1968: The Year of The Monkees

Free Public Lecture

1968: The Year of The Monkees

Dulcie Hollyock Room
Baillieu Library

Parkville campus

Booking not required

Further Details

T: 0400 636 304


Dr Derham Groves will review world events from 1968, the same year the American pop band the Monkees toured Australia.

According to Mark Kurlansky, author of 1968: The Year that Rocked the World (2005), ‘There has never been a year like 1968, and it is unlikely that there will ever be one again’. It was certainly a rollercoaster of a year, including a series of tumultuous events that made people celebrate one day and despair the next.

On the plus side, for example, NASA was quickly working towards a moon landing; inspiring things happened in the world of sports including Australian victories by Ralph Doubell (b. 1945) on the running track, Rod Laver (b. 1938) on the tennis court, Lionel Rose (1948–2011) in the boxing ring and Rain Lover (1964–1989) on the racetrack; the publication of some influential books including Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal (1925–2012) and The Margaret Fulton Cookbook by Margaret Fulton (b. 1924); the release of some ground-breaking films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes; and the debut of Julia (1968–71), an American TV sitcom about a black nurse starring Diahann Carroll (b. 1935).

However on the down side, there was fierce fighting in Vietnam; the senseless murders of American civil rights campaigner Dr Martin Luther King Jr and US Senator Robert Kennedy (1925–1968) in the USA; a devastating famine in Biafra; and the end of a brief move towards democracy in Czechoslovakia.

Dr Groves’ talk will put the Monkees’ tour of Australia in 1968 into a wider cultural, political and social context.

All Free Public Lectures