The 1968 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois, from 26 August to 29 August 1968, in order for the Democratic Party to select a suitable nominee to run as its candidate for the post of President of the United States of America in the upcoming federal election. At the time, Nick Knight was an officer on the Chicago Police Force, moonlighting as a security guard at the convention.
In the episode "Beyond the Law", Angela Mosler, aide to one of the candidates, enthusiastically tries to persuade Nick to work actively for the man she supports, Tom Gardiner. He finds the candidate very impressive and persuasive. However, in his capacity as security guard, Nick has to keep an eye on what is going on in the hotel where the candidates are staying. He spots Angela coming out of Gardiner's room in a state of deep distress. It is strongly implied that he has raped her. Shortly thereafter, she is found to have hanged herself.
LaCroix finds the situation intriguing: what will Nick do? The press discovers Gardiner's connection to his aide's death, and the scandal forces him to withdraw his candidacy. Nick's response suggests that he is the source of the leak.
With events in the United States crashing against the American population faster and faster, 1968 quickly developed into a year of rage. All across America emotions ran high. The country was at war in Vietnam—a war that many in the country strongly rejected. Tensions peaked with the assassination of two leaders who had brought the promise of hope to a generation: on 4 April 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader of the Civil Rights movement; and, on 5 June 1968, Robert F. Kennedy, a leader of the peace movement, who died the following day.
The 1968 Democratic National Convention was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago's mayor, Richard J. Daley, intended to use it to showcase his city's achievements. Instead, the proceedings garnered media attention from the large number of demonstrators and notoriety from the use of force against them by the Chicago police. The rioting, which then took place between the demonstrators on the one hand and the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois National Guard on the other hand, was well publicized by the mass media. Indeed, some newsmen themselves experienced police violence: Mike Wallace and Dan Rather, both respected newsmen of the day, were roughed up by the Chicago police while inside the halls of the Democratic Convention.
In 1968, the task of selecting a suitable nominee was particularly difficult for the Democratic Party. President Lyndon B. Johnson had decided not to seek re-election. Senator Robert F. Kennedy seemed unable to decide whether to seek the nomination; and many of his supporters instead decided to support Senator Eugene McCarthy for the nomination. Though Kennedy finally did decide to run, his decision was rendered moot by his assassination.
When it came down to choosing a candidate at the convention, the party was split. On one side stood supporters of McCarthy, who ran an anti-war campaign. On the other side was Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who was seen as the candidate who represented the pro-war point of view. When the Democratic Party nominated Humphrey even though he had not entered a single primary, the general perception was that strings had been pulled behind the scenes by President Johnson and the Mayor of Chicago.
Humphrey went on to lose the election to the Republican candidate, Richard Nixon.
- Adapted from the Wikipedia article on the 1968 Democratic National Convention.