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tv   American Artifacts The Year 1968 in Images  CSPAN  December 2, 2018 1:20pm-2:00pm EST

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i see us headed that way. >> our cities tour staff recently traveled to riverside, california to learn about its rich history. learn more about riverside and other stops on our tour at you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archives and historic sites around the country. next, we visit the smithsonian national portrait gallery in d.c. to tour their exhibit examining the events and personalities of 1968. our guide through the collection of 30 images is portrait historian james barber.
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james: welcome to the gallery. my name is james barber. i am a curator and historian at the gallery. today, we are going to look at the year 1968, 50 years back. we call it a one year exhibition about the year 1968. we are going to begin here with this iconic image of us, the earth. this was taken on the mission of apollo eight. space missionst of any nation that would actually leave earth's atmosphere and travel. the only other ones in the race was the russians. there was a space race. this image, it surprised the three astronauts who had the camera at the time.
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i guess nassau did not find them or they forgot. he looked out his window in the orbit craft. he sees this incredible site. nobody had ever seen anything like this. black and white film in the camera. he hollers over to his fellow astronaut. i need color. can you give me some? they gave him some and he snapped this image, as well as a number of other images. it is called earthrise. it was a first. this occurred at the end of the year in december of 1968. let's go on to the exhibition and look at the beginning of the year. welcome. we are in the one room show of 1968. there are some 30 objects we use to tell the story of that tumultuous year.
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just a little bit about the organization. why these objects and why are they in these locations? as a historian, i naturally think in terms of chronology. that was important. also, there are topics that we will see. this wall is topical of vietnam. had we done it strictly chronological, we would have lyndon johnson. that is his person of the year cover for 1967. if we did it chronologically, we would have peggy fleming in this wall. she won the gold medal for sports. vietnam had been a major topic of discussion in the 1960's. that and civil rights defined the 1960's. as well as space, which john f. kennedy initiated. lyndon johnson and
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his person of the year cover. he had a bad year in 1967. in 1964, he was man of the year, but that was for a good thing. things were going well in vietnam. things were not going well in the country. there were peace demonstrations and war demonstrations all over. time shows lyndon johnson as the person of the year for not having a good year. his problem was vietnam. n antiwar poster, bring the troops home now. this became a slogan. these protesters would use throughout, wherever they were. bring the troops home now.
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we went from january to march. the massacre which involved lieutenant william. this is the cover here. timell see a number of covers in this exhibition. there might be as many as 10. this is a cover that actually appeared a year later at the time of his trial. he would be convicted of a number of murders. he would be pardoned in 1974 by richard nixon. the image of the lieutenant. the middle, this is a fascinating photograph. this is a photograph of president lyndon johnson and first lady, lady bird johnson. they are watching tv screens in the oval office. johnson has just given a national address. it was march 31, 1968, with two
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surprises. the one surprise was that he was prepared to accept a peace in be vietnam instead of outright victory. the second surprise was he announced he was no longer a candidate for the presidency. he would not run for a second term. this shocked his political base. they were dismayed. it shocked the nation. it was a surprise. so much of a surprise that lady bird johnson did not believe she -- he was going to say that until he said it. i willall not seek and not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president. james: to begin with vietnam. unfortunately, vietnam would linger well into the next administration of richard nixon. let us move on in our
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exhibition. this wall talks about civil rights, which was another defining issue of the 1960's. we begin with a photograph of dr. martin luther king. why this image? let me explain a little bit. we try to focus on what was in our collection. we have been collecting images now, portraits for 50 years. you will see a great diversity. in fact, the portrait gallery opened in 1968. that is an anniversary for us. this image of dr. martin luther king, he is at a news conference and he is announcing his great initiative for that year. a poor people's campaign.
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a big part of the campaign was what you see at the top, the march on washington. that occurred after his death. he did not live to see that. it continued and it went on. the march on washington occurred in mid-may. they arrived from all over the country arrived and stayed on the mall. they are alongside the reflecting pool and the lincoln memorial. they stayed there for six weeks to bring attention to the plight of the poor nationwide. thenknow sooner arrived the rains arrived. the rain created mud and before too many days, they were up to their ankles in mud. this is why we chose martin luther king. this image of him. it is a 1968 image.
