1968 - Day By Day

John Tusa looks back at the events making the news 40 years ago.

show more detailshow less detail


highlights20081231Another chance to hear the highlights of Radio 4's 1968 Day by Day series.|Another chance to hear the highlights of Radio 4's 1968 Day by Day series, presented by Sir John Tusa.|Retracing the major political, cultural and social events of 1968 as they happened, including the Paris riots, the Prague Spring, Enoch Powell's 'rivers of blood' speech and the shootings of Martin Luther King and Robert F Kennedy.|Plus the everyday stories that made the headlines or raised a smile, from rock and roll to red rain.||||
0120080317John Tusa looks back at the events making the news 40 years ago.Robert Kennedy announces his candidacy for President of the United States, the UK is in the midst of a financial crisis and London witnesses anti-Vietnam protests.
0220080318Central London cleans up after Sunday's anti-Vietnam riots, the London stock market opens amidst a financial crisis and the search for gold continues in Devon.
0320080319The Chancellor raises taxes by almost a billion pounds, Andy Warhol's first UK exhibition opens in London and England win the Fourth Test against the West Indies in Port of Spain.
0420080320The Duke of Edinburgh becomes the first member of the Royal family to allow himself to be interviewed live on television.|Retired US general David Shoup tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that a military victory cannot be won in South Vietnam alone.
0520080321Trouble flares in the Middle East, troop numbers in Vietnam are dramatically increased, and a research team in Birmingham attempts to determine a woman's social status through the shape of her legs.
0620080322Prime Minister Harold Wilson faces student protests, the March 22nd Movement is formed in France and heavy fighting continues in Biafra.
0720080323Yippies take over Grand Central Station in New York, Leeds United beat Manchester City to stay at the top of the first division and France win Rugby's Grand Slam.
0820080324Alistair Cooke broadcasts his 1,000th Letter from America, Harlem senator Adam Clayton Powell warns of racial civil war in the US, the Roman Catholic Church challenges the suppression of students in Poland and London sees a fresh wave of anti-war protests.
0920080325Aer Lingus flight 712 crashes in the Irish Sea killing 61 people, The Monkees TV series comes to an end, bubonic plague breaks out in Vietnam, and the river Ouse breaks its banks in a shock flood.
1020080326Paul Mccartney returns from meditating in the Himalayas, Joan Baez marries draft resistance leader David Harris, the Americans unleash the F111 plane in Vietnam and Czechoslovakia reveals new democratic reforms.
1120080327Celebrations and protests mark 50 years of female suffrage in the UK, campaigning takes place for tomorrow's by-elections, the US lifts travel restrictions to some Communist countries, and Yuri Gagarin dies.
1220080328Martin Luther King leads a protest in Memphis that ends in disaster, an F111 plane goes missing in Vietnam, student uprisings break out in Poland, Spain and Japan, and a new production of Oedipus is staged.
1320080329The UK sees a landslide Tory victory in the by-elections, a revolutionary new surgical material is used, the Liverpool bus strike rages on, and a take-over bid for Aintree is unveiled.
1420080330Yuri Gagarin is buried, the Yardbirds record a legendary gig, Czechoslovakia's new president is sworn in, and Pinky and Perky come to an end.
1520080331Lyndon Johnson signals the end to his presidency, riots break out in Japan and newspaper magnate Cecil King criticises the Wilson government.
1620080401Robert Kennedy reacts to Lyndon Johnson's decision not to seek another term as president, the gold market reopens in London and Portsmouth grocer Alec Rose rounds Cape Horn.
1720080402Snow covers much of Britain, spinsters are put under the spotlight on the BBC and two bombs placed by the Baader-Meinhof group explode in Frankfurt.
1820080403Clyde the elephant flies into Vietnam, England win the series in the West Indies and Dr Martin Luther King delivers a speech in Memphis, Tennessee.
1920080404The assassination of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King in Memphis marks a dark day in American history.
2020080405Riots rage in America following the death of Dr Martin Luther King, Barbara Castle becomes Minister of Labour and the BBC is accused of television fakery.
