bias in his public broadcast. >> it is increasingly clear to this report, that the only rational way out would be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy and did the best they could. >> after walter cronkite, johnson's popularity sinks. >> to most ordinary citizens, it's become obvious the war is not being won. >> opposition to the war was rising. it wasn't just beatniks and young kids. >> we are fighting a war. i'm convinced that it is one of the most unjust wars that has ever been fought in the history of the world. >> martin luther king came out against the vietnam war. his own followers said you shouldn't be focusing on that. you should be focusing on our issue. he said they're intertwined, you can't separate them. >> president kennedy said on one occasion, mankind must put an end to war. or war will put an end to mankind.
you honestly think if there was an election, a vote for and against the war, that the anti-war people would win out? >> it's really hard to tell now. the polls are uncertain. but the polls do say that most of the country is discontent with the path that the war is taking. i think something ought to be done. >> when some of the anti-war activists were looking for somebody to run for president, a number of people turned them down, including robert kennedy. >> there are increasing reports out of washington that your advisers are now telling you to run against president johnson this year. >> i have no plans. i have no plans to change the statement i've already made. >> senator? >> the assumption among the
kennedy intimates was that lbj was totally unbeatable in 1968. and bobby would run in 1972. >> the anti-war movement needed a leader and it fell to eugene mccarthy. >> very nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> senator, president johnson supporters say you don't have a chance in new hampshire and you'll be lucky to get 10% of the vote. what do you say about that? >> well, i don't know. the people supporting me said we'll do better than that. >> one democrat, senator eugene mccarthy -- >> eugene mccarthy does something that's taboo. he comes out against a sitting president from the same party.
>> mccarthy came in from left field. he was not thought of in the front rank of presidential contenders. but there was a great deal of frustration and even despair among the young. eugene mccarthy gave them hope. >> how many volunteers for senate mccarthy? >> i'm ready to vote in the primary. >> from nbc news election central in manchester, new hampshire, this is the news. >> if mccarthy gets as much as 30% of the vote or more against an incumbent president, he can legitimately claim an important victory. >> mccarthy didn't win the new hampshire primary. but he took enough votes that it scared lyndon. he got 42% of the vote. but mccarthy was a nothing, an upstart. if mccarthy could draw blood, johnson was vulnerable. >> they said '68 was the year. i think march the 12th is the day. [ applause ] >> how does this strike you? you're not disappointed he didn't actually win? >> oh, no. he did win, though. this is exactly what he wanted. he said we shouldn't have dissent that breaks down our system. you should work through the democratic process to get what you want. you can hope and you've got to base it on a dream and this is coming true. >> whatever happened to robert kennedy? >> um, i think -- >> who's he? >> perhaps the most important result out of all this from mccarthy's viewpoint is that he will from now on be treated as a serious presidential candidate.
>> all of a sudden, after new hampshire, there's a new political reality and bobby very rapidly starts recalculating. >> would you welcome his entrance? >> it's a little crowded now, but -- [ laughter ] ♪ (cell phone rings) where are you? well the squirrels are back in the attic. mom? your dad won't call an exterminator... can i call you back, mom? he says it's personal this time... if you're a mom, you call at the worst time. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. where are you? it's very loud there. are you taking a zumba class? ngo to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over one hundred of the web's leading job boards with a single click. then simply select the best candidates from one easy to review list. and now you can use zip recruiter for free. go to ziprecruiter.com. wiback like it could used to?
let me tell you the issue of '68. the issue of 1968 is not the johnson personality, but the johnson policies that i happen to believe that this country can't afford four more years of lyndon johnson. that's the issue of 1968. [ applause ] >> for 16 years now, in the shadow play of american politics, there has always been a richard nixon. he's not coming back. he never left. >> most political observers thought nixon was finished. he'd been counted out so many
times. so, nixon wanted to show the leaders of the republican party he was a winner. >> we'll inaugurate a republican president next january. thank you. >> media consultants worked with him so he wouldn't be the sweaty nixon of 1960. >> i'm really the most difficult man in the world when it comes to a so-called public relations firm. nobody's going to package me. nobody's going to make me put on an act for television. if people looking at me say that's a new nixon, then all that i can say is, well, maybe you didn't know the old nixon. >> i wrote a diary of being on the nixon campaign plane. and i came out just saying, what does he believe in? what does he care about?
