Here are eight events that made history during 1968:

1. Jan. 23: North Korea captures the USS Pueblo

When North Korea captured the American surveillance ship USS Pueblo, it sparked an 11-month crisis that threatened to worsen already high Cold War tensions in the region.

After months of negotiations, North Korea agreed to free the crewmen after the United States. acknowledged that the Pueblo had been spying and promised not to spy in the future.

2. Jan. 30: North Vietnam launches the Tet Offensive against the United States and South Vietnam

The coordinated attack by 85,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese targeted 36 major cities and towns in South Vietnam. It caught U.S.-led forces by surprise.

U.S. and South Vietnamese forces eventually regained control of the communities they lost during Tet.

Nevertheless, it became a wake-up call for Americans back home, who began withdrawing their support for the war.

3. April 4: Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was standing on the second floor balcony of room 306 at the Lorraine Motel when he was struck by a bullet at 6:01 p.m.

The 39-year-old civil rights leader was rushed to nearby St. Joseph's Hospital but never regained consciousness. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.

King's fellow civil rights pioneers made public pleas for a nonviolent response to honor his memory. But riots broke out in more than 100 cities across the nation.

4. June 5: Robert F. Kennedy assassinated in Los Angeles

Just two months after King was killed, Kennedy himself was gunned down by an assassin at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

5. Sept. 30: Boeing introduces the first 747 "Jumbo Jet"

When demand for air travel reached sky-high levels in the 1960s, the world's then-largest passenger aircraft -- the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet -- was a game changer. The ability to carry far more passengers than previous airliners suddenly made globetrotting a feasible option for would-be wanderers who previously thought they would never afford such exotic sojourns.

6. Oct. 16: U.S. athletes take a stand at the Summer Olympics

During the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, two black athletes staged a silent demonstration against racial discrimination in the United States.

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For the simple defiant act of raising their fists during the National Anthem, the International Olympic Committee condemned American medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

The salute made Smith and Carlos famous.

7. Nov. 22: "Star Trek" airs American television's first interracial kiss

In an episode of TV's original "Star Trek" entitled "Plato's Stepchildren," the crew aboard the Starship Enterprise became enslaved by humanoid Platonians, who possessed a telekinetic ability to force them to do anything the Platonians wanted them to do.

Enterprise Capt. James Kirk, a white man played by William Shatner, was forced to kiss Nichelle Nichols' character, Lt. Nyota Uhura, a black woman.

8. Dec. 24: Apollo 8 is the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon

The mission was a rare high note in a year filled with historically tragic events. According to "A Man on the Moon," Andrew Chaikin's book on the Apollo program, the astronauts received countless telegrams after they returned safely home. But one stuck out from the others.

It said, "You saved 1968."

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