2120080406Cliff Richard aims for the top spot in the Eurovision Song Contest, Sammy Davis Jnr pleads for the rioting to stop in America and the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth is sold.
2220080407Palm Sunday is declared a day of mourning for Martin Luther King as rioting continues in America.|Motor racing hero Jim Clark dies.
2320080408Hanoi and Washington enter into talks, a Boeing 707 plane crashes at Heathrow and archaeological excavations at Silbury Hill commence.
2420080409Martin Luther King's funeral takes place.|Dubcek's Czechoslovakian government publish their statement of intent.|Labour details the forthcoming Race Relations Bill and a glass car is seen on the streets of London.
2520080410The TUC ignores the government pay ceilings and accusations of racism are levelled at London Transport.
2620080411Militant German student leader Rudi Dutschke survives an assassination attempt.|America's Civil Rights Bill is signed by President Lyndon B Johnson, and the leader of Biafra speaks out.
2720080412A human rights pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral continues and Blackpool holidays are under threat.
2820080413The first of a series of major Mafia trials begins in Sicily, German students riot after Rudi Dutschke survives an assassination attempt, and Julie Felix sings at the CND march.
2920080414On Easter Sunday, further rioting in Germany follows the shooting of Rudi Dutschke, the Pope condemns the war in Vietnam and the BBC go behind the scenes at London's Playboy club.
3020080415Aldermaston marchers reach Trafalgar Square, conflict in Israel escalates and the FBI close in on Martin Luther King's killer.
3120080416America announces the beginning of the slow process of returning Vietnam to the Vietnamese.|Britain withdraws from the European space programme and foot-and-mouth restrictions are lifted.
3220080417Decimalisation of the UK's currency begins, conductor Sir John Barbirolli retires and Sir Learie Constantine is appointed as the first black rector of St Andrews University.
3320080418Greeks around the world protest at the ruling junta as the first anniversary of their coup approaches.|Wales prepares to welcome a new prince and Tory MP Humphrey Berkeley resigns over his party's policies on race.
3420080419PM Harold Wilson takes a tough line with the unions, school children protest and present petitions to Parliament, and London Bridge is sold to an American company.
3520080420Race is the issue on both sides of the Atlantic.|Enoch Powell delivers his notorious Rivers of Blood speech and Chicago's Mayor Daley defends his shoot-to kill-policy.
3620080421In Trafalgar Square, 5,000 people protest against the military junta in Greece.|Despite snow earlier in the month, it is the hottest April day since 1949.
3720080422Steel workers strike in support of Enoch Powell
3820080423Dockers march on Parliament in support of Enoch Powell.|Decimal coins are introduced.
4120080426Divisions at the Columbia University protest begin to show.|The American base at Khe Sanh in Vietnam is shown not to be as safe as previously thought.
4220080427The Abortion Act comes into force, the Sherlock Holmes Society begin their pilgrimage to the Reichenbach Falls, and Martin Luther King's widow delivers his 10 Commandments on Vietnam.
4320080428Thousands march through London to protest against Enoch Powell, students in New York continue their occupation of Columbia University and a piano is dropped from a great height in Washington State.
4420080429Ralph Abernathy delivers his first speech since taking over from Martin Luther King, Enoch Powell returns from Canada and the musical Hair makes its debut on Broadway.
4520080430Police break up the student uprising at Columbia University, the first European heart transplant patient dies and more than forty members of the Sherlock Holmes Society head for Switzerland.
4620080501May Day brings the traditional marches.|On its fortieth anniversary, the Flying Scotsman runs non-stop from London to Edinburgh.|Bill Haley and the Comets play the Albert Hall.
4720080502In France, Nanterre University is closed.|The Duke of Edinburgh has a close encounter with an orang-utan.|Israel celebrates its 20th anniversary.
4820080503Students protest in Paris, obesity is reported to be more damaging than smoking and the US and North Vietnam finally agree where to hold peace talks.
4920080504Britain's first heart transplant patient comes round, shocking images emerge from Vietnam and people in Beirut take to the streets.
