There certainly is irony in that name. The struggle against civil rights abuses and the war in Viet Nam pushed the US dangerously close to the redline.
In looking back, I was struck by the extraordinary number of life changing events of 1968 and the lasting effect they had on our culture and identity. It truly was an amazing year.
For any of you that haven't seen it, here is an early Hot Wheels TV Ad from 1968.
|Jan 1||Evel Knievel fell in an attempt to jump Caesar's Palace Fountain.|
|Jan 7||First Class Postage rose from 5 to 6 cents.|
|Feb 1||Richard Nixon announced his presidential candidacy.|
|Feb29||The Beatles' Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band won a Grammy.|
|Mar15||Life magazine called Jimi Hendrix the most "spectacular guitarist in the world".|
|Mar16||Robert F. Kennedy announced his presidential campaign.|
|April 4||Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.|
|April11||President Johnson signed the 1968 Civil Rights Act.|
|May 2||Gold hit a record high - $39.35 per ounce.|
|May25||The Rolling Stones released Jumping Jack Flash.|
|June 5||Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy. He died the next day.|
|Jun26||Iwo Jima and Bonin Islands were returned to Japan.|
|Jul 1||USA, Britain, USSR and 58 other nations signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.|
|Jul18||Intel was incorporated.|
|Aug 1||Canada started replacing silver in coins with nickel.|
|Aug30||The Beatles released their first album under the Apple label, Hey Jude.|
|Sep 7||Hot Wheels were launched by Mattel.|
|Sep 7||Jimmy Page's recently formed band — Led Zeppelin — played their first concert in Gladsaxe, Denmark.|
|Oct20||Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis.|
|Oct31||President Johnson ordered a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam.|
|Nov 6||Richard Nixon was elected 37th President of USA.|
|Nov11||John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared nude on the cover of "2 Virgins" album.|
|Dec12||Arthur Ashe became the first black ranked #1 in tennis.|
|Dec28||The Beatles White Album hit #1 where it stayed for nine weeks.|
Although Summer of '69 was actually released in 1984, I think it sums up the feelings many people have of the Redline Era. What was Bryan Adams doing in 1968? He was a nine year old kid strumming his 6 string and playing with Hot Wheels!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on 1968 and Redline Era. Please leave a comment.