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CNN Special Reports
1968, the Uprising. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired June 28, 2020 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Wallace's audience is growing both in size and in emotional outburst.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political pigs, your days are numbered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have advantages on being an underdog.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Troops arriving in Chicago in substantial numbers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All over the place has a really big stray (ph) going on in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the mood of this convention on the floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands of young people are being beaten in the streets of Chicago.
EVERYONE: The whole world is watching. The whole world is watching.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Students push forward and the police push back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what the cops did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Robert Francis Kennedy was 42 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The enemy is no longer closer to victory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We demonstrate against the war in Vietnam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A number of men killed last week in Vietnam, was the highest this summer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are running an all-white political party in 1968.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all need George C. Wallace for our president of the United States.
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Vote Republican in November.
REPORTER: The peace groups are demanding permission to march on convention hall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These cops here are tough. They'd kill you with a smile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as I'm mayor of this town, there will be law and order in Chicago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the moment of truth for the Democratic Party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tuesday night, I spent my evening at Senator Kennedy's campaign headquarters to celebrate his victory in California. Tuesday night, I was in ecstasy with joy. Wednesday morning, sorrow. And this morning, utter despair, because now I'm lost. I'm desperate. And I don't know where we're going from here.
DAN RATHER, FORMER ANCHOR, CBS EVENING NEWS: By the early summer of 1968, there was this ache in the American spirit. What the hell is happening to us? Is the country coming apart at the seams?
FMR. SEN. EUGENE MCCARTHY (D-MN): No words can really fully convey the feeling that I have toward the Kennedy family in this time of their particular tragedy or the feeling that one must have for the nation in the face of this tragedy, this new tragedy.
CHARLES KAISER, AUTHOR, 1968 IN AMERICA: I really think McCarthy felt a sense of guilt in some weird psychological way for this outcome, because he has been a very nasty campaigner.
LANCE MORROW, ESSAYIST, TIME: This is one trauma too many and McCarthy sort of gave up after Bobby died. Instead of pressing on, he drifted away.
SAM BROWN JR., YOUTH COORDINATOR, SEN. MCCARTHY CAMPAIGN: One guy that offers an opportunity to at least try to find a way to end the war and that's gene McCarthy. That's why I'm here.
McCarthy didn't want to leap in with a bitter campaign. So, soon after Senator Kennedy had died, but it felt deserted, like just when we need him most, gone.
DAVID BRINKLEY, THE HUNTLEY-BRINKLEY REPORT: Senator George McGovern of South Dakota is said to be announcing tomorrow he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination.
KAISER: George McGovern ultimately feels that he has to come in and declare for the presidency to give the Bobby Kennedy people a place to go.
FMR. SEN. GEORGE MCGOVERN (D-SD): Representatives of Senator McCarthy and of my office have been meeting together to work out language on which our supporters could join forces in terms of a plan on the end of the war in Vietnam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You expected to be here with Robert Kennedy. PIERRE SALINGER, SEN. GEORGE MCGOVERN CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Yes, I think that all the time. Someone who I know is sorry that they had not participated in the campaign of Robert Kennedy, they were going do it later on in the summer. And that person said to me that one thing I've learned in life since the assassination of Robert Kennedy is never wait for summer. That's kind of the way I feel about American politics today. I think if you really feel about something, you don't put it off, you have to do something about it now.
TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Bobby Kennedy's death changed the nature of the campaign. With him gone, whoever was going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party had to come to grips with what Kennedy represented.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to present to you vice president of the United States, Hubert H. Humphrey, for a few words.
HUBERT HUMPHREY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
LEONARD STEINHORN, AUTHOR, THE GREATER GENERATION: Hubert Humphrey could have come out against the war, but he didn't want to do that because he didn't want to jeopardize his own nomination, because Lyndon Johnson had all the levers of power in the Democratic Party.
HUMPHREY: I am the vice president of the United States. The vice president of the United States does not make the policy.
TOM HAYDEN, CO-FOUNDER, SDS: He is a puppet, so you can't tell what he will think or do in office because he's not used to thinking for himself.
The final say in the delegate selection was in the hands of the party bosses and Lyndon Johnson.
