'50' - From Issue 2

The second in our series of '50', examining history from five decades ago. Issue Two, which ran from October to December of 2018, covered that same period in 1968. 

1st October - The Apprentice Boys of Derry announced its intention to hold an 'annual' march along the same proposed route of the Civil Rights demonstration, on the same day and at the same time. This particular tactic had been used on several occasions before and many times after the Derry March. It provided the excuse needed to ban the march.

2nd October - Tlatelolco Massacre: Mexican armed forces open fired upon civilians who had gathered to demand freedom for political prisoners, respect for university autonomy, and to condemn the authoritarian government of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz. The exact number of people massacred is still unknown.

5th October - Civil rights activists defy the ban and are attacked by the RUC. Over 100 people are injured, including a number of MPs. This sparked two days of serious rioting in Derry between Catholics and the RUC.

9th October - Near 2,000 students from Queen's University Belfast tried to march to Belfast City Hall in protest against police brutality on the 5th October in Derry. The march was blocked by loyalists led by Ian Paisley. After the demonstration, a student civil rights group ‘People's Democracy’ was formed.

9th October - The Derry Citizen's Action Committee (DCAC) was formed from five protest organisations which had been active in the city.

12th October - The Summer Olympic Games open in Mexico City. The games have been boycotted by 32 African nations in protest of South Africa's participation.

16th October - Kingston, Jamaica is rocked by the ‘Rodney Riots’ after the banning of Walter Rodney from the country.

17th October - American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved fists in a black power salute during the playing of the American national anthem.

31st October - William X. O’Brien dies – prominent Irish trade unionist.

31st October - President Johnson announces a total halt to US bombing in North Vietnam.

14th November - “National Burn Your Draft Card Day” in protest to Vietnam War and conscription.

15th November - Operation Commando Hunt is initiated to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail from Laos into South Vietnam. The U.S drop 3 million tons worth of bombs on Laos, slowing but ultimately not seriously disrupting trial operations.

16th November - The Derry Citizens Action Committee (DCAC) defied a ban on marches in Derry by marching to the Diamond area of the city. An estimated 15,000 people took part in the subsequent sit-down demonstration in the Diamond area of Derry.

22nd December - Mao Zedong advocates that privileged urban youth in China be sent to the countryside for re-education, marking the beginning of the ‘Up to the mountains and down to the villages’ movement.

26th December - Two PFLP militants attack an Israeli EI AI plane in Athens, Greece.

28th December - Israeli Occupation forces attack Lebanese airport in Beirut