World History 1965-66ΦΈ

1967 Military Coup in Greece The Greek military staged a coup against the civilian government. All moderate and leftist politicians were arrested. When King Constantine refused to support the military, the King was sent into exile.
1967 Six Day War In October and November of 1966, there was a rise in terrorist activity against Israel. These attacks originated in Syria and Jordan. There were also continued Syrian artillery attacks on kibbutzim (collective settlements) in the area below the Golan Heights. In April 1967, Israel decided to respond by attacking, via air, the Syrian emplacements on the Golan Heights. On April 7, there was an air-battle in which Israel shot down six Syrian aircraft. Following the April attack, the Israeli government warned its neighbors that it would be forced to take further action unless terrorism from Syria was terminated. The Soviets then passed false intelligence information to the Egyptians, claiming that Israel was massing troops to strike at Syria. Israel denied these claims, and U.N. ground observers confirmed the Israeli assertions.

On May 18, Egypt requested that U.N. forces stationed on the Egyptian-Israeli border since the 1956 Sinai Campaign be withdrawn from the area. U.N. Secretary General U Thant complied immediately. The Egyptians then blockaded the Straits of Tiran, effectively cutting off Israeli shipping access to the Port of Eilat.

On May 30, mutual defense agreements were signed between Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, designed to facilitate a combined attack on Israel. Israel and World Jewry prepared for the worst. Many feared a second Holocaust. Israel first attempted to allow international diplomacy to diffuse the crisis. After the United Nations was unable to accomplish anything, and the United States was unable to create a multinational force to reopen shipping in the Straits of Tiran, it became clear that Israel would be forced to take matters into its own hands.

On the morning of June 5, the Israeli Air Force launched a pre-emptive strike against Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi airfields, wiping out each of these air forces. Three hundred and nine Egyptian planes were destroyed. Some 60 Syrian, 29 Jordanian, 17 Iraqi and one Lebanese planes combined for a total of 416 lost Arab aircraft. Israel lost 26 aircraft. On the ground, Israel attacked in three main forces, surrounded Egyptian forces, and reached the Suez Canal. In 48 hours, Israel captured all of the Sinai penninsula.

Israel warned King Hussein of Jordan to stay out of the war, but the king attempted to penetrate West Jerusalem. Jordanian troops opened a heavy-artillery barrage on West Jerusalem, as well as targeting the center of the country. In addition, Jordanian troops seized Government House and the headquarters of the U.N. in Jerusalem.

Israel counter-attacked, surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem. On June 7, Israeli troops entered and secured the Old City, re-unifying Jerusalem for the first time since 1948.

In the final stage of the war, beginning on June 9, Israeli troops stormed the Golan Heights, defeating the Syrian army. In only six days, Israel vanquished its three main Arab adversaries.

1967 Large Scale War Protest Amidst growing oppostion to the war in Vietnam, large-scale anti-war protests were held in New York, San Francisco and other cities. In New York, the protest began in Central Park, where draft cards were burned, and included a march to the United Nations led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1967 Johnson meets Kosygin On June 23, President Johnson met with his Soviet counterpart, Aleksi Kosygin, at a summit meeting in Glassboro, New Jersey. The meeting accomplished very little. An attempt was made to move toward an ABM (anti-ballistic missile) treaty, but Kosygin did not seem to have the ability to even discuss the issue.
1967 Che Guevera Killed in Bolivia Ernesto "Che" Guevera was killed by Bolivian troops hunting down Bolivian rebels. Guevera, who was Argentinean by birth, was a close aide to Fidel Castro, and was responsible for exporting the revolution to countries in South America.
1967 Heart Care makes Strides Heart care made major strides in 1967. In that year the South African surgeon Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant. The patient, Louis Washkansky, lived for 18 days. Today, transplants are performed routinely. In the same year, American surgeon Rene Favalero conducted the first heart bypass operation.

1968

1968 Rioting in France French students took to the streets, bringing Paris to a virtual standstill. Fighting broke out between the students and the police. The students had allied themselves with workers who went out on a general strike to protest wages. They seized factories, paralyzing the country. When the minimum wage was raised by 35 percent, the workers were satisfied and the government was able to restore order.
1968 Spring, Summer in Czechoslovakia Alexander Dubcek became First Secretary of the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia. Dubcek instituted a new program, what he called "Communism with a Human Approach." Dubcek's reforms included freedom of speech and of the press. The period became known as the "Prague Spring." The "Spring" came to a sudden end when Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia and arrested Dubcek and his government.
1968 Pueblo Captured The USS Pueblo, an American intelligence- gathering vessel, was captured by the North Koreans. The North Korean charged that the vessel was within their territorial waters, a charge denied by the US. The crew was eventually released, but the ship was not.
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated On April 4, a lone assassin killed Dr. Martin Luther King, America's leading civil rights activist. Dr. King had been on the forefront of the non-violent struggle to obtain civil rights for Blacks. James Earl Ray was later convicted of the assassination.
1968 Robert Kennedy killed Robert Kennedy, brother of the late President John F. Kennedy, was killed on June 5, after winning the Democratic primary for the Presidency in California. Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman, Sirhan Sirhan, in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel.
1968 Violence Mars Democratic Convention Violence outside marred the Democratic Convention, held in Chicago in August. Ten thousand demonstrators had come to Chicago to protest. Seven hundred were injured, and six hundred-fifty were arrested. The events outside the convention hall were covered widely on television.
1968 Nixon Wins Election Richard Nixon entered the Republican Convention as the front runner. He won the nomination on the first ballot. In his acceptance speech, he stated: "When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in a war in Vietnam with no end in sight, when the richest nation in the world cannot manage its economy, when the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented racial violence, when the President of the United States cannot travel abroad, or to any major city at home, then it's time for new leadership for the United States."

The Democrats went through a grueling primary campaign. Eugene McCarthy, an early opponent of the war in Vietnam, almost upset President Johnson in the New Hampshire primary. This convinced Johnson not to run for re-election. At that point Vice President Humphrey announced his candidacy for the nomination. A primary battle followed, with Robert Kennedy pulling in the lead until his assassination. At this point, Humphrey was able to sew up the nomination. He was nominated on the first ballot at the tumultuous convention in Chicago.

Nixon began the campaign as the front runner, with a clear lead. Toward the end of the campaign, as Humphrey became more critical of Johnson's handling of the war, the lead narrowed. Nevertheless, it did not narrow the gap enough to stop a Nixon victory.