KAISER: Someone questioned Johnson about Humphrey's loyalty. He said, don't worry about Hubert, I've got his pecker in my pocket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Earlier this year, top U.S. leaders vowed that the Marine outpost at Khe Sanh would be defended at all costs. But today, the U.S. command in Vietnam announced that the marines are pulling out of Khe Sanh.
DAVID CULHANE, CBS BEWS: That's the last bunker on this base. Now that the American troops have blown it up, there's nothing to protect them from enemy artillery. So now it's time for the final departure from Khe Sanh.
GEORGE SEVERSON, CBS BEWS: Why did we fight so hard to keep it if we were going to give it up like this, was the question some asked themselves. Others were relieved, because they privately believed Khe Sahn was of marginal strategic importance, anyway.
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Khe Sahn revealed the futility of the war. What was the goal? There was no clear goal if the end result is abandonment.
CRAIG SPENCE, ABC NEWS: Khe Sahn symbolizes the frustration of this kind of war. A few must remember their comrades who were among the 2,500 Khe Sahn casualties.
MARK BOWDEN, AUTHOR, HUE 1968: I think Khe Sahn stands as a symbol of the whole war effort. We got in for a supposedly strategic reason. It became a point of pride for President Johnson and others from the administration. The small number of Marines at that outpost were subjected to just brutal bombardment for five months. And when it turned out that the enemy wouldn't fight the way we wanted them to fight, we ended up packing up and leaving.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now as perhaps befits the strangest of wars, one of the most celebrated battlefields of Vietnam has been reduced once again to a simple meadow.
RATHER: By the time we got to the Republican Convention in 1968, Richard Nixon had done very well in the primaries leading up to that, but he did not go into the convention hall in Miami Beach having been assured of the nomination. He was sure.
ZELIZER: Nelson Rockefeller decides at the last minute to try to make a serious push to gain the nomination, even though he had vacillated for months.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt the problems facing this nation at home and abroad were so serious that I had no right not to make available what experience I had for the use of the party and the country.
NELSON GEORGE, AUTHOR: Rockefeller is probably the most liberal Republican of the era. They were moderate Republicans who were just a few steps from liberals.
JAMES FARMER, CO-FOUNDER, CORE: Mr. Rockefeller would get 41 percent, all the black Democrats and Republicans and independents, that is, to cross over and vote for him.
Mr. Nixon's whole record on civil rights has not been good.
NIXON: I want you to know that this marks the end of one journey and we think the beginning of another one.
DAN CARTER, AUTHOR THE POLITICS OF RAGE: One of the key things that Nixon did was to build a network of support among political leaders that would be respected by southerners, Strom Thurmond, for example, of South Carolina.
FMR. SEN. STROM THURMOND (R-SC): all that we could ask for is somebody who would be just and fair and treat the south like other sections of the country.
NAFTALI: Strom Thurmond had been a Democrat but he had left the Democratic Party because of the Civil Rights Act.
THURMOND: The race is between Mr. Nixon and Mr. Rockefeller, and I would prefer Mr. Nixon. I think he would be better for the whole country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Convention will come to order.
RICK PERLSTEIN, AUTHOR, NIXONLAND: 1968 is the last presidential year in which it was possible to run for president without entering any primaries. Ronald Reagan showed up in Miami Beach, gave a press conference and said, I'm running for president.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Yes. As of this moment, response to that resolution by the California delegation --
MARY BRENNAN, HISTORIAN: Reagan is, in many ways, everything Nixon is not. He's smooth. He's handsome. People like him. And people are confused, they're like, we believe that he's a true conservative and we've never really trusted Nixon. Okay, so now what are we going to do?
LOU CIOFFI, ABC NEWS: The name of the game right now is stop Nixon. Now, if a lot of those southern delegates move away from Nixon to Ronald Reagan, then they feel that Nixon can be stopped on that first ballot.
PAT BUCHANAN, NIXON CAMPAIGN ADVISER: The real fear was that Rockefeller and Reagan could hold off enough votes so that they could prevent us having a victory on the first ballot and then it would break wide open.
Now, I didn't fear Rockefeller. I never did. But Reagan was something else.
REPORTER: Are there any circumstances under which you would accept the vice presidency?
