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Chicago 1968: Witness to Democratic history

(Credit: Politirazzi)

Anti-war protesters gather in Grant Park outside the Conrad Hilton, base of the Democratic National Committee. (Photo by Jefferson Siegel)

It was 40 years ago today that another Democratic National Convention began. In 1968, with the country torn apart by the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. earlier in the year, the Democrats gathered in Chicago for a convention that would come to be known as a "police riot."

Demonstrators had arrived en masse to protest the war policies of President Lyndon B. Johnson. His vice president, Hubert Humphrey, was a candidate, as was the anti-war candidate, Sen. Eugene McCarthy. Humphrey would win the nomination, only to lose to Richard M. Nixon in the general election. The war would continue for several more years, eventually claiming the lives of 58,000 U.S. troops.

In this photo, anti-war demonstrators gather in Grant Park, across the street from the Conrad Hilton, the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. As people in the hotel turned their room lights on and off in a show of support for the protesters, the crowd cheered back.

* Click to see 12 more photos from the demonstrations

-- Jefferson Siegel

Tags: conventions

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