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it has been asked, why didn't we have something referring to his assassination. the answer is this room will only hold some 30 images. we had to pick and choose. we cannot tell the entire story of martin luther king, but we have a video in the corner of the room. that fills in an awful lot of what we cannot actually show on the wall. the next image describes martin -- beside martin luther king is the time magazine cover image of robert f kennedy who announced his candidacy for the democratic party. he was antiwar. he was for a lot of things that lyndon johnson was not. the two men never got along. once kennedy entered the race, johnson knew that was it and
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stepped aside. the image we see here as the time cover was what appeared right after kennedy's assassination in los angeles. it is a very somber image of it is a very somber image of kennedy. he was the peace candidate and was doing very well. he just won the california primary. the thing i remember about that is the funeral train, the train that left new york city to come to washington dc. he was part that she was buried in arlington cemetery. there were crowds of people who turned out throughout that 250 mile journey from new york city. the image that you see high
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above in the center is of robert kennedy. his wife helen. he was just ending a 25 day fast in support of those in california. they were trying to unionize. seanez was very involved in that. kennedy was shot as's number one supporter in washington. kennedy arrived and that picture of them breaking bread, sharing a piece of red. seanez is breaking his fast.
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it is one of time magazine's most iconic covers. for every cover that time did, there was a cover story. that was the story. time felt it was time to do a major story on small arms and guns in america. it was an expensive cover to do. the parameters in all walks of life are being expanded, being tested. time magazine was doing the same thing with its artists. they have not really used pop artists much before. lichtenstein was one of three major pop artists at the time. the other two would be andy warhol and robert wash and bird. this is an image that is printed on sheets of after tape.
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for every color, there is a different sheet of acetate. it was a different process. it really was one of time's most iconic images. roy lichtenstein did a month before, a cover in his style of robert kennedy. that came out in mid-may. the gallery owns that as well. when i say coverage, this was the original art for the covers that time photographed and put on the cover of the magazine. we are not talking about paper cover, it is the original art on all of these images. lichtenstein, the images of kennedy was not really appropriate for an image that
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would follow so closely his death. lichtenstein was the perfect artist to capture his vibrancy, his energy. it was a good portrait at the time to do that. conversely, using a real gun. it might have been a little too much and too graphic. lichtenstein's image was a little better. the second half of this wall is armed resistance. moving from the peaceful resistance of martin luther king to three images here of four black panthers. when i say armed resistance, carmichael has a revolver here stuck in his waist.
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and holding a shotgun there. the image above them, that was, at the time hughley newton's murder trial. they were the founders of the black panthers. this image shows him at the time of the trial for murder of a policeman. the lower image, another black panther member. he was known for the book that he wrote. it was a collection of essays, very genetically laid out the black panther agenda and whatnot. it sold quite a few books.
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the next topic we will look at is culture and counterculture. this wall is the center wall of the exhibition, the wall that you see if you were to enter a room. we look at culture, pop culture and counterculture. literary culture and the photograph at the top, she had a major book that came out that year. it was titled slouching towards bethlehem. the book was a series of essays. going home, that kind of thing. the main article, essay was about the ashbury counterculture of the. she explores that and writes about it, talks about it. she meets a happy family with a
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five-year-old girl who is on acid. the book is still very popular today. will sayho review it how relevant it still is today. another time cover. time with do an article on hippies, explain what they were all about and all that. the gallery has two images.
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this is not the one that made the cover of time. thisover of time is like one. and not theone up other one? the conservation, this one is in .uch better shape, condition time not put this on the cover? i wish somebody could tell me that. we will move down to the center .mage, which is of jimi hendrix hendrix was a huge name at this time. he was voted by rolling stone
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and billboard magazine as the artist of the year. he formed his band, the jimi hendrix experience. he would come back to the states to form here. objectsone of the few that the style of the art really invokes the 1960's. this is by that unidentified artist. it speaks to the style of the 1960's. we will look at to you to -- at two other band of the era. let's talk about a photographer, a very well-known photographer. contracted by a style of
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magazine. the contract was to go to san photostory ofdo a the counterculture, the culture that was going on. and the photographer somehow them in position here. the question was asked why did he take interest in these two band's? this is your portrait. the band's, who are these people? joplin.janis
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this is jerry garcia and the grateful dead on the side. image. an early that was his take on the music scene at the time. the photograph would appear. the year 1968, all the images, we are looking at the images from 1968. movies,is lesser-known which was love of iv.
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as we say on the label here he was once described as the martin luther king of the movies. he was one of the leading stars of at least this year. let's look at television. we need to move to this case at the center of the room. we had to include barbra streisand, who appeared in the movie version. she would win an oscar for that role. barbra streisand won awards for everything.
