Long, Strange Trip
Check out this can’t-miss exhibit!
Courtesy of Oakland Museum of California
How often do you walk into a museum and step back into the living room of your childhood home? Because there, in the 1968 Exhibit at Oakland Museum of California, is my family’s sorta hip living room with the Solid State three-knob TV and Walter Cronkite delivering the frontline news from Vietnam, just as he did when I was six.
Just like in ’68, the images are jarring. Take a few more steps, and you are in Memphis, as Martin Luther King Jr. is gunned down. Walk around another corner, and Bobby Kennedy is assassinated in L.A., just two months after Dr. King. Soon, the Democratic Convention explodes in chaos, Black Power rocks the Olympics, and women burn their bras. In November, you get to pull a lever in a clunky old metal voting booth for your choice for president.
It’s not all about the turbulent times: The exhibit captures the colorful culture as well—think plastic polka-dot handbags and fuzzy beanbag chairs. But it is the exhibit’s shocking timeline that will leave you reeling, much as it must have felt during this pivotal year. Whether you lived it or read about it, this long, strange trip into the ’60s is not to be missed.
The 1968 Exhibit is on display through August 19, museumca.org/1968.