The 1968 Issue: A timeline of a historical year in Seattle.

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Jan. 26: The FBI arrests seven men for conspiring in a plan to rob four banks, blow up the Redmond police station and dynamite a power plant in Redmond. Some of the men were members of the right-wing, anti-Communist Minutemen organization.

Feb. 7: The song “Angel of the Morning,” which has been recorded by just about everyone except Black Sabbath, is released by Merrilee Rush, a 24-year-old Shoreline High School graduate from Lake Forest Park. It becomes a massive hit, and Rush is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category. She loses to Dionne Warwick (“Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”). Also nominated, and coming up short that year: Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin.

Feb. 12: Jimi Hendrix, who hasn’t played in his hometown since 1961, returns as a superstar, playing a sold-out show at Seattle Center Arena. He spoke briefly the next day at his former high school, Garfield. He died 2½ years later, at age 27.

<b>SPECIAL 1968 ISSUE: </b>Too much happened in tumultuous 1968, even in Seattle, for one single story to contain. So: Welcome to our special, themed, All-1968-All-The-Time issue. This still might not be enough — but it’s a start.
SPECIAL 1968 ISSUE: Too much happened in tumultuous 1968, even in Seattle, for one single story to contain. So: Welcome to our special, themed, All-1968-All-The-Time issue. This still might not be enough — but it’s a start.

Feb. 13: King County voters approve $40 million in bonds to fund construction of a domed stadium, part of the “Forward Thrust” campaign. (Seven of the 12 ballot initiatives passed in 1968; a huge rapid-transit proposal was one of the losers.) Seattle had been awarded an expansion baseball franchise in 1967. The agreement with the American League was that the Pilots would play the 1969 season at inadequate Sick’s Stadium but that a domed stadium would be finished by 1970. The Pilots never made it to 1970, moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers after their only season in Seattle. Plans for the stadium continued, though it was moved from its original proposed site at Seattle Center to the Sodo neighborhood. The Kingdome opened in 1976, home field for the Seahawks in their first NFL season, and the Sounders of the North American Soccer League.

<strong>MARCH 26:</strong> Robert F. Kennedy, seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, speaks to 10,000 at Edmundson Pavilion on the University of Washington campus. After a brief statement, Kennedy takes questions from UW students. (Seattle Times archive, 1968)
MARCH 26: Robert F. Kennedy, seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, speaks to 10,000 at Edmundson Pavilion on the University of Washington campus. After a brief statement, Kennedy takes questions from UW students. (Seattle Times archive, 1968)

March 19: The SuperSonics wrap up their first NBA season with a victory over the Chicago Bulls, in a game played in Portland. (The Sonics also played games in Tacoma; Olympia; Spokane; and Vancouver, B.C., that season in an attempt to broaden their regional appeal.) The young stars of the team, which finished 23-59, are Walt Hazzard and Bob Rule. Hazzard was traded before the next season for Lenny Wilkens.

March 26: Robert F. Kennedy, seeking the Democratic nomination for president, arrives in Seattle and tells a crowd at Sea-Tac Airport he is seeking “a new day for America.” He also speaks to more than 10,000 in Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington.

March 29: Members of the University of Washington’s Black Student Union, which had been formed on Jan. 6, organize a sit-in by high school and college students at Franklin High School, to protest the suspension of two African-American students. Larry Gossett, Aaron Dixon and Carl Miller of the BSU, plus one Franklin student, are arrested.

April 7: A crowd estimated at 10,000 marches to Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center to mourn the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., killed on April 4. The large crowd sings “We Shall Overcome” before and after the tribute.

April 13: Black Panthers leader Bobby Seale visits Seattle and appoints Aaron Dixon head of the new Black Panthers Seattle chapter.

<strong>APRIL 26:</strong> Crowds of University of Washington students and visitors gather outside the Student Union Building for an anti-war event. The program included a visit from Playboy Playmate Reagan Wilson, who was heckled by Seattle Radical Women, a group protesting her appearance. (Richard Heyza/The Seattle Times, 1968)
APRIL 26: Crowds of University of Washington students and visitors gather outside the Student Union Building for an anti-war event. The program included a visit from Playboy Playmate Reagan Wilson, who was heckled by Seattle Radical Women, a group protesting her appearance. (Richard Heyza/The Seattle Times, 1968)

April 26: Seattle Radical Women protest the appearance of Playboy playmate Reagan Wilson on the University of Washington campus during an anti-war protest.