REAGAN: There is no circumstance whatsoever that could alter my decision about that.
HOWARD K. SMITH, ABC NEWS: The pressuring of delegates to come out for Nixon, or not to do so, proceeds with a kind of glad-handed desperation.
CARTER: The key to hanging on, as Nixon saw it, was to hang on so southern delegates.
SANDER VANOCUR, NBC NEWS: Why could it go either way?
CLARKE REED, CHAIRMAN, MISSISSIPPI DELEGATION: Well, Reagan has a lot of strength in our delegation.
CARTER: Many of them really wanted to go with Reagan. And that's where Strom Thurmond turns out to be so important.
EDWIN NEWMAN, NBC NEWS: Senator Thurmond, I'm told there was some slipping toward Reagan last night in the south and specifically in your own South Carolina delegation and that you personally stopped it. Is that correct?
THURMOND: There's no slippage in the South Carolina delegation. We all are standing for Nixon.
JOHN A. FARRELL, AUTHOR, RICHARD NIXON, THE LIFE: Nixon persuading Strom Thurmond he's the best candidate who can win, that we went with our hearts in '64 with Goldwater, he took us down to a horrible defeat.
So let's go with a moderate now. And then once we get in, I can slow down the federal government's efforts at desegregating schools in the south, but the number one reason was it looked like Nixon could win.
SMITH: A candidate needs 667 delegates to win the nomination, but with Nixon's estimated total at above 600 now, that air of victory is obvious.
TERRY DRINKWATER, CBS NEWS: Governor, may we ask you what you might have done differently thinking back now?
REAGAN: Nothing. There isn't anything I could have done differently.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a weary Governor Rockefeller who hotel hopped from one delegation caucus to another. Wife, happy, appeared anything but happy as her husband began to show the strain and perhaps the futility of it.
STEINHORN: With the demise of Nelson Rockefeller and the sort of exclusion of the moderate liberal side of the Republican Party, you began to see the reshaping of the Republican Party.
JIMMY BRESLIN, ABC NEWS: We are having, here in Miami Beach, the convention of the nice white people. All together, there are 26 non- white delegates and 57 non-white alternates out of 2,666. There are none of these magnificent, wounded black faces to remind us of what's going on in this country. There are only sunburns and smiles and balloons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a white delegation here and they don't know exactly what we want. So, we thought we'd get it together and take it to them.
WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS: Violence broke out the night in a predominantly negro section of Miami. Two buildings reportedly were set afire. Some looting was reported. More than 200 police were sent to the area and some tear gas was used at one point to disperse a rock and bottle throwing crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody can really say why it's happened. It's just pent-up anger, the frustration and the idea of being trapped in society. It's just a way of saying, I will accept the abuse no longer. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 55-year-old Richard Milhous Nixon has it confirmed now that he will get a second run at the presidency of the United States.
EVAN THOMAS, AUTHOR, BEING NIXON: Nixon knew that he was making one of the great comebacks in American political history. And he was able to tap into his own sense of renewal.
NIXON: As we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame. We hear sirens in the night. We see Americans dying on distant battlefields abroad. We see Americans hating each other, fighting each other, killing each other at home. And as we see and hear these things, millions of Americans cry out in anguish, did we come all this way for this?
DWIGHT CHAPIN, AIDE TO RICHARD NIXON: Nixon's speech was designed to say, you know, I hear you. Unless we stop shouting at one another, we can't hear one another. I mean, they're very powerful, powerful words.
NIXON: It is the quiet voice in the tumult of the shouting. It is the voice of the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans, the non-shouters, the non-demonstrators.
CHAPIN: Nixon wrote that speech contrary to a lot of his speeches where he would be getting help from his speechwriters. That speech was all Richard Nixon.
NIXON: America is in trouble today not because her people have failed, but because her leaders have failed. And what America needs are leaders to match the greatness of her people.
PERLSTEIN: Richard Nixon presenting a face of placid calm in a year of chaos, and things are looking pretty good for Richard Nixon.
ABBIE HOFFMAN, FOUNDER MEMBER, YIPPIE PARTY: What?
JIM BURNES, ABC NEWS: Isn't your purpose here to disrupt this convention?
