In August 1968, the Democrats convened in Chicago and eventually nominated Hubert Humphrey to run for President, with Edmund Muskie as his running-mate. But the events around the convention conveyed disunity and national unrest. Earlier in the year Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy had been assassinated.
Outside the official meetings, people gathered in Lincoln Park and Grant Park, with signs protesting the Vietnam war. Soon about 15,000 demonstrators were confronting 12,000 police and 6,000 National Guard troops. International press coverage featured the protestors' chants of "The Whole World Is Watching!" Esquire Magazine sent Jean Genet, William Burroughs, Terry Southern and John Sack to report on the protest.
The riot that ensued when police kept demonstrators from approaching the convention hall led to about 600 arrests. Brutality and violence were used by police, and when a report was broadcast to those attending the convention, some delegates (especially those supporting Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern) protested at the violent methods used, which caused Mayor Daley to explode as Americans viewed the convention live on television.
The Chicago 8 Trial charged the key organizers: Bobby Seale (Black Panthers), Tom Hayden (SDS), Dennis Roberts (Civil Rights lawyer), Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman (Youth International Party or "Yippies"), David Dellinger (pacifist), Lee Weiner and John Froines (Academics).
The Democratic National Convention has been held numerous times in Chicago. In 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his acceptance speech in Chicago, effectively launching the New Deal. In 1996, the Democrats convened in Chicago to nominate incumbent President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. A DNC Committee Meeting took place in Chicago as recently as 2006.
"1968: A Convention in Crisis," Chicago Historical Society (1999).
"1968 Democratic Convention," Chicago Tribune Topics (2008).
"Conventions Past, 1968: Antiwar Riots Engulf Democrats," NPR Online (2000).
"Going Back to Chicago," PBS (1996)
"Brief History of Chicago's 1968 Democratic Convention," CNN's "All Politics" (1996).
Articles about the DNC 1968, published in Harper's Magazine (to present).
"Chicago Democratic Convention" by Whitney, Ashley and Nick (Colorado.edu).
From the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark Street).
Inventory of the Lipscom Collection, 1968 Democratic National Convention, Northern Illinois University, Regional History Center (RC 28).
Concerning the Film Chicago 10:
Michael Lang, "1968, The Chicago 10 and the Democratic National Convention," The Lang Report (July 1, 2008)
A few videos:
(This entry was compiled with help from Lukas and Marlène Agnès).