how can we trust him? i realize that the person i felt most related to was robert kennedy. >> i have traveled and i have listened to the young people of our nation. and felt their anger about the war that they are sent to fight, about the world that they are about to inherit. i am announcing, today, my candidacy for the presidency of the united states. [ applause ] >> eugene mccarthy clears the way and tests the water. but he wasn't the guy who was going to get there. bobby was going to get there. >> this nation must adopt a foreign policy which says clearly and distinctly, no more vietnams. [ applause ] >> you have the declaration of another rival candidate from within his own party, currents of anti-war sentiment are building up, and at the same time, the war is getting worse. i think if you're lyndon johnson, you feel you're being surrounded by a stampede. >> good evening, my fellow americans. tonight, i want to speak to you of peace in vietnam and
southeast asia. >> this is the moment for lbj, where the pressures of vietnam are becoming almost overwhelming. >> it is true that a house divided against itself is a house that cannot stand. accordingly, i shall not seek, and i will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president. >> you have just heard the president of the united states, lyndon baynes johnson, in an address from his office at the white house. the advanced text of his address did not contain those last remarks saying, and i quote from president johnson, i shall not
seek and will not accept the nomination of my party for the presidency. roger, no question about it, this was a bombshell politically. >> well, you really don't know where to begin. >> our guest today on "meet the press" is the vice president, hubert h. humphrey, who today announced his candidacy for the democratic presidential nomination. hubert humphrey was vice president. and now he's running for president. humphrey has doubts about vietnam but has been a good soldier. he's stood by johnson. >> your president made a supreme political sacrifice to promote this cause of peace. he was one of the casualties of this war. >> i don't think there was ever an overwhelming enthusiasm for hubert. the drama of mccarthy and kennedy has captured everyone's attention. >> is the key vietnam?
>> yes, in a large way. in a large measure. not totally, but there's a certain degree of general protest amongst youth which i think is, on balance, a healthy thing. [ radio communication ] >> there was a lot of frustration on the part of students that the war was not drawing to a close, despite our demonstrations. so students began to become more militant. >> columbia university, students barricade themselves into university buildings. their leader is a 20-year-old ex-boy scout, mark rudd. >> i would say that we now have more support than any group about any political issue has ever held at any time. >> columbia became the symbol of students and revolt. >> activists like tom hayden went to columbia and said, let's have more columbias. there's nothing like feeling that you're fighting the power or somebody's listening to you, at least, to draw more people in. >> we started shouting a phrase, and it's a phrase that the youth in their words and by action of people all around the world, when they face truth, and that phrase is, up against the wall [ bleep ]!
>> we had an idea that this was the beginning of something very important. we took it as the beginning of revolution. >> what's happening to america? conversation three. tonight our young people, what's bothering them. >> is there really a generation gap? >> generation gap is a way that whites in this country and the structure in this country, the system in this country, rationalizes its lack of responsibility in teaching this generation how to solve the problems that we're faced with. >> 1968 was the year that you could point to and say, here is where the separation began between past generations and generations going forward. [ applause ] >> i think all of us have a role to play. and i think all of us have a great stake in the future. you, more than anybody else. as president kennedy once said, you have the least ties to the past and the greatest stake in the future. >> you'll always find idealism in youth.
i think that's something my father and my uncle recognized and why they always visited the universities. i remember my father talking about how the founders of the american revolution, you know, they were young people. >> well, you fellas don't even vote over here. you're not any older than my son. you don't even vote. [ applause ] come up here and i'll autograph your sandals for you. that'll make you feel better. >> there was a third-party candidate in this election, george wallace. but wallace was not affected by the vietnam issue. he was going to have a certain amount of support in the south come what may. >> there's not a dime's worth of difference in either one of the two parties. and if they don't give the people a choice, we're going to give them a choice by having a
our fellow citizens and people who love peace all over the world. and that is that martin luther king was shot and was killed tonight in memphis, tennessee. [ audience shrieks ] >> when king was killed, bobby was on his way to a campaign stop in indianapolis. going into the ghetto. and the cops said, don't go. they were fearful of a riot. bobby went anyways. >> for those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, i would only say that i can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. i had a member of my family killed. and he was killed by a white man. >> he gives this spontaneous speech to an absolutely devastated crowd.