HOFFMAN: Life is disruptive in America. Let's face it, if you believe in life, you're disruptive. You know, I don't want to go fight in that damn war, you know? That's a disruptive attitude. They're going to have to pull me by my hair, right?
KAISER: The activist part of my generation is divided into two parts, those who decide that they can change the world by supporting a viable anti-war candidate, and those who think that the entire system has to be torn down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political pigs, your days are numbered. We are the second American revolution. We are winning. Yippie.
MARK KURLANSKY, AUTHOR, 1968: Yippies were crazy people who did street theater.
JERRY RUBIN, FOUNDING MEMBER, YIPPIE PARTY: We're not going to take part in old men's election. Young people know who's going to win. The winner is going to be Pigasus, the pig, because every party is running a pig.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, why did you decide to become a candidate?
HAYDEN: the plan was to have a mass moratorium type anti-war demonstration in Chicago, and at the same time a mass counterculture festival.
DAVE DELLINGER, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, THE MOBE: We must stay in the streets and stay in active resistance or else there will be no peace.
HAYDEN: I was with Rennie Davis and Dave Dellinger and we were trying to coordinate the mobilization, which was this coalition of fractious groups who agreed on something like total withdrawal from Vietnam now and Alan Ginsberg wanted everybody to chant, om, to bring the war to an end and a police to their senses. It was a motley medley of all kinds of people.
PAUL KRASSNER, FOUNDING MEMBER, YIPPIE PARTY: When we first went to see Mayor Daley and we saw his deputy mayor to try and get a permit, he took me aside and said, come on, what do you guys really want to do? And I said, well, Well, did you see, Wild In The Streets, which was a movie where young people put LSD into the water supply and tipped over the government. And so, this is what the police expected.
FMR. MAYOR RICHARD DALEY (D-CHICAGO, IL): Our administration will never permit a lawless, violent group of terrorists to destroy the purpose of this national convention and take over the streets of Chicago.
PERLSTEIN: Before he became mayor, Chicago had kind of become a rundown, drab city.
HUGHES RUDD, CBS NEWS: The city is plagued with strikes from cab drivers to telephone installers, but Mayor Daley says the city has never been in better shape.
PERLSTEIN: Mayor Daley wanted to show off how he turned it into a modern showplace.
RUDD: Chicago loves size, scale. One hotel here brags it has more flush toilets under one roof than any other building in the world.
HEATHER ANN THOMPSON, HISTORIAN: Daley's administration was absolutely committed that in his city, this was not going to be a place where protesters were going to have a platform. This was going to be a place where they were going to be put in their place.
DALEY: No one will be able to take over the convention hall or the streets of Chicago. JUAN GONZALEZ, SDS MEMBER: Mayor Daley had exercised such control over the city. You couldn't even get near the convention center, where the convention was being held. So, basically, all you could do was protest by the major hotels in the loop area where a lot of the delegates were staying.
JOHN LAURENCE, CBS NEWS: The peace groups are demanding permission to march on convention hall the night the Democrats nominate their candidate for president. The city says, no, that would endanger security. There's a possibility of mass arrests, unless the city allows the demonstrators to camp out in public parks. There is nowhere else for them to stay.
HAYDEN: I think it's in their best interest to let us sleep in the park instead of roam the streets at night.
Boy scouts could sleep overnight in the parks, but not hippies. There's no other place to sleep. So, we knew if you're going to drive people out of the parks, they're going to be in the streets. It's going to be pandemonium. Is that what you want?
REPORTER: How do you feel about the anti-war demonstrators?
SGT. MCANN, CHICAGO POLICEMAN: I don't like them. I don't like them one bit. There's no reason for them. They accomplish nothing.
YOHURU WILLIAMS, HISTORIAN: The police, largely working class people, who'd come up the hard way, see these privileged white students and have to wonder, what do they have to be angry about. And many of those police officers themselves identified with the soldiers coming back from the war in Vietnam.
RENNIE DAVIS, ORGANIZER, THE MOBE: We re coming not because our fight is with policemen or with National Guard troops, our fight is with the policies of this administration.
JOSEPH BENTI, CBS NEWS: On this eve of the beginning of the 35th Democratic National Convention, Chicago is nearly security-tight.
