1968 Chicago timeline

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Events in Chicago in the lead up to 1968

2: Thirty Black Panthers, led by chairman Bobby Seale, go to Sacramento to contest the Mulford Bill, which wanted to put an end to the open and legal carrying of weapons during the BP patrols on the Oakland streets. PBS

Hippies from around the world flock to the Haight-Ashbury District to experience San Francisco's "summer of love"

12: A young African American boy is shot by police in Newark. Crowds rip through the streets, breaking store windows and looting, setting fire to buildings and fighting police. Twenty six people were killed and over a thousand were arrested.

27: Gwendolyn Brooks reads at one of the many "dedications" of the Wall of Respect.

8: The Democratic Party announces that the Democratic National Convention of 1968 will be held in Chicago.

What was happening in Chicago in 1968?




6: Bobby Hutton, the seventeen-year old Treasurer of the Black Panther Party, is killed by police as he comes out of a gas filled, burning house.

22: First Sit-in occurs on Northwestern University Campus. Organized by Black Students in response to a fight between white and black students at a white fraternity, which escalated into several violent acts occurring that night. The students sat in at the University Bursar's Office and refused to leave until the Administration accepted a list of demands they had drafted. Notable because this event focused a lot of attention on the political activism of Northwestern at this time.




26-29: Democratic National Convention:  People decided to protest the Vietnam war outside the convention but the demonstrations turned violent with many people getting injured.  This was caused by police forcing protestors out of areas they prohibited from being in and police preventing protestors from getting to the demonstration site.  The main problem seems to be that protestors wanted to be right in front of the Convention Site but they only had a permit to be miles away.  wikiepedia





To Be Categorized
Gwendolyn Brooks publishes In The Mecca, marking the end of her relationship with mainstream presses and her "rediscovery of her blackness." This is a book length poem about The Mecca, a middle class black Chicago apartment complex that became housing projects and was ultimately destroyed.



The Chicago Eight (Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale) are indicted by a Grand Jury on charges of conspiracy and inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention.

The trial of the Chicago Eight begins, with Judge Julius Hoffman presiding. Over the course of the trial, the Chicago Eight become the Chicago Seven, when Judge Hoffman has Bobby Seale removed from the trial and held in contempt of court. The trial ends in February 1970 when the jury acquits all seven remaining defendants of all conspiracy charges, but finds five of the defendants guilty of "crossing state lines with intent to incite a riot," sentencing each of them to five years in prison and a $5000 fine. Judge Hoffman additionally sentences all seven defendants and their two lawyers for contempt of court. All convictions are reversed on appeal in 1972.


Wall of respect and the entire surrounding community is razed by the City of Chicago.  Today, there is only a plaque, surrounded by weeds to commemorate the mural.   

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  1. Jan 21, 2008

    Rebecca Zorach says:

    Do some of these items belong on the "1968 in the world" page as opposed to Chic...

    Do some of these items belong on the "1968 in the world" page as opposed to Chicago?