Tom Brokaw, José© Feliciano Answer the Question‚ 'How Did 1968 Affect Your Life?'
They join people from across the nation in sharing personal stories, observations and photos of the year on "The 1968 Exhibit" website.
A major interpretive goal of‚ "The 1968 exhibit‚" is to foster a national dialogue to help confront the power of myth and nostalgia surrounding the 1960s. Visitors can share their experiences with others in the exhibit and online via the‚ "Reflections‚" page at www.the1968exhibit.org. Comments are also welcome on the exhibit and History Center Facebook pages.
News anchor Tom Brokaw, honorary chair of‚ "The 1968 Exhibit," wrote, "I began my marriage and my career as a journalist in 1962, a straight-arrow product of the‚ '50s. By the time the decade was over, I'd had my first taste of marijuana. I had long hair, and on weekends I wore bell-bottoms and peasant shirts when, as a family, we went to hippie arts festivals in the hills of North Los Angeles. But Meredith and I were raising our children essentially as we had been raised by our Great Depression and World War II parents back in the Midwest."
Folk-pop singer José© Feliciano wrote about singing at the World Series in 1968: "Soon afterwards I found out a great controversy was exploding across the country because I had chosen to alter my rendition of the National Anthem to better portray my feelings of gratitude. Veterans, I was being told, had thrown their shoes at the television as I sang; others questioned my right to stay in the United States and still others just attributed it to the times, feeling sad for the state of our country. But thankfully, there were many who understood the depth and breadth of my interpretation. Those, young and old, who weren't jaded by the negativity that surrounded anything new or different. Yes, it was different but I promise you‚ it was sincere." Visitors to the reflection page can listen to the 1968 National Anthem by José© Feliciano.
Everyday people who lived through 1968 as well as young people today have also submitted their stories. Robin, a student in St. Paul, says that a horrific story her father told her about Vietnam helped them "reconnect‚ across generations over his personal and the nation's public history." Lloyd, from Indiana, remembers discovering segregation in high school in 1968: "Suddenly, I was white and they were black." And Ellie from Baltimore, in a post about Robert F. Kennedy, thinks about what could have been: "We lost a great leader of peace, a man who might have changed the direction of our country, and our innocence."
"This dialogue with visitors is meant to be a work-in-progress, much like the contested and unsettled assessment of the‚ '60s themselves," says Brian Horrigan, lead exhibit developer. "By revisiting the landscape of 1968 through the stories of the people who were there, we hope others are prompted to reflect on their own life stories. Young people in particular are quick to say how their experiences today parallel many of the experiences of young people in 1968."
The 1968 website can be viewed at www.the1968exhibit.org. Visitors can easily share their experiences with others online via the "Reflections" page or the exhibit and History Center Facebook pages. Once inside the exhibit visitors will have additional ways to connect with this content. QR codes (two-dimensional bar codes) throughout the exhibit will provide quick web access to a comprehensive calendar of the year's events, blog entries and personal reflections.
The Minnesota History Center holds the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. The History Center is home to an innovative museum, engaging public programs, a modern library, distinctive stores and an award-winning restaurant.
The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. Its essence is to illuminate the past as a way to shed light on the future. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota's past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.