Pictured: In one of the year's most devastating and infamous melees, police and demonstrators clash on Chicago's Michigan Avenue on August 28 during the Democratic National Convention.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
Pictured: Troops survey the flaming terrain on Washington, D.C.'s Seventh Street on April 6, amid the rioting caused by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
Pictured: An American soldier looks on as a Viet Cong base burns in My Tho on April 5.NATIONAL ARCHIVES/AFP/Getty Images
On February 1, South Vietnamese General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executed Viet Cong Captain Nguyễn Văn Lém in Saigon. American photographer Eddie Adams' now iconic photo of the event helped the American people see exactly what their country was involved in, and thus helped turn the tide of public opinion against the war.Eddie Adams/World Wide Photos via Wikimedia
Pictured: African-American former Congressman Adam Clayton Powell delivers a speech in Harlem on March 23, vowing to seek reelection and promising that "the non violent days are over."Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
This was the third march in as many days. Martin Luther King Jr. had been there on the first day to participate.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
This would be the last speech he would ever give.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
Pictured: Civil rights leader Andrew Young (left) and others standing on the balcony of Lorraine Motel point in the direction of the then unknown assailant just after the bullet struck King, who is lying at their feet.Joseph Louw/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
Pictured: On April 6, an unidentified man uses an axe to break into a store during the West Side Riots in Chicago. The riots caused widespread property damage (estimated at more than 10 million dollars), left thousands homeless and hundreds injured, and resulted in the deaths of 11 people.Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images
Pictured: On April 8, a soldier stands guard on the corner of 7th & N Street NW amid the ruins of buildings that were destroyed during the riots.Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress
Pictured: Smoke from the mass fires rises behind the Capitol on April 8.Marion S. Trikosko/Library of Congress
However, for many angry Americans reeling from King's death, this act was too little too late.Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress
In various waves throughout the year, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched decisive strikes, collectively known as the Tet Offensive, against the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces.
Pictured: Viet Cong soldiers in action in the Cuu Long Delta of South Vietnam during the Tet Offensive.AFP/Getty Images
Moreover, while the Northern forces were eventually beaten back, the Tet Offensive marked a turning point in U.S. public opinion against the war, as many now saw that the North was a formidable opponent, and not one that would be beaten with ease, as the U.S. had largely beed led to believe.
Pictured: Wounded soldiers in Hue City in early 1968.NATIONAL ARCHIVES/AFP/Getty Images
On March 16, approximately 100 American soldiers stormed the Sơn Mỹ village (which included the Mỹ Lai hamlet) and slaughtered somewhere between approximately 350 and 500 civilians, including men, women, children, and infants. An untold number of further victims were raped, injured, and mutilated as soldiers razed the village, burning much of it to the ground.Ronald Haeberle/Wikimedia Commons
Nevertheless, it was perhaps the ugliest massacre in U.S. military history, and despite the military's cover-up attempts, reports finally surfaced the following year and helped change many American minds about the war in Vietnam.Ronald Haeberle/Wikimedia Commons
Pictured: Demonstrators from both sides stand on the sidelines of an anti-Vietnam War march in New York on April 27.Harvey L. Silver/Corbis via Getty Images
For eight days, two different protest groups — one rebelling against Columbia's plans for a segregated gym and its encroachment into Harlem, the other against Columbia's recently revealed connections to a Department of Defense-affiliated weapons think tank — battled with both student counter-protestors and the police, who eventually moved in with tear gas to put an end to this round of demonstrations.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
In the midst of a presidential campaign that promised greater racial equality and deescalation in Vietnam, Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan — a Jordanian man who disagreed with Kennedy's backing of Israeli actions in Palestine — at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
Pictured: Clutching his rosary beads, Kennedy lies wounded on the floor of the Ambassador Hotel, just after being shot.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
For six weeks in May and June, demonstrators rallied marched, and even set up a 3,000-person tent settlement for poor people on the Washington Mall, naming it Resurrection City.ARNOLD SACHS/AFP/Getty Images
First came the Republican National Convention, held in Miami between August 5 and 8, which drew protests related issues of both race and the Vietnam War.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
Between August 22 and 30, more than ten thousand protestors — largely those opposed to the Vietnam War and many from the anti-establishment Youth International Party — flocked to the city and often clashed with the police and National Guard.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
Pictured: On August 30, National Guardsmen stand on their riot jeep, specially built with barbed wire frames, across the street from the convention headquarters.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
Pictured: On August 28, Illinois delegates react to a speech from Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff in which he criticized the violent tactics of the Chicago police against the antiwar protesters just outside.Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress
Newton was convicted, however subsequent retrials ended in hung juries and the authorities eventually dismissed the case. While Newton's guilt or innocence in the shootings remains a matter of contentious debate, his Black Panther movement would go on to have a large impact on civil rights in the U.S. in the ensuing years.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
More than 400 protestors railed against the pageant on charges of promoting consumerism (in reference to the pageant's sponsors), racism (the only finalists ever selected had been white), and misogyny. While none of these protestors actually burned their bras, an erroneous report in the New York Post claimed that they did and hence the often dismissive stereotype of the bra-burning feminist was born.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
On November 20, the Consol No. 9 mine in Farmington, West Virginia exploded in one of the worst disasters of its kind in U.S. history. Ultimately, 78 miners perished and, in response, Congress soon passed new legislation strengthening health and safety standards for such workers.Wikimedia Commons
Pictured: On February 12, sanitation worker Lorenzo De Francesco attempts to manage a mountain of garbage, which had accumulated during the strike, at a local disposal plant.Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
Ultimately, the college addressed some of the protestors' concerns and instituted an ethnic studies program, a move that was soon carried out by hundreds of other schools across the country as well.
Of all 1968's many protests and clashes, here was one of the ones that did effect change in a way that helped forge the United States we know today.Underwood Archives/Getty Images
On Christmas Eve of 1968, Americans saw the first photos of Earth ever taken from deep space by humans, courtesy of the astronauts aboard Apollo 8. Gazing at the seemingly peaceful blue marble from more than 200,000 miles away, one of the crew members remarked, "It looks like one planet from here."
Yet, around the world -- from riots in Paris to uprisings in Prague to civil war in Nigeria -- Earth was anything but. And perhaps nowhere was this more apparent than in the United States, which indeed could only have looked like one harmonious nation from the deepest reaches of space.
Throughout this decisive year, the issues that had been bubbling up in the U.S. since the decade began (or even earlier) -- civil rights, the Vietnam War, women's rights, aid for the poor -- seemed to boil over all at once. From January to December across the country, demonstrations turned into protests that turned into riots that stopped not too far short of becoming civil war.
Some of the worst of those riots, for example, erupted in April following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Then, just two months later, with the nation still reeling, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated as well. That's the kind of year that 1968 was.
From those two assassinations to the war in Vietnam to the riots that made America look like a war zone itself, the 1968 photos above reveal a nation divided against itself like never before -- and, 2016's historically contentious presidential election notwithstanding, perhaps not since.