1968 has often been referred to as “The Incredible Year”. Incredible in a lot of ways; not least that America managed to survive what was probably one of the most violent years in its existence.
Assassinations of leaders – increasingly violent protests to a War in Vietnam and unrest in just about every city in America marked 1968 as a year it almost all came apart.
A lot of discussion, hand-wringing and solution seeking went on that year. The dividing line between generations was deeper and more pronounced than ever before – the division among the underprivileged and the socio-economic classes was more pronounced and the disenfranchised were growing by the day.
So much of what had been worked for, struggled and died over in the course of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 60s became empty promises – a bandaid on a bleed-out – the social injustices and the racism hadn’t, for the most part, changed.
And so the media turned to ask questions – to look at the problems – to bring about some sort of dialogue. It was felt that if the problems with the status of our society were addressed; if a dialogue began, then maybe, just maybe some solution could be found, or at least considered.
And so Meet The Press, on its broadcast of July 14, 1968 had principal members of CORE (Congress Of Racial Equality), Floyd McKissick and Roy Innes on for a panel discussion of where the issue of race and urban unrest stood, during that Summer of 1968.
No holds barred, but an informative half-hour discussion that barely touched on the myriad problems of our cities and our society – but in 1968, any discussion of pressing issues such as these were important break-throughs.
Here is that episode of Meet The Press – as it aired on July 14, 1968.