[Jan] [Feb] [Mar] [Apr] [May] [Jun] [Jul] [Aug] [Sep] [Oct] [Nov] [Dec]

  • Australia's population exceeds 12,000,000

  • The partial skeleton of a young Aboriginal woman found at Lake Mungo is dated to 35,000 BP, and a skeletal remains found at Kow Swamp in Victoria are dated to between 9,000 and 15,000 BP
  • fluoridation of the Sydney water supply begins
  • the Commonwealth censor bans the Swedish film I Am Curious - Yellow

    Visual Arts
  • William Pidgeon's portrait of Lloyd Rees wins the Archibald Prize

    Performing Arts
  • Alex Buzo's play Norm & Ahmed
  • Robert Helpmann's ballet Sun Music, composed by Peter Sculthorpe

  • Thomas Keneally's Three Cheers For The Paraclete wins the Miles Farnklin Award

    Film & Television
  • The Drover's Wife wins the AFI Best Film Award
  • Brian Henderson wins the Gold Logie
  • Marinetti (Albie Thoms)
  • Ride A White Horse (Bob Evans)
  • Sampan (Terry Bourke)
  • Time In Summer (Brian Hannant)
  • Uptight premieres on the 0-10 Network

  • Boxing champion Lionel Rose (pictured at right) becomes the first Aboriginal Australian to be named Australian Of The Year
  • Australian athletes win five gold medals at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Holden launches the new HK range, which includes Australia's first sports coupe, the Monaro, and introduces a new safety feature, the energy-absorbing steering column.

Lionel Rose - Australian of the Year, 1968

Rose was eldest of a family of nine children from a tiny impoverished Aboriginal community in Gippsland, Victoria. In 1963, in spite of the death of his father the previous day, Lionel fought and won his first big fight at Festival Hall, Melbourne. Needing the prize money to support his family, he turned professional after winning the Australian amatuer flyweight championship later that year. One of Australia's best all-round boxers, he won the Australian professional bantamweight title in 1966 and the world title in Japan in 1968. More than 250 000 people--the biggest crowd ever to line Melbourne's streets--turned out to cheer their hero.

He lost the world title in 1969 and retired in 1970, but attempted two comebacks in 1975 and 1976. He had won more money than any other Australian fighter, but after retirement he entered a downward spiral of heavy drinking and criminal convictions. Early in his career he had been unwilling to assume the responsibility of being a figurehead for his people. However, after serving time in gaol he started work with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and he now travels the country encouraging Aboriginal people to achieve their ambitions.


January 1968

6th Hello Goodbye  
The Beatles  

13th Sadie The Cleaning Lady  
Johnny Farnham  

20th Sadie The Cleaning Lady  
Johnny Farnham  

27th Sadie The Cleaning Lady  
Johnny Farnham

The Big Show package, featuring The Who, The Small Faces, Manfred Mann and Paul Jones (ex-Manfred Mann) tours Australia. Tour hi-jinks by members of The Who and The Small Faces lead to confrontations with Commonwealth authorities, culminating in the threat of deportation. Prime Minister John Gorton orders the two bands never to set foot in Australia again. Pete Townshend swears to do just that, and he remains the only member of The Who never to return to here.

Original La De Das drummer Brett Nielsen leaves the group just before leaving for their second trip to Australia and is replaced by The Action's Bryan Harris.

Allied forces in South Vietnam reel under the onslaught of a concerted attack by North Vietnamese forces in the Tet Offensive. Taking advantage of the Vietnamese lunar New Year holiday, Communist forces stage a massive assault, reaching even into the heart of Saigon

Major overseas releases:
The Bee Gees - Words
Eric Burdon & The Animals - Sky Pilot
The Byrds - The Notorious Byrds Brothers
Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul
The Kinks - Live At Kelvin Hall
Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn
The Moody Blues - Knights In White Satin

4 The U.S. music industry bible Billboard reports that Americans spent more than $1 billion on records in 1967; US fans bought 192 million albums and 187 million singles, marking the first year in which the sale of albums has exceeded that of singles.

