The Night In 1968 When A Nation Watched An American Presidency Crumble

Fifty years ago almost to the day, anti-war activism led to President Lyndon Johnson's downfall. After a lackluster showing in the New Hampshire primary, he announced he would not seek reelection.

On the night of March 12, 1968, TV audiences saw an American presidency of monumental proportions begin to crumble before their eyes.

The occasion was the New Hampshire presidential preference primary, the "first in the nation" primary that has long been a tradition in the Granite State.

There have been other dramatic outcomes in New Hampshire, both before and since, scuttling careers and altering the political landscape. But none has shaken the earth like the results of 1968.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was the president, having assumed the job when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November of 1963. Johnson had then won a term in his own right in 1964 with one of the biggest popular-vote landslides in U.S. history.

Johnson had strong-armed Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act

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