1968

Swift's extended version of "All Too Well" surpassed the length of the previous record holder, Don McLean's 8-minute, 42-second "American Pie (Parts I and II)."

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Taylor Swift Sets Record for Longest No. 1 Song, Beating Out 'American Pie' and the Beatles

The pop star's 10-minute, 13-second rerecording of "All Too Well" debuted at the top spot in Billboard's Hot 100 chart

On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 launched from Kennedy Space Center at 7:51 a.m. EST with Frank Borman in command. His crew became the first humans to ride the mighty Saturn V rocket, breaking the bonds of Earth’s physical pull and entering the gravitational field of another celestial body.

How Apollo 8 Delivered Christmas Eve Peace and Understanding to the World

In a new book, Smithsonian curator Teasel Muir-Harmony examines the geopolitics during NASA’s space flight program

TV's "Julia" premiered on September 17, 1968 and the show was an instant hit, winning actress Diahann Carroll (above with Marc Copage as Corey Baker) the Golden Globe Award for best actress in a comedy in its first season.

Was the 1968 TV Show 'Julia' a Milestone or a Millstone for Diversity?

Diahann Carroll's award-winning series was a hit, but it delivered a sanitized view of African-American life

A photo taken at a Free Huey Newton Rally in 1968 with five of the six women identifiable—Delores Henderson, Joyce Lee, Mary Ann Carlton, Joyce Means and Paula Hill—provides testament to those who actualized the daily operations of the Black Panther Party.

Women Who Shaped History

The Rank and File Women of the Black Panther Party and Their Powerful Influence

A portrait taken at a “Free Huey” rally defines the female force that both supported and propelled the movement

“Everyone involved accomplished many, many firsts with that flight,” says Smithsonian curator Teasel Muir-Harmony. of NASA's near-perfect mission, (above: Apollo 8 command module).

How Apollo 8 ‘Saved 1968’

The unforgettable, 99.9 percent perfect, December moon mission marked the end of a tumultuous year

With "Hey Jude," (above: the Smithsonian's 45 rpm single),  the Beatles "seem to have struck their most resonant chord," says John Troutman, the curator of American music at the National Museum of American History.

“Hey Jude” Still Makes Everything "Better, Better, Better"

The Beatles’ biggest single hit skyrocketed on the charts in August of 1968

At a time when factional tensions on Earth were running rampant, Earthrise served to remind us of our cosmic insignificance.

These Images From 1968 Capture an America in Violent Flux

A one-room show at the National Portrait Gallery is a hauntingly relevant 50-year-old time capsule

Fire fighters attempt to douse a smoldering building on Superior following the shootout in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland on July 23, 1968.

What Happened When Violence Broke Out on Cleveland's East Side 50 Years Ago?

In the summer of 1968, the neighborhood of Glenville erupted in “urban warfare,” leaving seven dead and heightening police-community tensions

Eunice Kennedy Shriver with Best Buddies and Special Olympians (left to right) Airika Straka, Katie Meade, Andy Leonard, Loretta Claiborne and Marty Sheets.

For More Than Five Decades, the Special Olympics Has Given Marginalized Superstars Center Stage

Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the games offer intellectually disabled athletes the chance to dazzle an international audience

On April 4, 1968, when his campaign plane reached Indianapolis on that night, Robert F. Kennedy (above: in a 1968 portrait by Louis S. Glanzman) learned of Dr. King’s death.

When Robert Kennedy Delivered the News of Martin Luther King's Assassination

Months before his own slaying, Kennedy recalled the loss of JFK as he consoled a crowd of shocked African-Americans in Indianapolis

President Lyndon Johnson constituted the Kerner Commission to identify the genesis of the violent 1967 riots that killed 43 in Detroit and 26 in Newark (above, soldiers in a Newark storefront), while causing fewer casualties in 23 other cities.

The 1968 Kerner Commission Got It Right, But Nobody Listened

Released 50 years ago, the infamous report found that poverty and institutional racism were driving inner-city violence

A North American F-100D Super Sabre drops a napalm bomb near Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, 1967.

This Fighter Jet Turned the Tide During Vietnam's Decisive Tet Offensive

More than five decades ago, America won this huge battle, but lost the war

The comedy show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, starring Dan Rowan and Dick Martin (above), debuted on NBC on January 22, 1968.

In 1968, When Nixon Said 'Sock It To Me' on 'Laugh-In,' TV Was Never Quite the Same Again

The show's rollicking one-liners and bawdy routines paved the way for "Saturday Night Live" and other cutting-edge television satire

In 1968, at Resurrection City, a multicultural, multi-racial people shaped a campaign of hurt and hope out of a tumultuous year, including the war in Vietnam, and the assassinations of King and Robert F. Kennedy.

Deeply Grieving MLK’s Death, Activists Shaped a Campaign of Hurt and Hope

At Resurrection City, an epic 1968 demonstration on the National Mall in Washington D.C., protesters defined the next 50 years of activism

1968: The Year That Shattered America

Rage Against the Machine

A short story reimagines the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the chaos that shocked the world

Locals cross a small wooden foot bridge in Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam, just downriver from the My Lai Massacre in 1968.

1968: The Year That Shattered America

The Ghosts of My Lai

In the hamlet where U.S. troops killed hundreds of men, women and children, survivors are ready to forgive the most infamous American soldier of the war

In December 1957, Lymon appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to sing “Goody Goody,” nearly two years after “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” was a hit debut single.

Teen Idol Frankie Lymon's Tragic Rise and Fall Tells the Truth About 1950s America

The mirage of the singer's soaring success echoes the mirage of post-war tranquility at home

Ask Smithsonian

Can All Living Things Exhibit Albinism?

You asked, we answered

A Timeline of 1968: The Year That Shattered America

The nation is still reckoning with the changes that came in that fateful year

The focus on achievement and social justice is transformative, says Sumaiya Sabnam, at work on equations. “I call myself a student activist,” she says.

1968: The Year That Shattered America

Where RFK Was Killed, a Diverse Student Body Fulfills His Vision for America

At the site of Robert Kennedy's assassination, the kids at a Los Angeles public school keep his spirit alive

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