Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

DNC Protest


Victor Payan, Latino Audience Engagement Specialist, e:, p: 714.567.3645



Major multimedia exhibit will explore twelve months of relentless, culture-shifting, life-changing, memory-stamping events

Santa Ana, CA (May 28, 2015)—The year 1968 was a turning point for a generation coming of age and a nation at war, and the aftermath can still be felt today. The Vietnam War, protests and assassinations were on the news. Peace signs, love-ins and psychedelic rock were on the scene. From the darkest hours to the incredible highs, the year 1968 comes alive in an extraordinary new exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana June 13 through September 13, 2015. 

Developed by the Minnesota History Center, in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, the Chicago History Museum and the Oakland Museum of California, The 1968 Exhibit is an ambitious, multimedia exhibit that looks at how the events of the year have fueled a persistent, if often contradictory sense of identity for the people who were there and those who came after. The sights and sounds of this media-saturated age fill the Bowers Museum with artifacts, video clips, and stories.

A National Dialogue

“Discussions about the impact and legacy of 1968 are being had at dinner tables, in classrooms and on the streets of America,” says Tom Brokaw, honorary chair of The 1968 Exhibit, former anchor and managing editor of the “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” and author of Boom! Talking About the Sixties. “It is time to document this watershed year through the voices of the people who experienced it firsthand, and to hear from the next generation about what it means to them.”

Organized chronologically by the months of the year, the 5,000-square-foot exhibit will transport visitors back to 1968. The experience begins in January with a Huey helicopter that has “landed” in a living room. The sights and sounds of this media-saturated age fill the exhibit and stories from the people who were there are shared throughout. Three interactive “lounges” focus on music, design, and movies and television. “It was quite a year for indelible television,” says James Comisar, curator of The Comisar Collection and one of the major resources for artifacts in the exhibit. “We all have our own great memories bundled in with classic TV shows and characters. Objects from ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Mission: Impossible,’ ‘Laugh-In’ and ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’ provide another personal connection to this evocative year and exhibition. Visitors can use mobile devices to access an online calendar of 1968 events, film footage and oral history excerpts. A kiosk in the gallery allows access to the same content. A website at provides a place for ongoing discussions about the lasting impact of the year.

The 1968 Exhibit includes a slate of school and public programs, website and companion book. 

Hippie Pants

Exhibit Partnerships

Each partner institution has brought to the exhibit artifacts, stories and other resources informed by their unique perspective on the year’s events. The Chicago History Museum has gathered materials related to the Democratic National Convention, while the Atlanta History Center provides resources related to Martin Luther King, Jr., Lester Maddox and the 1968 Olympic Games. The Oakland Museum of California’s collections are especially strong in the areas of the counterculture and protest movements. The Minnesota History Center documents the careers of Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy, as well as the American Indian Movement (AIM).

Grants & Awards

The 1968 Exhibit is supported by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The 1968 Exhibithas been designated a “We the People” project and received a Chairman’s Special Award for final design and production by the NEH.


The Bowers Museum has earned an international reputation through its world-class exhibitions, including Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China’s Enduring Legacy, Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor, Secrets of the Silk Road, and Mummies – Death and the Afterlife: Treasures from the British Museum, as well as its own extensive art collections from throughout the Americas and the South Pacific. Additionally, the Bowers’ Kidseum, located one block south of the main museum, offers a high-tech and interactive focus on its new mission of “Igniting Imagination through Exploration” spotlighting the excitement of art and archaeology.

Enjoy a leisurely luncheon at our award-winning restaurant, Tangata. Outdoor seating is also available, overlooking the Bowers historic mission-style courtyard from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Browse the rare and exotic at the Bowers Museum Gallery Store. It’s more than just a shopping trip—it’s a cultural experience.

Bowers Museum and Kidseum are closed on Mondays, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Regular operating hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 4 PM.

TICKETS                                      weekday          weekend

Adults                                                   $13*                $15*

Seniors (62 & over) & Student   $10 *               $12 *

Children (under 12)                        Free*               Free*

Purchase tickets online at

*Pricing subject to change


Thank you to the Target Corporation for making access possible to all visitors on Target Free First Sundays and to the Nicholas Endowment for sponsoring our Family Festivals on the first Sunday of each month. Bowers also offers free admission to Santa Ana residents, with proof of residency, each Sunday, through a generous donation in memory of Dorothy Goerl and courtesy of the Lockhart Family.


The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana is offering free admission for active duty military personnel and their families from May 25 to September 7 as part of the Blue Star Museums program. The Blue Star Museums program is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across the United States that offers free admission to all military personnel on active duty and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2015.

BOWERS MUSEUM, in Santa Ana, is centrally located in the heart of Southern California.

Address: 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706

Tickets and Information/ 714.567.3600

Group Tours: / 714.567.3680

Membership: / 714.567.3639 /

Photo Credits:

DNC Protest, Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society. Photo by Earl Seubert

Hippie Pants, Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

4 thoughts on “The year 1968 comes alive at the Bowers Museum starting on June 13”
  1. 1968 was very pivotal for my wife & I – that is the year we met and began dating. Could be interesting.

  2. 1968 was “enlightening” for me, too — the year before I graduated from the Univ. of Nebraska in Lincoln . . . In 1969, I joined the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and served one (1) year on the West Side in Las Vegas, NV! The Pastor of my Church was Fr. Louie Vitale, OFM, now associated with “Pace e Bene.” In 1986, I chose to be professed in Orange County, CA as a life-long, lay member of the Secular Franciscan Order. Now, Pope Francis I also models his life after St. Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis I’s biblical exhortation: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say: Rejoice” (Phil 4:4).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Verified by MonsterInsights