The Soundscape of 1968

Lord Coe, who was inspired to join his local athletics club by the 1968 Olympic Games, introduces the latest in the Soundscapes series - an uninterrupted montage of recordings, newsreels and music backs news from the 1968 Games held in Mexico City.

Britain's David Hemery won the 400m hurdles with a world-record time, and USA's Bob Beamon became the first long-jumper to leap more than 28ft.

It was also on the victory rostrum during the playing of the US national anthem that African-American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised gloved fists in the air as a symbol of defiance in the long struggle for civil rights.

Meanwhile, away from Mexico, it was a world of turmoil and tragedy - the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, tanks on the streets of Prague, war in Vietnam and bloody protests in the streets of Chicago and Paris.

And the music reflected it - Happiness is A Warm Gun, Revolution, Light My Fire and This Wheel's on Fire.


Broadcast Details

  • First broadcast 20080805 (Radio 2)

Advertising