Violence in Chicago
August 28, 1968: Clashes at the Democratic National Convention reveal a nation in crisis
The New York Times described the scene at the 1968 Democratic National Convention as a “pitched battle.” Questions about the Vietnam War, the credibility of establishment institutions, racial progress, and cultural upheaval all spilled onto the streets of Chicago, culminating in a virtual riot between police and protestors on August 28. Violence outside the convention hall reflected deep fissures within the Democratic Party and in society as a whole. Inside, some said Mayor Richard J. Daley's police force was using “Gestapo tactics.”
Miller Center historians Guian McKee and Marc Selverstone, experts on the 1960s and the Vietnam War, reflect on the events.