The year 1968 began with the capture of the USS Pueblo and its crew by North Korea and the Tet offensive in Vietnam. It continued with President Lyndon Johnson's dramatic decision not to run for reelection, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and the election of Richard Nixon.
Through it all, Johnson's secret White House recordings capture the thoughts, mood, tactics, and decisions of the man in the Oval Office. During the 50th anniversary of this eventful year, the Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Program will provide excerpts of Johnson’s recordings, along with transcripts and commentary by month and date. The full annotated collection of 1968 recordings will be released through this year by the University of Virginia Press’s Rotunda imprint.
Navigate by month
President Johnson started off his year dealing with the crash of a plane carrying nuclear weapons, the siege at Khe Sanh, the Pueblo Affair, and the Tet offensive in Vietnam.
Secret White House recordings reveal a year quickly unravelling for President Johnson, who begins the month expressing deep frustration with the press.
President Johnson searches for answers before making a surprise announcement to the nation at the end of the month.
The election of 1968
Miller Center on C-SPAN
Miller Center scholar Barbara Perry talks about the 1968 election on C-SPAN with political commentator Pat Buchanan, who was a Nixon presidential campaign staffer at the time.
Richard Nixon: Campaigns and elections
Although it was an extremely close race with respect to the popular vote, Nixon won the electoral college by a 3 to 2 margin.
Video: LBJ announces he will not run
After urging both Congress and Americans to end their divisions, President Johnson announces his decision not to seek reelection so that he may focus on executing his presidential duties instead of partisan politics.