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1968 was the 97th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.


U.S. Rep. Tom Bevill answers the first 911 call


Ollie's Barbecue


South Central Bell 1967.png




Arthur Shores courtesy BPL Archives




John Robertson


DeDee Nathan
Frank Thomas







Lurleen Wallace postcard
See also List of Birmingham homicides in 1968





Early Days in Birmingham


  • September: Early Days in Birmingham
  • Paul Hemphill spent a year-long Niemen Fellowship at Harvard University working on his first book, The Nashville Sound.

Films and TV





Presidential candidate George Wallace in 1968

In 1968, the Vietnam War continued and the Tet Offensive took place. A U.S. B-52 Stratofortress crashed in Greenland near Thule Air Base, discharging four nuclear bombs. The Winter Olympics were held in Grenoble, France. Madison Square Garden in New York City opened. Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. The Civil Rights Act of 1968, including the Fair Housing Act, became law. The Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church. The musical Hair officially opened on Broadway. U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles, dying the next day.

Also in 1968, the semiconductor company Intel was founded. The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held in Chicago, Illinois. Swaziland became independent. Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, launched. Mattel's Hot Wheels toy cars were introduced. The Summer Olympics were held in Mexico City, Mexico. Republican challenger Richard Nixon defeated the Democratic candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and American Independent Party candidate George Wallace in the presidential election. Apollo 8 orbited around the Moon.

Fiction published in 1968 included Eva Trout by Elizabeth Bowen, 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, The Goblin Tower by L. Sprague de Camp, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, Airport by Arthur Hailey, and Colonel Sun by Robert Markham. Non-fiction included Soul On Ice by Eldridge Cleaver and The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron.

Top pop music hits in 1968 included "Love is Blue" by Paul Mauriat, "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro, "People Got to Be Free" by The Rascals, and "Hey Jude" by The Beatles. The top selling album was The Beatles (a.k.a. the White Album). The Grammy for Record of the Year went to "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon & Garfunkel. Album of the Year was By the Time I Get to Phoenix by Glen Campbell. Song of the Year was "Little Green Apples" by O. C. Smith. The Best New Artist Grammy went to José Feliciano.

The top-grossing films in 1968 included 2001: A Space Odyssey, Funny Girl, The Love Bug, The Odd Couple, Bullitt, Romeo and Juliet, Oliver!, Rosemary's Baby, Planet of the Apes, and Night of the Living Dead. Oliver! took the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director (Carol Reed). Best Actor went to Cliff Robertson for Charly. Best Actress went to both Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter and Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl in the Best Actress award's only tie in history.

Television premieres in 1968 included Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, One Life to Live, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, Adam-12, Here's Lucy, The Doris Day Show, The Mod Squad, Hawaii 5-O, and 60 Minutes. Series ending included The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Lost in Space, The Lucy Show, Batman, The Monkees, and The Bell Telephone Hour.

Notable births in 1968 included actors Cuba Gooding Jr, Gary Coleman, Hugh Jackman, Owen Wilson, and Brendan Fraser, actresses Molly Ringwald, Ashley Judd, Debra Messing, and Lucy Liu, rappers and actors LL Cool J and Will Smith, gymnast Mary Lou Retton, singers Sarah McLachlan, Lisa Marie Presley, Lisa Loeb, Céline Dion, Macy Gray, and Ziggy Marley, skateboarder Tony Hawk, baseball players Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza, and Sammy Sosa, television chef and host Rachael Ray, and comedian Margaret Cho. Notable deaths included singer Frankie Lymon, actor Bobby Driscoll, Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, spokeswoman for the deaf and blind Helen Keller, politician Robert F. Kennedy, physicist George Gamow, artist Marcel Duchamp, and writer Upton Sinclair.

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