ROBERT SCHAKNE: The police, several thousand of them, are now deployed. U.S. Army troops began arriving in Chicago in substantial numbers this morning, at least 50 planeloads. But they will be available to reinforce some 5,500 Illinois National Guardsmen, some 2,000 FBI, Secret Service and other federal agents and the 11,000-man Chicago police force.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're concerned about the buildup of force because we think anything that's built up like this is liable to be used.
REPORTER: Now, you're a girl are you afraid of any violence that may occur?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will be violence, yes, no doubt about that. But I'm not afraid of it.
LAURENCE: About 500 students, hippies, Yippies, radicals, activists, McCarthy kids, and other peace demonstrators marched four miles from the Lincoln Park to the hotels housing the Democratic convention delegates. They stayed on the sidewalks. They stopped for traffic signals and they did not try to cross police lines.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're here to work for a living, you wouldn't be out here.
LAURENCE: As the protesters marched back toward Lincoln Park, they clashed with police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were told that we would have to leave the park at 11:00 at night. At 5:00, the police started beating people up.
EVERYONE: We want the park. We want the park.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They disperse into the streets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm giving you one more warning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear this street.
PERLSTEIN: And this is the first melee of many.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A whole bunch of them picked me up and dragged me and they beat me and put mace in my face.
REPORTER: How did you get that blood all over you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I came over to get a picture and after they squirted me with mace.
REPORTER: And he clubbed you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he clubbed me.
CRONKITE: A Democratic convention is about to begin in a police state. There just doesn't seem to be any other way to say it.
[00:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I present to you now the able and gracious mayor of the city of Chicago, Richard J. Daley.
MORROW: Any political convention is as how, and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was a man of absolute control in the Democratic Party. He was a machine politician. This is my town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey.
CRONKITE: Now, they're raising the Illinois delegation. Fine, a brief effort to start a parade.
RATHER: Lyndon Johnson was weary of holding a convention in Chicago, but he gave it to Chicago and Daley, because Daley assured him, it will be a controlled environment. We will keep it under control.
EVERYONE: One, two, three, four, stop this damn war. One, two, three, four, stop this damn war.
HAYDEN: The Democratic Party was closed to change on Vietnam unless it faced such massive pressure that might make it turn.
BILL LAWRENCE, ABC NEWS: Mr. vice president, this is the opening night of the Democratic convention. Are you going to be nominated?
HUMPHREY: That's my hope, my plan. That's what we're trying to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The security around this international amphitheater has been worthy of an armed camp.
IKE PAPPAS, CBS NEWS: Someone called the amphitheater Ft. Daley and I think at this point, that is not very far from the truth.
GLORIA STEINEM, ACIVIST: I was distributing farm worker literature and Mayor Daley's henchpeople shoved me aside and broke my glasses. And, I mean, I wasn't hurt, but that's the floor of the convention.
RATHER: Take your hands off of me, unless you intend to arrest me.
A small group of reporters, at least on the periphery of it, and these guys started strong-arming me.
But don't push me. Take your hands off me unless you plan to arrest me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
RATHER: It kind of hit me, short punching, the (INAUDIBLE) knocked me down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we got a bunch of thugs here, Dan.
RATHER: This was supposed to be a Democratic convention.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tthe latest ABC delicate count show Humphrey, 1,473. Senator McCarthy, 706 votes, Senator McGovern, 123 votes.
SMITH: Senator Eugene McCarthy has conceded defeat in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
BOB CLARK, ABC NEWS: Hubert Humphrey has this lined up.
I think Senator Eugene McCarthy really would have conceded defeat in his heart of hearts a month or two ago.
BROWN: The nomination was really not in question anymore. It was not going to be McCarthy and it was not going to be McGovern. It was going to be Hubert Humphrey. That was a done deal before the convention opened. So, the focus became on a peace plan in the Democratic Party platform, which was felt very strongly by those of us who had been in the Kennedy campaign or were in the McCarthy or McGovern campaign. It was our sort of last hope that we might get something, at least.
SALINGER: This is the moment of truth for the Democratic Party. It was the issue of Vietnam and its deeply-held feelings that the killing had to stop that motivated Robert Kennedy to become a candidate for president.