- The search for the body of Harold Holt is called off.

9 Liberal Senator John Grey Gorton defeats Paul Hasluck and Bill Snedden in the party leadership ballot, and as a result he is sworn in as Australia's new Prime Minister. As a fighter pilot in WWII, Gorton was shot down in combat and survived a near-fatal crash, suffering serious head injuries which left his face permanently scarred. Treasurer and acting Liberal leader William McMahon, the most likely candidate, decides not to stand because of the bitter resistance against him from Country Party leader and acting PM John McEwan. Gorton's historic win makes him the first Australia senator to become PM and the first person in Australian political history to win the post without having a seat in the House of Representatives. Because he is a senator, Gorton must vacate his Senate seat and stand for the late Harold Holt's vacant seat of Higgins to win a place in the Lower House, as required by the Constitution.

11  Jimi Hendrix moves into a London townhouse which is the former residence of renowned 18th century composer Georg Friedrich Handel, and in which Handel is believed to have composed both "The Water Music" and "The Messiah". Hendrix is quoted as saying that he "will not let the tradition down" and will also compose in the house.

14 Celebrated Australian poet Dame Dorothea Mackellar dies, aged 82

15 The The "Big Show" tour entourage, including The Who, The Small Faces and Paul Jones arrive in Australia. Small Faces organist Ian McLagan immediately enrages the press during an airport press conference when he tells a reporter to "f*** off" after being questioned about his recent UK drug bust.

17 The Seekers are named Australians Of The Year.

20 The Big Show plays the Festival Hall, Brisbane

22 The Big Show plays the Sydney Stadium, Sydney

- The first full series of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In begins on America's NBC network. The rapid-fire sketch comedy, featuring a wild psychedelic-influenced visual style, frenetic pacing and subtly subversive material, premiered as a pilot special in September 1967. The series broke new ground in TV comedy and alongside Star Trek it was one of the first American series to feature a racially-integrated cast. It was scripted by a team that includes expatriate Australian writers Chris Bearde and Digby Wolfe. Laugh-In becomes a smash-hit around the world, and earns the writing team the 1967-68 Emmy award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Music or Variety. It makes household names of the hosts, former standup comics Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, and launched the careers of many of its regular performers including Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, Ruth Buzzi, Chelsea Brown (who later emigrated to Australia) and Flip Wilson, and provided the first international TV showcase for the legendary Tiny Tim. The show's catchphrases -- "Sock it to me", "You bet your sweet bippy", "Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls", "Here come da judge!", "The fickle finger of fate" and "Beautiful Downtown Burbank" -- soon pass into everyday usage and celebrities and public figures -- including U.S. President Richard Nixon -- queue up to appear in cameo spots. The series runs for more than five years until its cancellation in May 1973.

23 The Who/Small Faces 'Big Show' tour begins with a controversial concert at the Sydney Stadium.

25 The Big Show plays the Festival Hall, Melbourne.

26 The Big Show plays the Festival Hall, Melbourne

27 The Big Show plays the Centennial Hall, Adelaide

28 The "Big Show" tour entourage, including The Who, The Small Faces and Paul Jones are are escorted from their plane by police and airport security after a flight attendant alleges abusive behaviour during a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne. Arriving in Melbourne, the groups are escorted to the VIP lounge by police, kept under guard for several hours and escorted onto a plane to Sydney.

30 Australia's new 12-mile territorial fishing limit comes into force

31 North Vietnamese forces and their allies launch the famous "Tet Offensive". Taking advantage of a lull in fighting during the annual Tet religious holiday, NLF forces mount surprise attacks on military targets throughout South Vietnam, even striking in the heart of Saigon and attacking the American Embassy. Although the NLF forces suffer terrible losses, the offensive is a huge propaganda victory for North Vietnamese cause, and a decisive event in the conflict, leaving the confidence of the South Vietnamese and their allies forces badly shaken.

