1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass (Park Slope)
As cynical as we are about national politics today – polarization, government ineffectiveness, and the epidemic of torpor in Washington – it is worth the dramatic events that unfolded the year this Oldsmobile was new.
In March of 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had grown unpopular with his own party, surprised the country by announcing, in a televised address, that he would not be a candidate for re-election. Five days later, Martin Luther King Jr., was shot to death in Memphis. Then in June, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed at a campaign event. In August, former Vice-President Richard Nixon, who had narrowly lost the Presidency in 1960, and then lost his bid to be Governor of California in 1962, returned as the GOP’s Presidential nominee. Rioting and police brutality marred the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. All the while the electorate was deeply divided over Vietnam, civil rights, and crime.