First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.
Landing number 2123; A Landing A Day blog post number 551.
Dan: Back to the dark side (now 7 of the last 9), thanks to this OSer . . . SD; 58/53; 3/10; 9; 148.8. Here’s my regional landing map:
My local landing map shows my titular town (and the fact that I landed in the Timber Creek watershed):
My Google Earth (GE) shot shows (of course), an agricultural setting:
Expanding a streams-only map, you can see that I landed in the James River watershed (19th hit); on to the Missouri (384th hit); on to the MM (832nd hit).
Moving along to Doland (pop 180). It has quite the famous son – Hubert Horatio Humphrey. Consider this:
- He served as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 1949 to 1965 and 1971 to 1978.
- He was Vice President of the United States from 1965 to 1969 (under Lyndon Johnson).
- He was the 1968 Democratic Party’s candidate for President, losing narrowly to Republican Richard Nixon.
- His father ran a pharmacy in Doland from 1915 to 1929, and served as the town’s mayor for several years.
I remember him well, especially as candidate for President in 1968.
Boomer alert! Mention 1968 and the memories start flowing. In my life, it was that uniquely memorable year when high school is finished and college begins, but man – what a crazy year. In today’s world (which is certainly crazy enough), it’s hard to convey just how crazy it was back then. I’ll get to the 1968 election and Hubert Humphrey in a bit, but let me start with some bare facts about what went on in 1968:
- The Vietnam War was in full bloom. The Tet offensive (the largest Communist campaign of the entire war) was launched in January.
- One week after the Tet Offensive was launched, the North Koreans captured the USS Pueblo, a Naval intelligence ship and held 83 Americans as spies for 11 months. Interesting fact: the North Koreans are still in possession of the ship.
- In March, US Troops massacred 347 civilians in Viet Nam (the My Lai massacre).
- In April, Martin Luther King was assassinated.
- Also in April, Columbia University students took over the Administration Building and closed down the University.
- In June, Robert Kennedy was assassinated (and I graduated from High School). In August, Czechoslovakia was invaded by Russia, crushing the “Prague Spring” liberalization movement, led by Alexander Dubcek.
- Also in August, the Democractic Convention in Chicago (where Humphrey was nominated) was disrupted by massive protests.
- In October, the famous black-fisted salute was performed on the medal podium at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
- Three Apollo missions (6, 7 & 8) were launched during 1968, culminating in a manned lunar orbiting mission in December.
I was visiting a website that contained “Images of 1968.” The images are very powerful, and for the most part disturbing, except for this memorable, uplifting photo from Apollo 8:
But then again, the spring of ’70 was even crazier. Not to worry, I’ll probably have to land near Kent, Ohio to head off in that direction. Anyway, getting back to Hubert Humphrey & the 1968 election. I’ll start with a screen shot from Wiki:
How about Eugene McCarthy? From Wiki:
Running as an anti-war candidate in the New Hampshire primary, McCarthy hoped to pressure the Democrats into publicly opposing the Vietnam War. Since New Hampshire was the first presidential primary of 1968, McCarthy poured most of his limited resources into the state. He was boosted by thousands of young college students who shaved their beards and cut their hair to be “Clean for Gene”. These students organized get-out-the-vote drives, rang doorbells, distributed McCarthy buttons and leaflets, and worked hard in New Hampshire for McCarthy. On March 12, McCarthy won 42 percent of the primary vote to Johnson’s 49 percent, a shockingly strong showing against an incumbent president.
On March 31, 1968, following the New Hampshire primary and Kennedy’s entry into the election, the president announced to the nation in a televised speech that he was suspending all bombing of North Vietnam in favor of peace talks. Johnson concluded his speech and startled the nation by announcing “With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office—the presidency of your country. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”
Oh my. Continuing . . .
After Johnson’s withdrawal, Vice-President Hubert Humphrey announced his candidacy. Kennedy was successful in four state primaries (Indiana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and California) and McCarthy won six (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, and Illinois). Humphrey did not actively campaign in these states.
