By July 4, 1968, America was exposed to the brutal reality of Vietnam’s Tet Offensive and My Lai Massacre. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated; riots broke out across the country. Young Americans snubbed tradition and authority. Despite the gains made earlier in the decade in the Civil Rights Movement, racial unrest bubbled in urban centers. For many Americans, this Fourth of July wasn’t marked by Sousa marches and patriotism, but rather a skeptical view of the government’s actions, domestically and abroad, let alone of traditional American values and celebrations. The air simmered with escalating violence, impatient protestors, hardened social classes and new social movements.