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won oscars, she won tony's, she won grammy awards. beside the photograph of streisand we have two tv guide's here. this is television culture of the day. and there is image of the smothers brothers here. dan rowan and take martin. they used a lot of political humor. year when they got too deep into presidential politics the studio told him pretty much
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immediately. they didn't last that long. many people remember those tv shows. it was a memorable year for sports. we will look at it chronologically with this time cover. why did we use it? because nothing really changes. wongreen bay packers have championships in the 60's, including the first two super bowl's of 1967 and the 1968 super bowl against the oakland raiders. nothing much had changed. we used the 60 to cover for the
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68 show. in february this was an olympic year. if nothing else had occurred there would be two major events for that year. keep in mind in 68 the olympic games both summer and winter were held in the same year. here is peggy fleming. this was the age of amateur sports. there is no apparel logo or anything like that. amateur sports only.
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next moving on to summer sports. this is in the final of the first u.s. open. 1968 it was called the national championships, it was an amateur event. pro and became known as the u.s. open. this is a photograph from that match. he would get a trophy but he could not keep the prize money because he still was an amateur. i like this quote on the label. what i like best about myself is my demeanor. i am seldom ruffled. that really was ash.
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he was known for his civic sense of duty. he refused to play the south africa open as a protest on their policy of apartheid. he was very much an activist. this is of denny mcclain of the detroit tigers. take the detroit tigers to the world series. would win the most valuable player award, which is very unusual. the award that was given to a picture was a sideline award.
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an unidentified photographer of two american medalists in the t hundred that in the 200 meter run. john carlos here would win the bonds. peter norman would take the silver. you can see the gloved fist in the air as a quiet protest against racial inequality they experienced in america. in doing exhibits like this, sometimes there are positions you can't anticipate. is a wonderful example of a
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juxtaposition of arthur ashe and .arlos and smith as i read earlier, he expressed it in a much different way. it's an interesting juxtaposition. this kind of protest is very relevant to today. these are the issues that will still linger. we will move to politics. 1968 was also a presidential election year.
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before we get to those images let's focus on shirley. she is from new york city. she is the first african-american woman to win election to the house of representatives. she really represents america moving forward. this image of george wallace, former governor of alabama, campaigning for the presidency. he really represents the america of old. you don't often have this kind of juxtaposition. she wasn't typically a presidential candidate.
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later she would run for president. on paper when you ladies things out you wonder how they are going to lay out. things seem to fit. above them are the two democratic candidates. the small image you see at the top of their is the mayor of chicago. this was a very memorable convention. not so much what went on in the convention hall but the student protest. and daily new, mayor daley new it might be contentious.
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when he was asked about the chaos and the protesters all he could say was at least no one was killed. there is much heavy handedness from the chicago police department. this is by the same artist. very different. we move from the democrats to the republicans. againd nixon was running in 1960.
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his running mate was spiro agnew. he wanted someone who was confident, but he didn't want anyone who would upstage him. spiro agnew was the maryland governor. he was perfect for richard nixon , who would have been dwight eisenhower's vice president. the termn didn't know while were going to cause later. the same artist that did this one.
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cover of the three in theeight astronauts middle here on the right. those were the times men of the year of 1968. apollo eight, america was in a space race. it occurred around christmas time. it all seems to go just perfectly. the documentary that came out , the after the mission
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flight director was interviewed. and in the documentary they interview the wives. they all said when they were saying goodbye to their husbands , they didn't know whether this was goodbye. these gentlemen knew what the art -- what the odds were. it was the first time that man, human being would leave earth's atmosphere. it was a proud moment for
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america. it was the right event to end year on. it was a proud moment for the nation. although we end with apollo eight it's not the end of what you see at the national portrait gallery. doors andcore portraits of interesting people. we hope to see lots of people come. >> you can watch this or other american artifacts programs at any time by visiting our website . >> george h w bush, the 41st
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president of the united states has died at the age of 94. 1983 --d from 1989 to 1993. , helena roosevelt biographer talks with paul spiro, the director of the franklin d roosevelt presidential library museum in hyde park new york. written a three volume biography of the first lady. encouraged the civil rights movement, she encouraged martin luther king, she encouraged the student nonviolent coordinating committee. i invited eleanor roosevelt to the roosevelt house when i was president of the student council. she said wonderful things are happening.
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go south for freedom. we took two buses and one to north carolina. students supporting the siddons, supported the civil right movement. she was delighted. there a wonderful new book. there are three new books. eleanor roosevelt called her the firebrand. she called eleanor roosevelt the mother of the women's movement. >> you can watch the entire program sunday night on the presidency at 8 p.m. and 12 midnight eastern. weekend on, every c-span3. tonight, we visit the
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washington library at mount vernon for the 2018 program, discussingistorians what it means to be american. >> one nation indivisible was in a sense we are all together. somehow -- is somehow elemental to it means to be an american. when you look at george forge, theat valley ability to improvise and be almost a guerrilla fighter, to live off the land, to do what we need to do to get the job done. >> certainly minority groups were not. religious groups were not.


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