Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Into The Dark: The My Lai Massacre


There will never be another year in America like 1968. Why that year became one of the most tumultuous periods in our history will probably never be known. It began on an ominous note when one of Americas most fervent enemies, North Korea, seized a U.S. Navy intelligence ship, named the U. S. S. Pueblo, in the Sea of Japan on January 23. They held the ship and its crew for many months and nearly started a full-scale war. In Vietnam, the massive Tet Offensive, launched by the Viet Cong against almost every major city in the south, caused massive casualties on all sides.

The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King touched off numerous riots in dozens of American cities. Two months later, the brother of a murdered President, Senator Robert Kennedy, was assassinated in Los Angeles at the hands of an Arab fanatic. Colleges across the country were enveloped in a wave of protest and violence over the Vietnam War, which was killing hundreds of young Americans every week.

 In August, the Democratic Presidential Convention in Chicago was wrecked by thousands of young people who fought the Chicago police on live TV, symbolizing the anguish of a divided nation. Richard Nixon was elected President in November and man made his first tenuous step into eternity as Apollo 10 astronauts said Christmas prayers from the dark side of the Moon. It seemed as if anything could happen that year.

And then, there was My Lai.

Anti-war marchers in Washington D.C. (AP)
Anti-war marchers in Washington
D.C. (AP)



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