26 August 1968 US single release: Hey Jude/Revolution
“Hey Jude” tied the “all-time” record, at the time, for the longest run at the top of the US charts. The single has sold approximately 8 million copies and is frequently included on professional critics’ lists of the greatest songs of all time.
“In August, 1968, the country was still reeling from the assassination of Martin Luther King four months earlier, and the race riots that followed on its heels. Nightly news showed burning cities, white flight, radicals and reactionaries snarling at each other across the cultural divide.
“A brand new children’s show out of Pittsburgh, which had gone national the previous year, took a different approach. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood introduced Officer Clemmons, a black police officer who was a kindly, responsible authority figure, kept his neighborhood safe, and was Mr. Roger’s equal, colleague and neighbor.
“Around the first anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death, Mr. Rogers invited Officer Clemmons to join him in soaking their tired feet in a plastic wading pool. And there they were, brown feet and pasty white feet, side by side in the water. Silently, contemplatively, without comment.
“25 years later, when the actor playing Officer Clemmons retired, his last scene on the show revisited that same wading pool, this time reminiscing. Officer Clemmons asked Mr. Rogers what he’d been thinking during their silent interlude a quarter century before. Fred Rogers’ answer was that he’d been thinking of the many ways people say “I love you.”
THE MAJOR MOMENT: In August 1968, Kironde became the first woman of color to ever grace the cover of Glamour magazine. Kironde, who was 18-years-old at the time and an undergraduate at Harvard University, applied for Glamour’s “Top 10 Best Dressed College Girls” competition and won the highest honor. The issue was not only a milestone for the then 30-year-old publication, but it was also the first time that any black women had been featured on the cover of a mainstream women’s fashion magazine in the United States.
France detonates its first hydrogen bomb in the Southern Pacific on August 24, 1968, joining the US, USSR, UK, and China in possessing thermonuclear weapons. France would go on to carry out 217 nuclear weapons tests, the third-most in the world.