20 November 2007
1968 The Year That Changed A Generation
On the Heels of 1968 In America by Charles Kaiser, 1968, The Year That Rocked The World by Mark Kurlansky, the Newsweek currently on the stand has a great almost Pop Art cover about 1968 titled 1968: The Year That Changed Everything.
For several years, I have referred to '68 as "The Year America Died", so the Newsweek was a "must grab" on the way out of the checkstand. In the issue is an excerpt from Tom Brokaw's Boom about the generation that seems to take itself a little too seriously and be a little too self-referential from it's arrival until now when we are becoming seniors.
It has almost seemed that you could draw a hard bright line through 1968 and there was the uncrowded, mostly safe, hopeful, generous, changing for the better America and the drug ridden, rampant crime, politically divisive new America to the point that you almost can't explain to your children just how different it was. The assassination of John Kennedy in 1963 had started us down a hard road and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King in 1968 put the "it ends here" stamp on the country.
"We will never laugh again." Mary McGrory told Daniel Patrick Moynihan. "No Mary." said Moynihan. "We will laugh again, but we will never be young again."
When we arrived on the scene there were a little over two billion people in the world. When we depart there is likely to be seven billion plus. So for you boomers out there, before we depart probably with almost as much fanfare as we arrived, how do we fix what seems to have been broken? What kind of world do you want to pass on to your children and grandchildren and how do we make it happen?