5020080505Parisian students take to the streets.|Buffalo Springfield play their last ever gig.|Harold Wilson talks about race relations in Birmingham.
5120080506Spain closes its border with Gibraltar.|The Virgin Mary is seen by thousands in Cairo.|The Viet Cong attack Saigon.
5220080507Sikh candidates from both Labour and Conservative parties canvass in local elections for the first time.|Robert Kennedy wins the Indiana primary.|Rome holds the first European International Festival of Pop Music.
5320080508The Krays are arrested.|SNP trounce Labour in Scottish council elections.|England defeat Spain in the European Championship qualifier.
5420080509Labour suffers heavy losses in local elections.|Sir John Barbirolli announces his last performance.
5520080510Press baron Cecil King attacks Harold Wilson.|2001: A Space Odyssey is released in the UK.|Analysis suggests that recent Tory victories may be an anti-immigration vote.
5620080511The Sorbonne is reopened in Paris.|Students riot in Bonn.|The Rolling Stones film their Jumpin' Jack Flash promo.
5720080512In the US, the Poor People's March reaches Washington.|Noele Gordon quits Crossroads.|The hit TV series The Railway Children begins.
5820080513A general strike brings Paris to a halt.|Crucial Vietnam peace talks begin.|American football coaches come to England looking for kickers.
5920080514US presidential candidates try to woo farmers.|A newspaper strike hits the UK.|Bob Hope tries to work out how much he is worth.
6020080515Reporters witness the devastating aftermath of the Battle of Saigon.|Trouble continues in Paris.|Apparently, horoscopes were sorely missed during yesterday's newspaper strike.
6120080516Four die when part of a high-rise block collapses at Ronan Point in London.|A TV documentary tries to work out why everyone is always going on strike.|Prince Philip apologises for offending Australians.
6220080517The clear-up begins after the Ronan Point disaster.
6320080518Forged tickets cause havoc at the FA Cup Final.
6420080519The Cannes Film Festival is abandoned due to protests.
6520080520Strikes spread across France.|No public transport is running and tourists are heading home.
6620080521Reporters witness bitter fighting as the Nigerian army captures the Biafran stronghold of Port Harcourt.
6720080522Half of all French workers are on strike, with violence erupting between Nationalists and Communists.
6820080523French student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit is sent back to his native Germany.
6920080524Turmoil in France continues.|The Kray brothers are charged with conspiracy to murder and the Liverpool bus strike finally ends.
7020080525Reporters witness the aftermath of violent street battles across France.|Welsh nationalists detonate a bomb in Cardiff.|11-year-old murderer Mary Bell's first victim is discovered.
7120080526Anarchists in London try to storm the French embassy.
7220080527There is student unrest in Germany, but French protest leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit is the star attraction.|Welsh nationalist extremists set off another bomb.
7320080528Douglas Bader returns to Bomber Command.|Students take over Hornsey College of Art.
7420080529A Kennedy loses for the first time.|Daniel Cohn-Bendit sneaks back into France.
7520080530General De Gaulle is in a defiant mood.|Manchester United win the European Cup.
7620080531Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe gets married.|Thirty-four men, one woman and a dog get ready to set sail from Plymouth.
7720080601One of the last public executioners shows his sensitive side.|Biafran peace talks collapse.
7820080602Anti-Vietnam War protests erupt in Delhi.|British diplomats plead with Yugoslavia for the freedom of coach driver Philip Dobson.|Andy Williams performs in the UK for the first time.
7920080603Andy Warhol is shot.|Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland split up.
8020080604Scientologists are turned away from the UK.|Teachers start supporting the protest by Hornsey students.|De Gaulle is forced to borrow 310 million dollars from the IMF.
8120080605Robert Kennedy is shot.|Police hold gunman Sirhan Sirhan.
8220080606Robert Kennedy dies.|The Rolling Stones re-write a line in Sympathy for the Devil to reflect the assassination.|Chay Blyth embarks upon a circumnavigation of the world.
8320080607ETA carry out their first assassination.
8420080608Martin Luther King's killer is caught at Heathrow.|Convicted coach driver Philip Dobson is pardoned by President Tito.|Edward Kennedy delivers Bobby's eulogy.
