Revisit the Year that Transformed a Nation in "Smithsonian Time Capsule: 1968"

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02 May 2018
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Smithsonian Time Capsule
Photo: Courtesy of Smithsonian Channel
"Smithsonian Time Capsule: 1968"
Premieres Monday, May 7 at  8 PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
 
          Few years in American history have been as pivotal and transformative as 1968. Fifty years later, Smithsonian Channel delves deep into the Smithsonian Institution’s vaults to relive a year that saw breathtaking change, violent tragedy and heroic sacrifice in SMITHSONIAN TIME CAPSULE: 1968. What are some of the significant objects that the Smithsonian decided were worth saving to capture the essence of those turbulent times? Personal stories and curator insights bear witness to a remarkable year that shaped the country, highlighting more than a dozen key objects from across the Smithsonian Institution’s collections.
 
          From a veteran of the Tet Offensive sharing the story of the uniform he wore and recounting surviving a deadly ambush, to an interview with astronaut Jim Lovell remembering Apollo 8, these interviews bring to life the pivotal events of the year. Acting as a portal to the past, each interview and object takes viewers back to a specific time in ’68 and identifies a story that has impacted history. 

 
Smithsonian Time Capsule 1968 
Photo: Courtesy of Smithsonian Channel
 
          The film remembers the civil rights struggle with objects including the remains of a 1968 banner – hung in the National Museum of American History – made to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. following his shocking assassination earlier that year. Later lit aflame by a museum visitor, the charred remnants serve as a reminder of the struggle that the nation continues to fight 50 years later.
 
          Some objects echo current headlines.  After Robert Kennedy’s assassination, Roy Lichtenstein painted a stunning visual commentary on guns for Time Magazine, and Olympian Tommie Smith recalls the build-up to – and aftermath of – his iconic 1968 protest, a controversial act that reverberates today. From national events to other iconic objects, including Pringles “newfangled” potato chips, early mobile phones and the popularization of the Peace Sign, SMITHSONIAN TIME CAPSULE: 1968 not only tells us what happened, but what it was like to live through it. To commemorate this unforgettable year, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery opens the exhibition “One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey” on June 29.

 


 
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