May 24: Seattle Mayor J.D. Braman is part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Liberty Bank at 24th Avenue and East Union Street. Joining him are Gov. Dan Evans, City Councilman Sam Smith and bank officials to celebrate what is called the first interracial bank in the Northwest.

May 30: Muhammad Ali, who had been stripped of his heavyweight boxing title for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. military, speaks about Vietnam and race relations to a crowd of 800 in the University of Washington’s Student Union Building. The night before, after arriving in Seattle, he had spoken at a Bellevue church. Even though he had changed his name in 1964, newspaper stories and headlines referred to him mostly as Cassius Clay.

July 1: Larry Gossett, Aaron Dixon and Carl Miller are each sentenced to six months in jail for unlawful assembly during the March 29 sit-in at Franklin High School, inciting riots in the Central District.

Aug. 31-Sept. 2: The Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair is held on a raspberry farm near Sultan. The Grateful Dead, who are not scheduled to perform, show up on the final day and play.

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Sept. 6: Members of Seattle’s Black Panther Party, some of them armed with rifles, visit Rainier Beach Junior-Senior High School to talk to school administrators about rumors of African-American students being assaulted and mistreated.

Sept. 19: Popular Renton heavyweight Boone Kirkman improves his record to 18-1 with a 10-round unanimous decision over Bill McMurray at Seattle Center Coliseum. Kirkman fought — and lost to — George Foreman, Ken Norton and Ron Lyle in the 1970s, but finished his career in 1978 with a record of 36-6, with 25 knockouts.

<strong>SEPT. 24:</strong> Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon waves to a large crowd in Seattle during a campaign visit, standing next to his wife, Pat. Nixon won the presidency in November, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey. (Pete Liddell/The Seattle Times, 1968)
SEPT. 24: Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon waves to a large crowd in Seattle during a campaign visit, standing next to his wife, Pat. Nixon won the presidency in November, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey. (Pete Liddell/The Seattle Times, 1968)

Sept. 24: Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon speaks to a crowd of about 5,000 in downtown Seattle. He delivers a rousing campaign speech, focusing on the themes of order, progress and the need for a new foreign policy. The next day, he visited Harbor Island to inspect the Lockheed shipyard, and said he thought he was ahead of Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey in the state.

Sept. 25: “Here Come the Brides,” a TV show set in Seattle in the 1860s, makes its debut. The show features teen idol Bobby Sherman and David Soul, better known later as Hutch from “Starsky and Hutch.” The show — about 100 single women brought to Seattle from the East Coast to marry men here — lasted two seasons. It also starred Bridget Hanley, who was born in Seattle and grew up in Edmonds, as the spunky Candy Pruitt. “The bluest skies you’ve ever seen, are in Seattle” … c’mon, everybody!

Sept. 28: Vice President Hubert Humphrey, in Seattle to campaign for the presidency, rips into his opponent, Richard Nixon, after battling hecklers at jampacked Seattle Center Arena. After about 20 members of the Peace and Freedom Party, who say they are here to arrest Humphrey, are ejected from the arena, Humphrey tells them, “Now you have had equal time — shut up!”

Sept. 30: Boeing rolls out its first 747, at a ceremony at its new plant in Everett.

<strong>SEPT. 30:</strong> A few years before the “Boeing Bust,” the planemaker introduces its new 747, at its plant in Everett. (Larry Dion/The Seattle Times, 1968)
SEPT. 30: A few years before the “Boeing Bust,” the planemaker introduces its new 747, at its plant in Everett. (Larry Dion/The Seattle Times, 1968)

Sometime in October; details are hazy: The Army, a band formed a year earlier in Kenmore by Steve Fossen and Roger Fisher, changes its name to Whiteheart. In 1971, it added singer Ann Wilson and changed the name again, to Hocus Pocus. Shortly after moving to Canada in 1972, the band started calling itself Heart. In 1974, Ann’s sister Nancy Wilson joined the band, and the rest is Rock & Roll Hall of Fame history.

Oct. 3: The wreckage of a plane that carried Seattle City Councilman Wing Luke and two others is found under a waterfall in Snohomish County, more than three years after it disappeared.

