May 1968

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This article covers breaking news and events in May 1968 .

Ongoing longer events (also this month)
  • Prague: After a change in leadership in the CP in the previous year, there was uncertainty in the Czechoslovakia for a few weeks about a new direction, a reform course, the Czechoslovak ruling party under Alexander Dubček , the " Prague Spring " and its suppression by Warsaw Pact troops and the occupation of the Landes leads.
  • Period in the Vietnam War in South Vietnam - the Tet offensive against the South Vietnamese and American allies lasted from 29./30. January to September 23, 1968. It had already peaked in January and February.
Defender in Saigon

Daily events

May 1st (Wednesday)


Oliver Bierhoff , later a German professional soccer player

May 2nd (Thursday)

Bundespost memorial stamp Karl Marx (May 5th)
  • Bonn: The 4th Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (of September 16, 1963) comes into force - after that, collective expulsions of foreigners are not permitted.


Jeffrey Alan Agoos , American soccer player and manager

May 3rd (Friday)

  • Paris : Beginning of the occupation of the Sorbonne University by students
  • Dawson, Texas: When Braniff Flight 352 crashed in a severe thunderstorm, all 85 people on board the passenger plane (turboprop Lockheed L-188A Electra; flight from Houston to Dallas) died


Oliver Eickelberg , German pulmonologist

May 4th (Saturday)

Posters in Paris from 1968


Francesca Bortolozzi , Italian fencer

May 5th (Sunday)

  • Saigon - today Ho Chi Minh Stad : start of phase II of the Tet Offensive (also known as the May Offensive or "Little Tet") delayed by a week, the main thrust against the South Vietnamese capital Saigon (until May 30)
  • Bonn : commemorative stamp for the 150th birthday of the German economic philosopher Karl Marx was issued by the Deutsche Bundespost .
Call for a demonstration by the extra-parliamentary opposition

May 6 (Monday)

May 11 (Saturday)

  • Kabul / Paris: Prime Minister Pompidou breaks off his trip to Afghanistan because of the protests in France
  • Bonn: Star march against the planned constitutional changes with around 30,000 participants from all over Germany (police information)

May 12 (Sunday)

  • Kham Duc, Vietnam, east of Da Nang : US, South Korean and South Vietnamese troops lose their base there in a battle from 10th to 12th
  • Panama City : Presidential Election in Panama ; The election winner was Arnulfo Arias , who was pushed out of office shortly afterwards


Falilat Ogunkoya , Nigerian track and field athlete and Olympian
Tony Hawk , American skateboarder

May 13 (Monday)


Sonja Zietlow , German TV presenter

May 14th (Tuesday)

  • Washington, DC: US ​​President Nixon proposes in a televised address the simultaneous withdrawal of NVA and US troops and guarantees the preservation of the US-dependent South Vietnam. Thieu regime .
  • New York City : At various events, John Lennon and Paul McCartney announce the goals and structure of the group of companies founded by the Beatles in recent weeks under the name Apple (Beatles Ltd. became Apple Corps. Ltd. with the Apple trademark in 47 countries for Apple Electronics, Apple Films Ltd., Apple Management, Apple Music Publishing, Apple Overseas, Apple Publicity, Apple Records, Apple Retail, Apple Tailoring ).


Husband E. Kimmel , b. 1882, former American Rear Admiral and Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor

May 16 (Thursday)

  • Prague : After the founding of the Angažovaných nestraníků (Club of committed non-party members, abbreviated to KAN) on April 5, 1968, the Minister of the Interior Josef Pavel gave its preliminary approval. Around 200 people were involved when it was founded, but the club quickly found between 40,000 and 50,000 interested parties. Simultaneous membership in another political party was excluded in the statutes; thus he was one of the first organizations outside the sphere of influence of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

May 17th (Friday)

Child suffering from malnutrition as a result of war ( Kwashiorkor )

May 18 (Sunday)


Thomas Sykora , Austrian ski racer, co-commentator at ORF

May 19 (Sunday)


Rodrigo González , Chilean musician, bass player in the band Die Ärzte

May 20 (Monday)


Everado Armenta , Mexican boxer
Olaf Mast , German handball player and trainer

May 22nd (Wednesday)

De Gaulle 1968 (at the inauguration of the Palais Beauharnais , German embassy)

May 24th (Friday)

  • Paris: President De Gaulle announces general elections for June 23rd.

