What they were doing. What it meant.

Angela Davis, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Dizzy Gillespie, Rosemary Clooney remember April, 4, 1968.


BARBARA BUSH: Leading 'awful garbage strikes.'

This was a very interesting time to be living in Washington. The Vietnam War was debated at all the dinner parties, and the whole country worried about racial and student unrest. Here is part of my diary entry from April 5, 1968, to show a little of what it was like then:

In truth I cannot begin to write the horrors of the day. Memphis, Tennessee, has been having the most awful garbage strikes led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Negro Nobel Peace Prize winner...Standing on a balcony last night Dr. King was gunned down by an unknown man. The reaction to this killing may turn out to be very bloody. A newsman at 11:30 called from the Houston Post. I asked about Houston and he said, "Small stone throwing and small groups wandering around the city." I am frightened.

Took children to school. Worked in tiny garden getting the flower beds ready for plants. I took Neil to his knee doctor only to discover that the entire city was rioting about 5 blocks away.

---from A Memoir, by Barbara Bush (Scribner's 1994)

HILLARY CLINTON: Grief and rage.


Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Dr.King's assassination on April 4, 1968, near the end of my junior year [at Wellesley College], filled me with grief and rage. Riots broke out in some cities. The next day I joined in a massive march of protest and mourning at Post Office Square in Boston. I returned to campus wearing a black armband and agonizing about the kind of future America faced.

---from Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, 2003)