Oct. 5: Welton “Butch” Armstead, a 17-year-old member of Seattle’s recently formed Black Panther Party chapter, is shot to death by Seattle Police. On Oct. 13, about 125 people attended a memorial service for Armstead, including members of the Black Panthers. On Oct. 16, a coroner’s jury ruled that Officer Erling Buttedahl’s shooting of Armstead was justifiable homicide.

Oct. 12: Independent presidential candidate George Wallace is greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of about 700 supporters at Sea-Tac Airport, including one man waving a huge Confederate flag. Later that night, Wallace spoke at the Moore Theatre.

Oct. 12-27: Swimmer Kaye Hall, from Wilson High School in Tacoma, and sprinter Charlie Greene, an O’Dea High School graduate, win gold medals in the Mexico City Summer Olympics. Hall, just 17, wins the 100-meter backstroke in world-record time, and leads off the gold-medal-winning 4-by-100 medley relay for the United States. Greene, who won state sprint titles at O’Dea, and NCAA championships at Nebraska, wins bronze in the 100 meters despite a hamstring injury, then helps the U.S. 4-by-100 relay team win gold and set a world record.

<strong>OCT. 13:</strong> O’Dea High School graduate Charlie Greene sprints to victory in his heat of the 100 meters at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Greene’s time of 10 seconds flat ties the world record. Later, with a sore hamstring, he finished third in the final, taking a bronze medal. Greene won gold in the 4-by-100 relay. (The Associated Press, 1968)
OCT. 13: O’Dea High School graduate Charlie Greene sprints to victory in his heat of the 100 meters at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Greene’s time of 10 seconds flat ties the world record. Later, with a sore hamstring, he finished third in the final, taking a bronze medal. Greene won gold in the 4-by-100 relay. (The Associated Press, 1968)

Oct. 15: The Seattle Pilots select first baseman Don Mincher and outfielder Tommy Harper with their first two picks of the expansion draft held to stock the Pilots and Kansas City Royals for the 1969 season. Mincher and Davis each played key roles in the Pilots’ only season, Mincher easily leading the team in home runs, with 25, and Harper leading the American League with 73 stolen bases. The Pilots also take a 24-year-old minor-league outfielder named Lou Piniella, but trade him to the Royals a week before the ’69 season.

Oct. 16: Jimi Hendrix releases his final studio record, “Electric Ladyland,” a double album of psychedelic rock ’n’ roll magic. It includes an insanely great cover of the Bob Dylan song “All Along the Watchtower” and climbs to No. 1 on the U.S. album charts. In less than two years, Hendrix is dead.

October: Paul Erdmann, a 28-year-old German-born TV salesman who grew up mostly in Seattle, moves into a house on Queen Anne Hill; changes his name to Love Israel; and starts the controversial, communal Love Israel family.

Nov. 5: Washington is one of only 13 states won by Hubert Humphrey in the presidential election. Humphrey had an edge over Richard Nixon in King County, but it was close: 47 percent to 46. George Wallace received 6.62 percent of the vote in the county.

Nov. 21: A party is held at Pike Place Market for the release of Victor Steinbrueck’s book, “Market Sketchbook,” which contains sketches of Market farmers and customers from 1967. The party is sponsored by, among others, Friends of the Market, a group that had formed in 1964 and was instrumental in saving the Market.

Nov. 23: The Washington Huskies wrap up a dismal football season with a 24-0 loss to the Cougars in the Apple Cup, at Spokane. The Huskies were 3-5-2 overall and last in the Pacific 8 Conference, at 1-5-1. Turns out, these were good times compared to the ’69 season, when the Huskies finished 1-9.

Dec. 3: The Black Panthers hold a news conference outside their headquarters to announce they will investigate the shooting death of one of their members, Sidney Miller. He was shot by a storekeeper in West Seattle on Dec. 2.

Dec. 27: The great Led Zeppelin plays its second U.S. show, opening for the not-nearly-as-great Vanilla Fudge, at Seattle Center Arena. Tickets are $3, $4 and $5. The band’s first album had not been released in America yet. Most of the fans at the Arena barely paid attention to Zeppelin, but a young Patrick MacDonald — who later worked at The Seattle Times for 35 years as a music critic — nearly loses his mind, standing on his chair, waving his arms and pleading with people to “Shut up and listen!”