this wasn't just politics. he made it personal. >> let us say a prayer for our country and for our people. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> this country and every person in it suffered a terrible loss tonight with the assassination of this man. the perpetrator of this deed brings down upon all of us the painful charge that we americans are the prisoners of violence and destruction and death. that is the tragedy of it. restraint, gentleness, charity, virtues we so desperately need, have had a dark day. >> king was the only rational voice that was left in america. he stood against the war in vietnam. he stood against violence, period. so, when you killed him, you killed everything. you killed the only rational voice that's left. >> it became absolutely clear. you don't want dr. king, you assassinated nonviolent, direct action, you've tried to kill the dream. okay, here's a taste of the
nightmare. [ sirens ] >> the outrage could not be contained. fires burned the cities of america. >> washington, chicago, detroit, boston, new york -- these are just a few of the cities in which the negro anguish over dr. king's murder expressed itself in violent destruction. >> i remember coming back to washington two or three days after king had been killed. you're thinking, what am i seeing here? this is the united states of america. and there are machine guns on the steps of the capitol? >> 100 cities raged with riot. 20,000 are arrested. >> people were in open revolt. sirens wailing. people screaming. and it shook everyone, black and white, to the core. >> nothing could be more desecrating to the memory of
martin luther king than to use his death as an excuse to engage in violence. >> there was a faith and spirit vacuum. when you find people who have lost that hope, fear tends to fill that vacuum. people were increasingly afraid, and mr. law and order stepped up on the republican side. >> this is a nation of laws. no one is above the law. no one is below the law. and we're going to enforce the law, and americans should remember that. [ applause ] >> no divisions that exist between black and white. i want us to work together. and i run on that basis for president of the united states. [ applause ] >> my father's appeal was to really the most disenfranchised classes. he felt like nobody else was
speaking for them. and that's where his face was, rather than with the liberals. the liberals were for mccarthy. >> i want to reassure you that i'm not yielding to anybody along the way, the vice president or senator kennedy. >> indiana, bobby wins. nebraska, bobby wins. and then on may 28th, oregon. >> mccarthy's crowds in recent days have been good. larger than kennedy's in many places, although without the frenzy that accompanies a kennedy appearance. >> i can't afford to lose if i'm going to remain a very active and viable candidate. it would adversely affect me in a very serious way. >> the actual final figures yet to come in. but apparently senator mccarthy has won a major victory in oregon. senator kennedy has suffered a severe setback. they move on now to california and the primary there a week from tonight. >> and this result, tonight, does not prove, of course, that kennedy is politically dead this year. it does prove that he's
politically mortal. it establishes that he is robert kennedy, after all. not john f. kennedy. >> i think what will happen now, mccarthy gets a new life. he's still a long shot. but he has a chance now. i think that, however, you don't write off robert kennedy, because he can come off the floor and win big in california. that's what he has to do. if he didn't win big in california, he's had it. [ crowd chanting ]
bobby kennedy, having lost oregon, knew that he had to win california, and that would be his ticket to the convention. >> it will take a very big win, a spectacular win in california, to repair the badly shattered kennedy image. >> bobby's going to do it. you know, this was just the way that everybody felt. >> for kennedy, 48%. and for mccarthy, 41%. [ applause ] ♪ ♪ this land is robert kennedy's ♪
>> all of us are involved in this great effort, and it's a great effort not on behalf of the democratic party. it's on behalf of the united states, on behalf of our own people, on behalf of mankind all around the globe -- [ cheers and applause ] >> my thanks to all of you and now, it's on to chicago and let's win there. [ cheers and applause ] >> senator, this way. this way. >> i was upstairs in the ambassador hotel. we were getting ready for a victory party. somebody called. i picked up the phone in the suite. this colleague called and said, something's happened to the
senator. >> senator kennedy has been shot! is that possible? >> it was bedlam. i couldn't find kennedy. finally found him. he was lying on the floor. [ shouting and chaos ] >> somebody shot him in the corridor behind the kitchen, going through the kitchen here. >> everybody, please stay back. please stay back. we need a doctor here. >> please, it's very important. we need a doctor. >> will you please clear this room? if you do not leave the room, we cannot get medical aid to the senator. now would you please clear -- [ crowd noise and screaming ] >> i can't say that people said, how could this happen? because we'd seen it happen. the truth is, this had been in the back of everybody's mind and one of the reasons why people
thank you. >> as you all know, no words can really fully convey the feeling that one must have for the nation in the face of this tragedy, this new tragedy. >> people say, well, it was inevitable. his brother was murdered and so was he. nothing's inevitable. it just happened. >> this plane will take back the body of robert francis kennedy to new york. also on board this plane today will be mrs. john f. kennedy. also on board will be another widow, mrs. martin luther king jr. somehow and in some way, we seem to be sending a great many of our young leaders to their early graves. >> it's been a very emotional
period for all of us who have worked for the senator. and personally, the most horrifying thing in these last few days was this morning, when i tacked this black ribbon on to my campaign button, because now i'm lost. i'm desperate. and i don't know where we're going from here. >> when senator kennedy went down, he was trying to speak for those americans, including the young, who feel a need to change many aspects of american life. well, that cause has not been still forever, because even without him, the changes will be made, because they have to be. but nobody knows when, nor how, nor whether the changes will be made peacefully or violently. >> in the meantime, this country has lost another leader. as far as i'm concerned, has
this is walter cronkite in miami beach at this first session of the republican national convention. >> richard nixon was the leader. but he walked into the republican convention not positive that he would be the candidate. >> the new-fashioned nixon runs an old-fashioned campaign. and that's what the country seems to want. >> there were challengers. there was nelson rockefeller in new york, for starters, and george romney in michigan. there was some talk of reagan. but nixon had a lock on the delegates. >> we are a nation in crisis.