A bullet stilled that voice, but he is here today, and if he were alive today, he would be on that platform, speaking for this minority plank. Thank you.
CRONKITE: This is still a volatile convention, as you see here, with this demonstration on the floor. Minority plank, is one that would stop the bombing now, without any preconditions.
FMR. REP. WAYNE HAYS (D-OH): There's a minority among us represented over in Grant Park, and let me say the police department, Mayor Daley, must all be related to job, they've shown that much faith.
They want pot instead of patriotism and they would substitute riots for reason.
PERLSTEIN: As the forces of the counterculture are girding their loins, the battle of the police out in the streets, the civil war within the convention hall is almost as intense. Do we accept this war or do we reject this war? There could be no greater division.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A yes vote here is to stop the bombing now unconditionally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alabama votes 30 and 1/2, no.
PERLSTEIN: It was a very moderate resolution. It wasn't immediate unconditional universal withdrawal. It was, let's find a way to crank this down and bring our troops home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: California casts 166 votes aye.
PERLSTEIN: The position of the other side was, we don't want to tie the hands of the commander in chief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
PERLSTEIN: We don't know enough to make that judgment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 15 no.
PERLSTEIN: The military will lead us in the right direction, and so let's leave it alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Illinois, 105 votes, no, 13, yes.
HAYDEN: The platform that was pro-war passed on a 1,500-1,000 vote of the delegates
EVERYONE: We shall overcome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nebraska, Alaska and Vermont have joined New York in this extraordinary demonstration of anti-war sentiment on the convention floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit down. Sit down. All right, the marshals are going to the point.
HAYDEN: When platform lost, somebody climbed the flagpole, pulled down the American flag, turned it upside down, which is in the military, a symbol of distress. And the police just knocked down all the barricades, ran over all the marshals who were trying to keep peace, beating people wantonly, everybody being gassed, and inside the convention, it was a replica of outside.
REPORTER: A lot of pushing. The man being pushed, watch it, they're going to knock that over. The man is a delegate. There's a priest in here, dozens of reporters. And the man who got involved in it all is very calmly smoking a cigarette. This is the perfect indication of the mood of this convention on the floor.
KAISER: The greatest irony of the Democratic convention in Chicago, Richard Daley has an amazing secret, Richard Daley is a fierce opponent of the Vietnam War, because the son of one of his closest friends has been killed in the Vietnam War. And from that moment on, he hates the war. But nobody knows this in 1968.
FMR. MAYOR JOSEPH ALIOTO (D-SAN FRANCISCO, CA): I came here to talk to you about Hubert Horatio Humphrey.
HAYDEN: On the night of the nomination --
EVERYONE: Peace now. Peace now. Peace now.
HAYDEN: -- we on the outside gathered in the park across from the Conrad Hilton, and the bridges were all closed off by jeeps mounted with barbed wire, machine guns placed on the streets pointed at these demonstrators and the breakdown of law and order was being perpetuated by the forces of law and order.
BRINKLEY: Downtown Chicago at Balbo and Michigan Avenues, there has been in progress for some time a peace demonstration. The police have come to put it down. The National Guard has been called to help.
GABE PRESSMAN, NBC NEWS: Police and demonstrators tussling all over this busy intersection on this, the night of the presidential nomination of this Democratic convention.
STEINEM: It was a police riot and I had never seen that before in my life. I had never seen groups of policemen with lead-knuckle gloves and clubs going after civilians. There were pools of blood on Michigan Avenue.
REPORTER: A bit confusing down here on the floor. Shirley McLaine and Roosevelt Grier are among those who's in front of a tiny television monitor. What was your reaction to what happened downtown?
SHIRLEY MCLAINE: It's devastating.
It's so unreal as to what's happening here compared to what's happening down there.
JACK PERKINS, NBC NEWS: A girl being carried off to a paddy wagon, something less than a nonviolent manner. It was supposed to be a nonviolent demonstration today. One will never know what it was that made it become violent.
DONALD PETERSON, CHAIRMAN OF WISONSIN DELEGATION: Mr. Chairman, most delegates to this convention do not know that thousands of young people are being beaten in the streets of Chicago.
BROWN: It didn't really explode inside the convention hall until the delegates saw pictures of the police beating people.