May 25 (Saturday)

May 26th (Sunday)

May 27 (Monday)

  • Grenelle : Signing of the Grenelle Agreement between French Employers, unions and the government after the strikes and weeks of negotiations about an increase in the minimum wage (35%), wage increases, a reduction in weekly working hours, participation and other improvements in labor law - the "Accords de Grenelle"
  • Berlin : As one of many protests these days in Germany against the planned emergency laws, around 100 students occupied the Germanic seminar at the Free University of Berlin . They barricaded themselves in the building, hoisted a red flag on the roof and renamed the seminar the "Rosa Luxemburg Institute". This occupation lasted several weeks.

May 28 (Tuesday)

  • Heidelberg ( Baden-Wuerttemberg ): At this university , too, there is a “general strike” by students. The stairs to the lecture halls are blocked by a sit-in. This is followed by a general assembly on the question of a basic order of the university.


Kylie Minogue , Australian singer and actress

May 29 (Wednesday)

May 30th (Thursday)

  • Bonn : The German Bundestag adopts a publicly controversial emergency constitution with a two-thirds majority
  • Paris: March of a few hundred thousand (the exact number is disputed) conservative opponents of the unrest in France from the Place de la Concorde to the Place de l'Étoile. The rally is seen as support for the president.
  • Paris: President De Gaulle threatened to impose a state of emergency in a radio address in the evening. De Gaulle urged the workers to return to work.
  • The Beatles begin the studio recordings for a new album; White album , it will be released in November.

May 31st (Friday)

  • Paris: Prime Minister Georges Pompidou appoints Raymond Marcellin as Minister of the Interior. This adds up the number of people injured in the riots to around 2,000, including around 200 seriously injured. The number of the five to seven dead are not mentioned by him.
  • Zurich : Concert by Jimi Hendrix in the Hallenstadion
Che Guevara, photo by Alberto Korda (orig. 1960)

See also


  • Che Guevara , in 1968 the Italian publisher Feltrinelli published the book and the typical picture for it in Europe
    • Bolivian diary . Trikont, Munich 1968 ( excerpts ). , Later complete edition, Pahl-Rugenstein, Bonn 1990.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre : May 68 and the consequences, I and II . Speeches, interviews, essays, Rowohlt TB, 1982
  • Rudolf Sievers (editor): 1968: An encyclopedia. edition suhrkamp , Frankfurt / M., 2008, ISBN 3518133373 . 490 pages. (Table of contents, additionally on each page an event from the year - the chronology)


  • Don Kent (director): 1968 - The global revolt (1/2) (1): “The Wave” (1965–1969) and (2): “The Explosion” (1970–1975) , France, 2018, two parts , additionally 190 min.
  • 1968mm - sex and rock-n-roll. Directed by Jerry Rothwell, Felix Kriegsheim, Stefano Strocchi. Germany, 2017 (three episodes of 52–55 min. 8 mm films from private archives. Three episodes, first broadcast on May 25, 2018)

Web links

Commons : May 1968  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Accident description in the Aviation Safety Network. Accessed April 30, 2018
  2. To the press conference at the Hotel The Americana of New York in " Uncontrolled Weirdness " Uncontrolled Weirdness . In: New Internationalist . October 1990. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  3. Politický duben v kostce, online on the portal / ... ( Memento from January 22, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  4. • Vietnam (accessed April 28, 2018)
  5. Report from May 25, 1968 on le site de l'INA (French)
  6. ^ Rbb report with archive material from 1967-69: The capital of the revolt. from April 10th, 2018
  7. Katja Nagel: The Province in Motion. Student riots in Heidelberg from 1967 to 1973. Ubstadt-Weiher, 2009. (In the following days, the AStA there is dissolved by the rector. With many other dates from the year.)
  8. ^ Text of the radio speech, Discours du 30 may 1968 in the French-language Wikisource