The entire month of July is absent from my 1968 journal. I think that after the events of June, I was too shell-shocked to write anything.
But we did travel in July of that year. So, I’ll tell you what I remember.
There had been close to a week of rioting in D.C. after the MLK assassination, and the city was still edgy and smoldering in the aftermath when we arrived in early July. We had our three-year-old son, Chris, with us on the trip. He loved to travel. (Still does!) We visited my husband, John’s, cousin Bill who was a Navy Commander. Bill got us a special “VIP” white house tour. While the historic tour was interesting, the best part came when I realized that little Chris had vanished! I started frantically looking around. Then I spotted two “G-men” coming down the hall. One of them held Chris in his arms. I ran to them. “This your little boy?” the man said. “Yes! Thank goodness!” I cried. “We found him in the West Wing near the First Family’s quarters,” the man said. “You might want to keep an eye on him.” “Oh, I’m so sorry. Of course!” I replied. Chris just smiled.
Next, we drove up to New Brunswick and stayed for several nights at a wonderful B&B called the Rossmount Inn located in St. Andrews by the Sea. The house dated from the late 1700s and sat on almost ninety acres of land that included a large garden where vegetables were grown for the inn’s excellent restaurant.
We found out that President Lyndon Johnson had recently stayed at the inn while meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson. The inn was reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a housekeeper who had gone to sleep in front of the fireplace and burned to death. But we didn’t have any ghostly encounters while we were there.
Next, we moved on to Halifax, Nova Scotia to visit our friend, ceramist Jim Leedy, who was spending the summer as artist-in-residence at the Nova Scotia College of Art.
That meant several trips to the beach to devour lobster and clams and dip our toes in the frigid Atlantic.
All in all, it was a grand summer adventure. Just what we needed after the tumult of June!
But in the larger world that summer of ’68…
July 1, 1968
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was signed in Washington, Moscow and London and opened for signature by the other nations of the world.
July 7, 1968
Abbie Hoffman’s “The Yippies are Going to Chicago” is published in The Realist. The yippie movement, formed by Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Paul Krassner, all committed activists and demonstrators, is characterized by public displays of disorder ranging from disrupting the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange to the destruction of the Clocks at Grand Central Terminal.
July 11, 1968
The latest Gallup poll figures were released, showing that voters would prefer Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey over Republican Richard M. Nixon for the U.S. presidency by a 46% to 35% margin, but that if Nelson A. Rockefeller were the Republican nominee, the voters were event divided, 36% to 36% (with another 21% preferring independent candidate George C. Wallace.
July 18, 1968
The Intel Corporation is founded in Santa Clara, California
July 22, 1968
El Al Flight 426, from London to Tel Aviv, was hijacked by three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Thirty minutes after the Boeing 707 had taken off from Rome on its flight to Israel, the commando group forced its way into the cockpit and pistol-whipped the pilot, Captain Obed Arbabanel, and ordered the copilot to fly to Algiers, where it landed at 12:35 local time (2135 Monday UTC) in the early hours of July 23 about 90 minutes after the PFLP had taken control. The act has been described as “the advent… of the modern era of international terrorism.”
July 24, 1968
At the Newport (Rhode Island) Folk Festival singer Arlo Guthrie performs his 20-minute ballad “Alice’s Restaurant” to rave reviews.
July 28, 1968
The American Indian Movement, which would become the first militant advocacy group for the interests of more than 800,000 Native Americans in the United States was founded in Minneapolis by Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt and George Mitchell and other members of the Chippewa (Ojibwe) tribe, initially to protest the police brutality against the Native American minority in Minneapolis and St. Paul.