PETERSON: And for that reason, I request the suspension of the rule to relocate the convention in another city.
CARL ALBERT (D), OKLAHOMA CHAIRMAN: Wisconsin is not recognized for that purpose.
PERLSTEIN: It just blew to pieces inside the convention hall, and it was a rampage.
REPORTER: Security guards are pushing people back here.
REPORTER: Police all over the place and delegates, there's a really big fray going on in here.
FMR. SEN. ABRAHAM RIBICOFF (D-CT): When George McGovern is president of the United States, we wouldn't have to have Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How hard it is -- how hard it is to accept the truth.
REPORTER: The persistent chanting by the crowd, the whole world is watching, a shot of gas --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 14 votes for Hubert Humphrey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I was wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pennsylvania, 130 votes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, here we go. BRINKLEY: Vice President Humphrey was in his room at the Hilton when the tear gas began floating over that way, blown by the wind. He got a good whiff of it and he began coughing and sneezing. He's all right.
MORROW: I think what was happening outside overwhelmed what happened inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And 103 is declared --
CRONKITE: And Vice President Hubert Humphrey is the nominee of the Democratic Party for the presidency of the United States.
ALLARD LOWENSTEIN, MCCARTHY DELEGATE: They can't nominate a man for president of the United States and expect people to take his candidacy seriously when the country wants law and order and the way they're conducting law and order is to destroy vestige of respect for human dignity and the Democratic procedure. How can the Democratic Party do this?
MORROW: It was Humphrey trying to express his own great moment. All of his political career, this was what he wanted and it was being utterly destroyed by what was happening on the streets. This was Hubert Humphrey's humiliation.
RATHER: I stood and watched Hubert Humphrey tonight stand where he has wanted to for so long, at the very top of the Democratic Party heap. My first thought was, some heap. The divisions in this party run very deep, indeed, and Hubert Humphrey, who wants to be a healer for the party and for the country, has very little time to heal the divisions in this party in terms of the November election. It's my judgment that Hubert Humphrey starts out an underdog.
THOMAS: Nixon could be gleeful about trumping his enemies and it gave him great joy to go to Chicago to begin his campaign in the very place where the Democratic Party had been humiliated by a riot.
BUCHANAN: Here comes Richard Nixon, the uniter, coming through the city of Chicago like a roman emperor and being cheered by tens of thousands and harassed by no one. So it looks like this would be the fellow that can unite the country.
PERLSTEIN: Humphrey is in an impossible situation. He's associated with the chaos of the anti-war movement, because of what happened at the convention. He has this albatross of a war tied around his neck. And everywhere he goes, chaos follows.
HUMPHREY: And the Republican Party with an age-old coalition of the conservative Republican and the Nixon -- the Nixons and the Strom Thurmonds who would rather remain silent.
CARTER: Humphrey came out of that convention not only with no convention bounce, but actually going backwards.
PERKINS: the problems of Hubert Humphrey are many. His campaign does not have enough money and has little chance of getting enough money because potential backers feel he has little chance of winning. Ask a Humphrey aide about this, ask him, aren't you discouraged? And he'll tell you, I wouldn't say we're discouraged but I would say that overconfidence is not our thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beauties on parade in convention hall, Atlantic City, during the oldest contest of its kind, Ms. America. And the winner, Debra Dean Barnes, 20-year-old Ms. Kansas, a future piano teacher. Lessons, anyone?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Use your brain, not your body.
THOMPSON: The 1960s was about women demanding justice in the society and nowhere was this more public and powerful than the 1968 Ms. America contest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No more pain, no more trying to hold the --
ROBIN MORGAN, WOMEN'S RIGHT ACTIVIST: We had a freedom trash can and we threw in bras and diapers and high heeled shoes and girdles and steno pads and symbols of women's oppression.
STEINEM: It struck a chord with so many women around the country, that in some ways it was the first national emergence of a women's movement, per se.
GEORGE: I think in '68, everything felt a lot more on the edge, and George Wallace was running for president. And it felt like the country could turn into a sea of turmoil.
GEORGE WALLACE, INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You are some of the people that voted this country is sick and tired of, I can tell you that, all over the United States. They believe in four-letter words, but I know two four-little words you don't know, W-O-R-K and S- O-A-P. You don't know those.
