Watch '1968: The DNC' premiering August 6 on Decades
“This was the collapse, to us, of our democracy... They were splitting skulls.” — Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary
“What went on inside that convention was reflective of what was going on in the country.” — Bill Daley, son of Mayor Richard J. Daley
Fifty years ago, the Democratic Party took the national stage in Chicago to nominate their presidential candidate. The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, combined with a virulent anti-war movement and the shock of President Lyndon Johnson’s decision not to seek re-election, were all kindling to a convention already poised to be a powder keg. The spark that would later ignite the city and horrify the country may have been inevitable, says "The DNC," a new documentary from Decades.
Premiering August 6 at 9p ET on Decades, "The DNC" features interviews with Rennie Davis, Bill Kurtis, Bill Daley, Peter Yarrow and Chicago Police. "DECADES PRESENTS 1968: THE DNC" — the eighth installment of Decades' 12-part series "Decades Presents: 1968" —weaves together a powerful story from those who were there to shed light on this monumental political event of the 20th century.
The events of that week in August 1968 are recounted by the leadership of the antiwar movement, lieutenants in the Chicago police department, Democratic delegates at the convention, and members of the media. "The DNC" bears witness to the Convention that fundamentally changed how America selects its leadership.
"The whole thing was an American tragedy of enormous consequence not only to the present, but to the future." — Newt Minow, Alternate Democratic Delegate 1968
Americans were shocked by what unfolded live on their television screens across the 4-day convention. CBS Reporter Dan Rather was punched live on air by security inside the convention. Activist Don Rose remembers the streets turned blood red. Steve Zucker, Counsel for the City, recalls the trampling of an American flag as the catalyst for police aggression. Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary recounts trying to keep peace between the National Guard and student protesters by playing “Puff the Magic Dragon” all night in the lobby of The Hilton.
Even 50-years on, there is no single agreed-upon narrative between those who witnessed the national spectacle.
The archive footage tells its own story.
"THE DNC" creates illustrative and dynamic television, bringing to life a defining event in modern American history.
“Decades Presents 1968: The DNC” premieres Monday, August 6, at 9p ET; with encore presentations on August 17 at 10p ET, August 25 at 9p ET, and August 28 at 12a ET.
Find out where to watch.