August 30, 1968: Can’t Win a War

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(Pictured: Senator Eugene McCarthy speaks to protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on August 29, 1968. Comedian/activist Dick Gregory is to his right.)

August 30, 1968, was a Friday. Newspapers this morning headline the Democratic National Convention, which adjourned last night. Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine was chosen as Hubert Humphrey’s running mate; an effort to nominate Georgia state senator Julian Bond failed, as Bond is only 28 years old and therefore ineligible to serve as president. In his acceptance speech last night, Humphrey vowed to end the war in Vietnam, saying “The policies of tomorrow need not be limited by the policies of yesterday.” Speaking of the violence in the streets of Chicago he said, “Neither mob violence nor police brutality has any place in America.” Senator Eugene McCarthy told protesters in Chicago yesterday that he can support neither Humphrey nor Republican nominee Richard Nixon. Instead, he will work on behalf of Senate candidates opposed to America’s war policy. Today, the University of Michigan’s Michigan Daily reports student disgust at the outcome of the convention. One says it may represent a turning point in student activism: “They can’t win a war with the cops at this point.”

NBC and CBS lead their evening newscasts with convention and campaign coverage; ABC leads with the kidnapping of Stanley Stalford, Jr., the four-year-old son of Beverly Hills banker Stanley Stalford, snatched by a home invader yesterday. The Stalford family has agreed to pay the $250,000 ransom demanded by the kidnapper. The boy will eventually be rescued. In Vietnam, African American soldiers being held in a stockade at Long Binh riot. About 200 of them burn buildings and beat white inmates and guards. It will take a week to restore order. Actor William Talman, who played the part of D.A. Hamilton Burger on Perry Mason from 1957 to 1966, dies of lung cancer at age 53. Six weeks ago, he filmed an anti-smoking public service announcement for the American Cancer Society. Yesterday, Major General Ulysses S. Grant III, grandson of the Civil War general and president, died at age 87. In the majors, pitchers Catfish Hunter, Ferguson Jenkins, and Tom Seaver get wins in games today; Gaylord Perry takes a loss. All four will eventually be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Grateful Dead open a two-night stand at the Fillmore in San Francisco with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Sons of Champlin. The Doors play Merriwether Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, and Ten Years After plays the Marquee Club in London. Johnny Cash performs at the Grand Ole Opry. In a hotel room in Salt Lake City, Jimi Hendrix writes the liner notes for his forthcoming album Electric Ladyland. At WGEM in Quincy, Illinois, Jack Henry plays the hits on the Teentime show tonight from 7:30 til 10:30. Listeners who call in requests and dedications will speak to Teentime secretaries Kathy and Debbie, whose pictures are on the station’s Popometer Review this week. “1-2-3 Red Light” by the 1910 Fruitgum Company is the new #1 song in Quincy, taking out “Born to Be Wild.” The Moody Blues’ “Tuesday Afternoon” is up from #10 to #4. One of the songs new in the Top 10 is “You Got the Love” by Professor Morrison’s Lollipop, up to #9 from #27 last week. The highest debuting record on the survey is the Beatles’ brand-new “Hey Jude” backed with “Revolution” at #16.

Perspective From the Present: The official release date of “Hey Jude” was August 26, but WNAP in Indianapolis, KMEN in San Bernardino, and KPOI in Honolulu charted it before then. WGEM was among dozens of stations charting it in the days shortly following. Professor Morrison’s Lollipop was a group from New Jersey that made #88 on the Hot 100 with “You Got the Love,” a Kasenetz-Katz production on the White Whale label. It made the Top 10 in Indianapolis, Louisville, and Omaha, along with Billings, Montana; Jackson, Tennessee; and Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The WGEM survey in this week contained one fabulously obscure record, “People It’s Raining” by Melon Fields. The Internet knows practically nothing about it. Its only listings at ARSA are on surveys from WGEM, so I’m pretty sure Melon Fields was a local Illinois/Missouri act.

Visit The Hits Just Keep on Comin’ this week for more about the music, and other stuff, from this week in 1968.


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