“The Day After”


We slept that night knowing little more than bits of information we heard on the radio. It is hard to realize in these days of instant communication that it took a while for news to get to people in 1968. Without a television, needing to stay put in the apartment with friends knowing no more than we did, we waited for the Friday newspaper to fill us in.

The news didn’t hit the newspaper until Friday morning, when we awoke to the headline above. At this point, things were still relatively calm in the neighborhood around us. However, we knew that things were not in their normal state. Something was off, and we could only guess what lay ahead over the weekend. As you can see from the newspaper above, President Johnson was appealing for calm and for nonviolence. Clearly he was anticipating that neither was assured.

We sat around on Friday talking about King, civil rights, injustice, and the events over the last five years since Kennedy’s assassination. Then we began to hear sirens.  We could look at the apartment windows and see smoke a couple of blocks away,

I was scared. We decided to stay away from the windows and wait to see what would happen next.

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