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Describe the social and political turmoil of 1968;include the assassinations of MLK Jr, Robert Kennedy and the events surrounding the DNC

  1. MLK assassination – who killed him, why
  2. MLK assassination Riots – when, where, why, what happened, affects
  3. Robert Kennedy Assassination – Who killed him, why, what role did Robert play politically at that time
  4. 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention (DNC) riots – causes what happened result

On April 4th, 1968 MLK was assassinated by James Earl Ray who shot him in the neck. Ray claimed to be part of a conspiracy. There was supposed to be a second trial but Ray passed away. His widow insisted that he would’ve been seen as innocent if the trial did happen and that lots of information would have been brought up. Martin Luther King’s assassination just threw gasoline on the fire for the civil rights movement. After the assassination riots were happening all throughout Memphis. 40,000 national guard troops were sent. Many were grieving and upset by this and felt like without him history would go back in time and get rid of all the work and freedom they have been building up to.

Robert Kennedy was shot by Shiran Shiran on June 5th 1968. Robert Kennedy was currently a senator for California. Shiran confessed to the crime and originally was sentenced to death, but instead spent his life in prison. He, who was from Palestine, believed that Kennedy was against Palestinians.

The DNC riots were anti-Vietnam-War riots. The riots were televised which only gave more fuel to the flame. Many Americans now felt that being in the war was pointless and was killing our citizens for no reason. McCarthy was essentially the leader of these riots.

Reflection: I was shocked to learn that Robert Kennedy was assassinated because of assumptions that he was against Palestinians. It further makes me not want to be a politician.  I think these riots and deaths have affected us today but not as much as other things I have learned in this unit.



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