50 years ago, Lyndon Johnson was president, the first human heart transplant occurred in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders headed toward the Super Bowl having defeated their NFL and AFL opponents on New Year’s Eve. Rolling Stone reviewed two LPs released as 1967 came to a close: Donovan’s A Gift from a Flower to a Garden and Got that Feeling: Jimi Hendrix Plays, Curtis Knight Sings. More somberly the now-famous music magazine, only in its fourth issue, eulogized the “Crown Prince of Soul” Otis Redding, tragically killed in a plane crash on December 10, 1967 at only 26 years old. Never to see 1968, Redding’s (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay was released on January 8 and became the first posthumous single to top the US charts, as well as one of the enduring songs of the year.
What occurred in the following months changed the United States and the world irreparably. Escalation in Vietnam. Civil rights, antiwar, and student protests around the globe. The assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. The continued rise of the counterculture. New music, new styles, new ideas. Tragedy and rebellion. Welcome to 1968. Visit the Lilly Library’s foyer and Slocum Room to view a wide array of materials from this groundbreaking year. Items on display include notable publications in literature, poetry, and science fiction, as well as materials covering the politics and protest movements, music and movies, countercultural happenings, and fashions of the year.