“Piece of my Heart,” 50 years ago in November

NCPR first signed on the air March 7, 1968 and we are celebrating our Golden Anniversary all year.

1968 was what you might call a happening time, and not always in a good way. Here are some of the things that happened in November of that year. We’ll start off easy…

In music and entertainment

Big Brother and the Holding Co. star Janis Joplin. “Piece of My Heart” was in the Hot 100 in November 1968, Photo: Eliot Landy, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

The Billboard Hot 100 for the first week of November 1968 was incredible. The Beatles’ Hey Jude rode at number one, where it had been since lat September. But also blanketing the airwaves that week:  Fire – The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Love Child – Diana Ross & The Supremes, White Room – Cream, Suzie Q. – Creedence Clearwater Revival. Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf, Piece Of My Heart – Big Brother And The Holding Company, Say It Loud – I’m Black And I’m Proud – James Brown, All Along The Watchtower – The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell, and Crown Of Creation – Jefferson Airplane.

In other music news – or should I say Beatles news –  the Beatles released the “The White Album,” launched their animated psychedelic “Yellow Submarine” movie, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared in the nude on the cover of their “2 Virgins” album. On Broadway, Noel Coward’s “Sweet Potato” opened at the Booth, and the musical “Zorba” opened at the Imperial.

In Politics and Culture

Shirley Chisholm of Brooklyn, first African American woman elected to Congress. Photo: Library of Congress

Richard M. Nixon was elected U.S. president by a slim popular vote margin over Democratic VP Hubert Humphrey. The third party challenge by George Wallace came close to tipping the election into the House of Representatives as four states remained too close to call until the following day. In the same election Shirley Chisholm was elected as the first African American woman to be elected to the Congress.

In a less prominent vote, Lynn Eusan was crowned as the homecoming queen for the University of Houston, the first African American so honored at any college or university in the Deep South. The first interracial kiss broadcast on national television was between Capt. Kirk and Lt. Uhura in the Star Trek episode, “Plato’s Stepchildren.” The Supreme Court overturned an Arkansas banning the teaching of evolution. And the Danish company Interlego AG filed for the United States patent on its now ubiquitous Lego building blocks.

Wait! What happened to October?

Lots of stuff happened in October 1968, too, but with fundraiser and other business, the month just got away from me. You can find Wikipedia’s October 1968 highlights here.

And a huge thank you to everyone who helped put is over our Fall 2018 Fundraiser goal. You are all fantastic and lovely, even if you can remember everything that happened in 1968.

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1 Comment on ““Piece of my Heart,” 50 years ago in November”

  1. Rosalie Fontana says:

    Thanks for this little trip down memory lane. Was everything, especially the music, really better back then, or was I just younger and more hopeful?

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