CARTER: What was striking to the extent to which he was drawing support away from Hubert Humphrey, specifically urban, northern, white workers, often union members, often individuals who traditionally had been strong supporters of the Democratic Party.
REPORTER: What do you think is the biggest attraction that Wallace has?
ROBERT ROBINSON, FACTORY FOREMAN: Common sense and easy-to-understand language.
RENEE GRAHAM, COLUMNIST, THE BOSTON GLOBE: You don't think he's going to win, but you do have the sense that he's going to get a lot of votes, and what does that say about America? JOHN COLEMAN, ABC NEWS: George Wallace's audiences have been growing in size and in emotional outbursts. Here in Kansas City, this crowd showed the effect he's having as he campaigns around the country with growing confidence.
CRONKITE: If the presidential election were held today, a CBS News survey shows that Richard Nixon would win hands down, and Vice President Humphrey would finish third in the electoral vote.
HUMPHREY: The Republican candidate owes it to the people to come out of the shadows. Knock it off, will you, please?
MICHAEL COHEN, AUTHOR, AMERICAN MAELSTRON: By September '68, Humphrey is absolutely having the worst political moment you could possibly imagine. He's being heckled at every event that he goes to. He practically has to beg Democratic politicians to appear with him and to endorse him. It's a dispiriting campaign.
NIXON: He has not yet, in any particular instance, indicated one disagreement with any of the policies of the past four years.
ZELIZER: Vietnamn is defining the 1968 election, and Humphrey understands he has to do something dramatic, he has to do something bold, and he knows what that is.
HUMPHREY: As president, I would stop the bombing of the north as an acceptable risk for peace, because I believe it could lead to success in the negotiations, and thereby shorten the war.
FRANK REYNOLDS, ABC NEWS: (INAUDIBLE), a member of the Hanoi delegation at the Paris Peace Talks said today Mr. Humphrey's speech contained absolutely nothing new. Whatever the North Vietnamese say, the speech last night was his most serious effort of the campaign to establish his own position on Vietnam.
STEINHORN: Richard Nixon played a very subtle political game on the Vietnam War. He talked about peace with honor but never articulated that plan.
NIXON: When and if we win this election, I hope the war will be over. But if it is not over, then I think it's time for a new team to go in that will not be tied in by the frozen policies of the past. . STEINHORN: Now, Hubert Humphrey was articulating something that many Americans felt but weren't hearing from Richard Nixon.
REPORTER: Does this change your opinion of him as a presidential candidate?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It might.
REPORTER: Why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, because everybody wants the bombing stopped. BUCHANAN: When Humphrey gave the Salt Lake City speech, it really alarmed me because he united that party, which had been ripped apart all year, and you could hear the footsteps behind you where I was.
COHEN: The antiwar activists, they stopped heckling him.
CIOFFI: In Charlotte, North Carolina, a crowd of 10,000 people cheered the vice president wildly, and he loved it. It was about the same wherever he went, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida. And the vice president seemed to gain new confidence.
HUMPHREY: I need you. Quite frankly, I think you may need me.
THOMAS: Nixon spends his whole life running scared. And all of a sudden, the race that was well in hand is getting close. And he begins to sweat.
NIXON: This means absolutely, and this is sort of the kids stuff that somebody goes through when he's behind.
HUMPHREY: Nix on Nixon, that's what it's got to be.
NIXON: This is the time and the this is the place to take off gloves and sock it to him.
HUMPHREY: I'm going to sting him and sting him like a hornet and a bee day in and day out.
There's some real advantages of being an underdog. Sooner or later, your opponent will have to start looking over his shoulder, and that's then time that you pass him on the inside and get the medals and win the prize and the gain the victory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apollo 7 starts the final push to the moon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North Vietnam said there will be no breakthrough in the peace talks until the bombing has stopped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A long time, jack. I can tell you.
NIXON: That's unless the people can handle the problems of America.
HUMPHREY: He must be getting saddle sores straddling all those issues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't mind speaking here, but when you start throwing rocks that size -- who threw it?
REPORTER: It's been one of the roughest political years in American history. In the next few hours, we'll see how it all turned out.