The Pivot Point: Chicago 1968

On September 30, 1968 George Wallace came to Chicago. From Midway his motorcade raced to the Loop, where his staffers had a glistening open-top limousine waiting for him. He climbed into the back, planted himself between the driver and passenger seats, and braced for the car to start moving. Then he was off, parading down State Street at a noon on a brilliant autumn day, waving to the 50,000 people who'd come out to catch a glimpse of the nation's most famous segregationist as he rolled by. This seminar will follow the route that brought Wallace to Chicago that day. It will start on the west side on April 5, 1968, in the agonizing violence that followed Martin Luther King's murder on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. It will swing around to downturn during the Democratic national convention in August, from Lincoln Park to Grant Park and over to Michigan Avenue, where the Chicago police met the anti-war movement in yet another night of bloodshed. Then it will come back to the State Street, to Wallace and his supporters; In that tour we will explore the forces that made 1968 a pivotal year in the American experience, and Chicago one of the year's most pivotal places.