BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

These Harrowing Pictures Show How Democrats Protested In 1968

At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, some 10,000 demonstrators went toe-to-toe with 25,000 members of the National Guard and Chicago police to protest the political climate of the era.

Posted on October 11, 2018, at 5:28 p.m. ET

Julian Wasser / Getty Images

In August 1968, at the height of both the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement, and following the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in the months prior, the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago became a flashpoint for the anger and disenchantment of young members of the Democratic Party.

As members of the party convened to nominate Hubert H. Humphrey for president and Edmund S. Muskie for vice president, some 10,000 demonstrators had gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park to air their frustrations with the current political climate. On Aug. 28, protests turned violent when 25,000 members of the National Guard and Chicago police descended on the park with tear gas and mace to disperse the protesters, who responded in kind by throwing rocks and other objects. In total, 668 people were arrested and over 1,000 injured.

These color images, originally published by Life magazine in 1968, show the events that unfolded at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Julian Wasser / Getty Images
Julian Wasser / Getty Images
Julian Wasser / Getty Images
Julian Wasser / Getty Images
Members of the National Guard in barbed wire–fronted jeeps prepare to deploy against protesters.
Julian Wasser / Getty Images

Members of the National Guard in barbed wire–fronted jeeps prepare to deploy against protesters.

National Guard members get last-minute instructions on crowd control.
Julian Wasser / Getty Images

National Guard members get last-minute instructions on crowd control.

Police mace a protester during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Julian Wasser / Getty Images

Police mace a protester during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Police remove a demonstrator from a statue in Grant Park.
Getty Images

Police remove a demonstrator from a statue in Grant Park.

Rick Winsor / Getty Images
Getty Images
Protesters listen to music outside the Chicago Hilton Hotel.
Julian Wasser / Getty Images

Protesters listen to music outside the Chicago Hilton Hotel.

Newly nominated Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey looks out of a hotel window at protesters.
Stan Wayman / Getty Images

Newly nominated Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey looks out of a hotel window at protesters.

Police confront demonstrators during the Democratic National Convention.
Julian Wasser / Getty Images

Police confront demonstrators during the Democratic National Convention.

Bystanders carry a protester who was hurt in the melee with police.
Julian Wasser / Getty Images

Bystanders carry a protester who was hurt in the melee with police.

People react after being exposed to tear gas.
Julian Wasser / Getty Images

People react after being exposed to tear gas.

Julian Wasser / Getty Images
Julian Wasser / Getty Images


ADVERTISEMENT