August-1968

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“ 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.”

- Carl Aveni’s FB page

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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.”

- Carl Aveni

flickr

Move Over, Here I Come by Joe McMillan
Via Flickr:
You’re in the cab of Santa Fe U28CG 356 on August 22, 1968, trolling up Walnut Street in downtown Ottawa, Kanas, on the point of Train #212, the northbound TULSAN. This is the Third District of Santa Fe’s Eastern Division. In a few minutes, the train will reach Ottawa Junction where it will swing onto the Second District (Transcon main line) for the remainder of its journey to Kansas City.