In photos: How 1968 changed America — for better and worse

In modern United States history, few years are remembered with such mixed emotion as 1968. The year began with the Tet Offensive and the Mai Lai Massacre in Vietnam, turning points in the conflict that drove counterculture and protest. The Black Panthers were becoming increasingly visible and being targeted by the FBI, while the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. sparked riots in cities across the country.

Two-hundred-meter gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos raise their fists in protest at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Credit: Courtesy NPG

The Democratic Party was thrown into disarray with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and the use of force against protesters during the Democratic National Convention depended schisms that could not be repaired before that year’s presidential election.

“Earthrise,” taken by astronaut Bill Anders during the Apollo 8, is one of the most memorable images of the Space Age. Credit: NASA
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