Episode 113: 1968 – The Year the Dream Died

Host: Christopher Rose, Department of History
Guest: Ben Wright, Department of History and Briscoe Center for American History

The year 1968 was a momentous and turblent year throughout the world: from the Prague Spring and the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, to the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F Kennedy, to the Tet offensive and the surprise victory of Richard Nixon (possibly the most normal thing that happened all year). Apollo 8’s trip around the moon is said to have saved the year from being all bad news.

Guest Ben Wright has helped curate an exhibition on 1968 at UT’s Briscoe Center for American History called The Year the Dream Died, and discusses why 1968 looms large in our collective memory.

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Episode 66: Operation Intercept

Host: Christopher Rose, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Guest: James Martin, Doctoral Student, Department of History

President Richard Nixon and Mexico's President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz shake hands at a ceremony on the Mexico side of the Rio Grande River 9/8 near Del Rio after they dedicated the Amistad Dam, in background.

At 2:30 pm on Saturday September 21 1969, US president Richard Nixon announced ‘the largest peacetime search and seizure operation in history.’ Intended to stem the flow of marijuana into the United States from Mexico, the three-week operation resulted in a near shut down of all traffic across the border and was later referred to by Mexico’s foreign minister as the lowest point in his career.

Guest James Martin from UT’s Department of History describes the motivations for President Nixon’s historic unilateral reaction and how it affected both Americans as well as our ally across the southern border.

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