U.S. Political Scene – Spotlight on ’68 Elections

Visual overview of the 1968 United States presidential election – one of the most important of the 20th century.

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The year 1968 was a tumultuous one across the United States. Domestic unrest was rife as a result of the ongoing war in Vietnam and the Civil Right movement. The announcement of President Lyndon B. Johnson in March that he would not seek re-election opened the door for Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy, but his assassination in June would ultimately lead Hubert Humphrey to accept the party’s nomination at the convention in Chicago – an event that itself was marred with racial and political violence.

On the Republican side, candidate Richard Nixon ran on a platform of law & order, as well as more consistent leadership in Vietnam. Ultimately, he would win in November, thanks in large part to pro-segregation candidate George Wallace, who siphoned off many votes in the south that may have otherwise gone to Humphrey.

All such political background is omitted on this chart, which was distributed by the Civic Education Service in September of 1968. Various maps and text boxes highlight components of the election, including the political parties of state governors, national results from the 1964 election, status of congressional seats, and historical changes in political parties.

Of particular interest are the Powers of the President, which outline Harry Truman’s quip that the role was “six jobs in one” and the inset map that shows states where citizens under 21 are allowed to vote (only four, at the time).

Map Details

Publication Date: 1968

Author: Civic Education Service, Inc.

Sheet Width (in): 27.75

Sheet Height (in): 36.75

Condition: B+

Condition Description: Formerly folded into 9 panels, with moderate creasing and faint discoloration/abrasion along former fold lines. Pinholes in each corner and toning along the upper edges of the sheet, but remains in good to very good condition overall.

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