The political landscape was different back then. The delegates were not lock-step with the results of the primary voting like they are now. Humphrey was biding his time, but he still put out this campaign poster:
Back to Wiki:
California was the next key contest. Kennedy campaigned in the ghettos and barrios of the state’s larger cities, where he was mobbed by enthusiastic supporters. Kennedy and McCarthy engaged in a television debate a few days before the primary; it was generally considered a draw. On June 4, Kennedy narrowly defeated McCarthy in California, 46%–42%.
However, McCarthy refused to withdraw from the race and made it clear that he would contest Kennedy in the upcoming New York primary, where McCarthy had much support from anti-war activists in New York City.
The New York primary quickly became a moot point, however, for in the early morning of June 5, Kennedy was shot shortly after midnight; he died twenty-six hours later. Kennedy had just given his victory speech in a crowded ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
Obviously, Robert Kennedy’s death drastically altered the dynamics of the race. Although Humphrey appeared the prohibitive favorite [in spite of his lack of primary victories] for the nomination, thanks to his support from the traditional power blocs of the party, he was an unpopular choice with many of the anti-war elements within the party, who identified him with Johnson’s controversial position on the Vietnam War.
However, Kennedy’s delegates failed to unite behind a single candidate who could have prevented Humphrey from getting the nomination. Some of Kennedy’s support went to McCarthy, but many of Kennedy’s delegates, remembering their bitter primary battles with McCarthy, refused to vote for him. Instead, these delegates rallied around the late-starting candidacy of Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, a Kennedy supporter in the spring primaries who had presidential ambitions himself. This division of the anti-war votes at the Democratic Convention made it easier for Humphrey to gather the delegates he needed to win the nomination.
Note: You can really see that this was when the infamous cigar-smoke-filled-back-rooms made a difference in who was nominated. Humphrey never had near as many popular votes as Kennedy or McCarthy. Oh, well . . .
When the 1968 Democratic National Convention opened in Chicago, thousands of young activists from around the nation gathered in the city to protest the Vietnam War. On the evening of August 28, in a clash which was covered on live television, Americans were shocked to see Chicago police brutally beating anti-war protesters in the streets of Chicago in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel. While the protesters chanted “The whole world’s watching,” the police used clubs and tear gas to beat back or arrest the protesters, leaving many of them bloody and dazed.
Oh man. I remember the scene and the chant . . .
Anyway, Richard Nixon was the Republican candidate, and George Wallace joined the fray. George was a serious candidate:
The American Independent Party nominated former Alabama Governor George Wallace – whose pro-segregation policies had been rejected by the mainstream of the Democratic Party – as the party’s candidate for president. The impact of the Wallace campaign was substantial, winning the electoral votes of several states in the Deep South. Wallace was the most popular 1968 presidential candidate among young men. Wallace also proved to be popular among blue-collar workers in the North and Midwest, and he took many votes which might have gone to Humphrey.
Politics have changed a little, eh?
But at the end of the day, here’s the vote:
The Electoral College tally:
I would call Nixon an OSer and both Humphrey & Wallace, USers . . .
By the way, I think that the Electoral College is an abomination!
One last word about Humphrey. He returned to the Senate in 1970, where he remained until his death (of bladder cancer). After his diagnosis with the terminal disease (while in the final weeks of his life), he called on Richard Nixon to personally invite him to his funeral.
Enough already. Back to my landing location! Take a look at this GE shot. You can see that I was lucky enough to land near a cluster of Panoramio photos (just three miles away):
Except for the more isolated photo to the southeast, we have pictures of the Mayer Farm (taken by an excellent photographer, Devan Mayer). I’ll start with her shot of Timber Creek:
What’s a farm without a big red barn?
Here’s another of the business end of the farm:
Devan wandered across the road (to the southeast, as mentioned earlier) to take this shot of an old abandoned house:
It turns out that the same old house caught the eye of another photographer, Bennett2904:
Notice how the angle of each photo is the same, and the sun is behind the house in both shots. But what incredibly different photos!
I’ll come back to Devan with this sunset shot from the Mayer farm:
That’ll do it.
© 2014 A Landing A Day