8520080609John Tusa looks back at the events making the news 40 years ago.|President Tito concedes to protesting students.|Jimmy Savile improves Anglo-French relations.|Soldiers try to clean up France.
8620080610General Westmoreland leaves Vietnam with a bleak prediction for the war's future.|Italy win the European Championships.|Controversy erupts over Rhodesian sanctions.
8720080611A drowned boy becomes a martyr for Paris students.|Henry Cooper is involved in controversy at Eton.|The Beatles show signs of tension in the studio.
8820080612Daniel Cohn-Bendit arrives in London.|The UN approves the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.|The French government bans demonstrations.
8920080613Dr Spock is tried for helping evade conscription.|The BBC airs its controversial Students In Revolt programme.|Johnny Cash releases his seminal album Live at Folsom Prison.
9020080614Women at Ford's Dagenham plant go on strike.|Greek Communist leader Tony Ambatielos is granted asylum in the UK.|Paris students kick Congolese mercenaries out of the Sorbonne.
9120080615Roy Jenkins warns the House of Lords not to oppose the Commons.|John Arlott becomes president of the Cricketers' Association.
9220080616French police retake the Sorbonne from the students.|Planes are grounded as a pilots' strike begins at Heathrow.|Edward Kennedy speaks to the American nation.
9320080617Fred West, Britain's first heart transplant patient, is critical.|Louis Armstrong begins a two-week residency in Yorkshire.|The women machinists' strike at Ford's plant in Dagenham begins to spread.
9420080618Three British protestors are released from a Moscow jail.|France counts the cost of months of unrest.|John Lennon's play In His Own Write opens at the National Theatre.
9520080619Nelson Rockefeller throws his hat into the ring in the Republican race for the US Presidency.|Enoch Powell faces more student protests.|The future of the House of Lords hangs in the balance.
9620080620Vice President Hubert Humphrey launches his campaign for the US presidency.|James Earl Ray's defence lawyer arrives in London.|Industrial unrest deepens in the UK.
9720080621French election campaigns draw to a close.|Wimbledon allows professionals onto the courts for the first time.
9820080622Women from Ford's Dagenham plant, currently striking, hold emergency talks with Employment Secretary Barbara Castle.
9920080623The first round of elections takes place in France.
10020080624A work-to-rule by unions brings chaos to Britain's railways.|In Washington, Resurrection City is shut down by police.
10120080625Foot and mouth restrictions are lifted in the UK.|Violence erupts on the streets of Glasgow.
10220080626Civil service reforms are announced.
10320080627Labour loses the Nelson and Colne by-election.
10420080628Welsh extremists strike again.
10520080629John Tusa looks back at the events making the news 40 years ago.
10620080630John Tusa looks back at the events making the news 40 years ago.|A landmark victory for President de Gaulle's party in the second round of the French elections.
10720080701Red rain falls over much of Britain.
10820080702Yorkshire County Cricket club beat the touring Australians by an innings and 69 runs.
10920080703Mixed marriages come under the spotlight.
11020080704The round-the-world yachtsman Alec Rose returns from his 354-day journey.
11120080705Rod Laver beats Tony Roche to win Wimbledon in straight sets.
11220080706As 150,000 face starvation, ten tons of relief supplies are airlifted into Biafra.
11320080707Anti-racism marchers clash with Enoch Powell supporters in Whitehall, leading to 23 arrests.|In London's Hyde Park, 5,000 protest in favour of legalising cannabis.
11520080709Australian police continue to lay siege to Sydney gunman Wally Mellish.
11620080710Guitarist and vocalist Eric Clapton announces the break-up of Cream because of a loss of direction.
11720080711Singer Frankie Vaughan becomes an unlikely mediator between violent Glasgow youth gangs.
11820080712Southampton busmen protest against pay freezes with a go-slow campaign.
11920080713Seatbelt laws come into effect, leaving 100,000 car owners driving illegally.
12020080714Bastille Day sees protestors returning to the streets of Paris.