right now, change rules america. it's time for america to rule change. it is my privilege to place a nomination, the man for 1968, the honorable richard m. nixon. [ cheers and applause ] >> there are 30 votes in wisconsin. and this should be put him across. >> richard m. nixon. [ applause ] >> sit down, get to work. [ laughter ] >> it looks like nixon. nobody is really surprised. and no committed republican feels cheated. what was the fuss all about? >> the republicans understand that nixon, in this time of tumultuousness, he gives people the sense of continuity. >> what is most important now is for us to think how we can get
the course of the war. >> we knew that we would not be able to influence the republicans on vietnam. so, we wanted to put massive pressure on the democrats. i didn't think anything could happen with vietnam without that challenge. ♪ >> this is a cbs news campaign '68 convention special. what's going to happen in chicago? on this eve of the beginning of the 35th democratic national convention, chicago is nearly security-tight. perhaps the heaviest security ever provided for a political gathering in the free world. >> the police, several thousand of them, are now deployed. soldiers have arrived in chicago and are standing by. >> for the convention, the plan was to have a mass anti-war demonstrate and a mass counterculture festival. we gathered in the parks. >> we're going to march because we have a right to, because that's what we came to chicago to do and no one's going to stop us. thank you. [ applause ]
>> there were many factions. they were united only by a feeling that this is our moment. this is carnegie hall. >> no more war. no more war. >> they're concerned about the build-up of the force because we think that anything that's built-up like this is liable to be used. >> a democratic convention is about to begin in a police state. there just doesn't seem to be any other way to say it. >> the people of chicago and its mayor are proud to welcome a great political gathering of americans who come here to shape the future of a nation. and as long as i'm mayor of this town, there will be law and order in chicago. [ applause ] >> the two men who most still believe this is all about arrived in chicago to begin their final drive for delegate votes. >> most of us were saying it wasn't politically possible for mccarthy to overcome those who were pledged to humphrey. so, there clearly needed to be another force. >> arriving now, senator george mcgovern of south dakota. >> mcgovern got into the race because there was a big hole in the anti-war side. and, you know, bobby kennedy had
a lot of delegates. >> mccarthy said he didn't believe mcgovern had enough strength to make any difference. so, mccarthy said he'll continue the fight for the nomination, although it was clearly implied that his chances are very slim. >> mayor daley set up all the conditions for conflict in chicago. he didn't give them permits to march. but he knew that they were coming anyway. >> over 10,000 demonstrators were gathered in chicago's grant park. the demonstrators are determined to march on convention hall tonight in protest. police are at the park in force. >> you can count on it. that the police and the authorities will always unify what you can't unify by yourself. [ crowd chanting ] >> the tumultuousness, the violence that was happening outside the home, became reflected inside the home. >> there seems to be some kind
of battle going on here. >> yes, directly under our booth here. they're carrying a man out. >> i got into a melee in the convention hall myself. >> don't push me. take your hands off me, unless you plan to arrest me. >> wait a minute. wait a minute. >> walter, as you can see -- >> i don't know what's going on. i think we've got a bunch of thugs here, dan. >> mind you, i'm all right. it's all in a day's work. >> it reflected for all the world to see the pressure inside the hall in what was supposed to be a democratic society of free people nominating someone to be president. [ audience chanting ] ? waterfall? no, me tarzan, king of jungle. why don't you want to just ask somebody? if you're a couple, you fight over directions. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. oh ohhhhh it's what you do.