12120080715Sir Hugh Greene announces his retirement as the BBC's Director General.
12220080716Americans reinvent football.
12320080717President Abdel-Rahman Aref of Iraq is overthrown in a coup that brings Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party to power.
12420080718Labour hold off a strong challenge from Plaid Cymru's Phil Williams in the Caerphilly by-election.
12520080719Vietnam peace talks take place in Honolulu.
12620080720Jane Asher announces that she has split from Paul Mccartney
12720080721A protest against the Vietnam war erupts into violence in London's Grosvenor Square.
12820080722An inquiry by Sir John Newsome into the education system publishes its recommendations.
12920080723An El Al flight en route to Tel Aviv is hijacked by three Palestinian militants.
13020080724Widespread rioting erupts in Cleveland, Ohio, after two unarmed police officers are shot.
13120080725A man is found crucified on a seven-foot cross on Hampstead Heath.|Strangely, there is no bleeding.
13220080726Mick Jagger celebrates his 25th birthday with a preview of the new Rolling Stones album Beggars Banquet.
13320080727Preliminary peace talks between Nigeria and breakaway Biafra end inconclusively.
13420080728Eldridge Cleaver, civil rights activist, Black Panther and US presidential candidate, makes a speech.
13520080729The BBC screens the futuristic drama The Year of the Sex Olympics, which predicts the advent of reality TV.
13620080730The Archbishop of Canterbury disagrees with the Pope's recent ruling against artificial means of contraception.
13720080731The first ever episode of Dad's Army is aired on BBC TV.
13820080801Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan calls for an honourable peace in Vietnam.
13920080802As talks continue between Czech and Soviet leaders, demonstrators in Prague call for greater Czech sovereignty.
14020080803Sirhan Sirhan appears in court, accused of the murder of Senator Bobby Kennedy.
14120080804US sprinter Tommy Smith backs a proposed boycott of the Mexico Olympics by black American athletes.
14220080805Peace talks commence in Addis Ababa between Nigeria and breakaway Biafra.
14320080806Canning Town Residents Associations fight attempts to rehouse victims of the Ronan Point disaster in tower blocks.
14420080807Ukranian students demonstrate against political arrests in the USSR outside the Soviet embassy in London.
14520080808Richard Nixon wins the Republican Party's nomination for the presidential election.
1462008080948 passengers die as a British airliner carrying holiday-makers to Austria crashes near Munich.
14720080810A stand collapses at the National Jazz and Blues Festival in Kempton Park, injuring dozens of teenagers.
14820080811Leonard Cohen appears on the BBC's Top Gear radio programme.
14920080812Riots in Los Angeles leave three dead.
15020080813Georgios Papadopoulos, leader of the ruling military junta in Greece, survives an assassination attempt.
15120080814Two deputy editors of the Czech Communist party newspaper are suspended.
15220080815Record producer Mickie Most explains the secret of his success.
15320080816Sixty Roman Catholic Priests join a revolt against the Pope's ban on the pill.
15420080817A BBC programme examines democracy in America.
15520080818Opposition to the Pope's ruling against artificial birth control mounts.
15620080819Two planes collide over the Norfolk town of Holt.
15720080820Soviet troops begin their invasion of Czechoslovakia.
15820080821Czechoslovakia wakes to the news that Soviet troops are occupying its major cities.
15920080822Demonstrations take place in London as opposition to the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia mounts.
16020080823Czechoslovak workers strike in protest against the Soviet invasion.
16120080824Concern grows over the whereabouts of Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubcek
16220080825Thousands attend a rally for Czechoslovakian freedom in London's Hyde Park.
16320080826The Democratic Party convention opens in Chicago.
16420080827Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubcek returns from Moscow and broadcasts an emotional plea to the nation.
16520080828Cricketer Basil D'Oliveira is controversially left out of the squad to tour South Africa.
16620080829Hubert Humphrey is chosen as the Democratic candidate for the White House.
16720080830Several of Eugene McCarthy's staff are beaten after Chicago police raid their headquarters.
16820080831Nigerian leader Yakubu Gowon signals that the Biafran conflict could soon be over.