>> you create disorder if you try to impose too much order with force. so, that's what happened. they were suppressing our democratic rights in order to continue an undemocratic war. [ shouting and chaos ] >> people screaming, being dragged to the paddy wagon. a scene of wild disorder, on this, the night of a presidential nomination to this democratic convention. >> it was a police riot. i had never seen that before in my life. i had never seen groups of uniformed policemen going after civilians. there were pools of blood on michigan avenue. >> the whole world is watching, the whole world is watching, the whole world is watching. >> the whole world is watching, chants the crowd. >> with george mcgovern as president of the united states, we wouldn't have to have gestapo tactics in the streets of chicago! [ applause ]
>> did you see what was happening downtown? >> yes, i saw it with this television set. >> do you think this is going to cost the democrats the election, this, what's happening here in chicago this evening? >> i don't think there's any question. i think not only the party, but the country is split in half. i think they'll veer away from this dissension. >> thank you very much, shirley mcclain watching the television in the back of the hall about what's going on downtown. >> it is my honor to present the new leader of our party, the next president of the united states, the honorable hubert humphrey. ♪ >> i proudly accept the nomination of our party. >> they got hubert humphrey as the candidate. humphrey was an example of what we were fighting. he was a liberal who was going to betray our hopes. >> seeing hhh on your lapel,
does that mean you're for humphrey all the way? >> well, i wouldn't say all the way. i'm a democrat, and he's the nominee. >> now it's true, what george wallace said, if the first job at hand is to end this war, there isn't a dime of difference there between humphrey and nixon. >> vice president humphrey remains, by any basis of measurement available, a complete underdog. >> my feeling is, that if he could cut himself off from the president, be his own man, that he has a chance of winning this election and would make it very easy for all of us to support him. >> humphrey desperately needed to separate himself from the administration, and he did. >> i think the greatest task of statesmanship is to find a way to conclude and bring that war in southeast asia to an end. and to do it -- >> the public was so happy that there was some movement towards peace in vietnam. humphrey was back in the game, and it was neck and neck. >> from nbc news, election central.
>> nixon's the one. that's the natural banter for any spritely front page tonight. 94% of the popular vote is counted. there are the numbers. >> it was one of the closest elections in american history. closer even than when nixon lost to kennedy eight years ago. [ applause ] >> i have done my best. i have lost. mr. nixon has won. the democratic process has worked its will. >> george wallace carried five states. alabama, arkansas, georgia, louisiana, and mississippi. >> in our judgment, the people who supported us had an impact on bringing the two parties in a different direction. and i do wish for mr. nixon, the most success of any president in
the history of our country. having lost a close one eight years ago and having won a close one this year, i can this. winning a is a lot more fun. [ laughter and applause ] ♪ >> with nixon's election, even though many people felt a sense of disappointment, there was a sense that there may be some normality on the horizon. people were exhausted. so it was, in part, a sense of relief. maybe, thank god it's over. [ applause ] >> i plan to spend christmas in the states. but i can't stand violence. [ laughter and applause ] >> 1968 certainly has been one of the unhappiest years in american history. >> in the end, it always comes down to what the people do. and this year, the people, like
the events of 1968, are largely unpredictable. >> our country was put to some enormous tests in 1968. it was a bend. but there wasn't a break. >> the issues that were thrown open in 1968, who has authority, who deserves authority, what the limits of power are, those are profound questions that continue to matter. >> this will be an open administration. open to new ideas, open to men and women of both parties, open to the critics, as well as those who support us. and i am confident that this task is one that we can undertake and one in which we'll be successful.
♪ one of the longest serving u.s. supreme court justices dies. tributes for antonin scalia power in from across the u.s. political spectrum. scalia's death sets the stage for an especially fiery republican presidential debate in south carolina. we will bring you the highlights and the low lights to that debate. and if all of the political squabbling is getting down, we promise to give you that warm and fuzzy valentine's day feeling. by the end of this hour, you'll want to stay with us. from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome. to our viewers in the united states and around the world, i'm george howell. "cnn newsroom" starts right now.