When I Was 6 Years Old / So Good 
Ronnie Burns



 February 1968

3rd Sadie The Cleaning Lady  
Johnny Farnham   

10th Sadie The Cleaning Lady  
Johnny Farnham   

17th Sadie The Cleaning Lady  
Johnny Farnham   

24th Love Is Blue  
Paul Mauriat

The La De Das make their second trip to Sydney

20 Australian soldiers are killed and 80 are wounded during Operation Coburg, following the Tet offensive

Major overseas releases:
Leonard Cohen - Songs Of Leonard Cohen
Donovan - Jennifer Juniper
Aretha Franklin - Since You've Been Gone
The Move - Fire Brigade
Otis Redding - The Dock Of The Bay

1 Australian and NZ troops continue their resistance against the full-scale attack on their base at Nui Dat by Viet Cong forces. The so-called Tet Offensive proves to be a major turning point in the conflict.

21 World-famous Australian scientist Sir Howard Florey dies, aged 69. Florey's work was crucial in creating a useful antibiotic from Sir Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin. Florey's achievement, among the most significant in scientific history, saves the lives of millions worldwide during the second half of the 20th century.

25 John Gorton wins the Higgins by-election, gaining a seat in the House of Representatives and ensuring his appointment as Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister.

27 20 year-old Aboriginal boxing champion Lionel Rose defeats Masahiko "Fighting" Harada in Japan to become the world bantamweight champion. Rose later ventures into recording and has chart success with a country song Let Me Thank You For Just Being You, written and produced for him by Johnny Young.

- American president Richard Nixon visits Berlin. During his visit  terrorists Dieter Kunzelmann and Rainer Langhans attempt to bomb his motorcade, but the bomb is discovered before it can be triggered. Kunzelmann and Langhans, members of West Berlin terrorist group Tupamaros (a precursor of Movement 2 June) are arrested soon after.

Mr Love / And She's Mine 
The Allusions

Soothe Me / I See A New Day
The Groove

Something Wonderful / We Got Love  
The Questions



 March 1968

2nd Love Is Blue  
Paul Mauriat  

9th Love Is Blue  
Paul Mauriat  

16th Love Is Blue  
Paul Mauriat  

23rd Love Is Blue  
Paul Mauriat  

30th Love Is Blue  
Paul Mauriat

The Factory discotheque at Blacktown, in Sydney's western suburbs, opens with a permanent lightshow designed by UBU member Aggy Read.

American TV comedian Don Lane is committed to stand trial on charges of importing cannabis into Australia.

In Melbourne Tonight scoops the pool at the annual Logie Awards. IMT is voted 'Best Victorian Show' and host Graham Kennedy is voted 'Most Popular Victorian Personality', giving him his twelfth Logie.

Major overseas releases:
The Beatles - Lady Madonna
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Child Is Father To The Man
James Brown - I Got The Feelin'
Joe Cocker - Majorine
The Hollies - Jennifer Eccles
Incredible String Band - The Hangmans's Beautiful Daughter
Joni Mitchell - Joni Mitchell
The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed
The Move - The Move
Simon & Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair

1  UNSW student Roger Foley presents UBU films at an Orientation Day function, followed by a performance event (smashing a piano) and a "Psychedelic Party" using UBU lights. Foley soon sets up his own famous lightshow business under the name Ellis D. Fogg.

2  Syd Barrett leaves Pink Floyd after their disastrous tour of the US.

12 The Federal government pays a reported $50,000 compensation to Captain John Robertson, who was commanding HMAS Melbourne at the time of the Voyager disaster.

14 The Australian Army admits to reports that one of its officers tortured a Vietnamese woman suspected of being a spy.

16 A company of US soldiers carries out the infamous My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, killing dozens of innocent civilians. In November 1969 Lieutenant William Calley is charged with ordering the massacre.

22 A helicopter crashes on the Barracouta offshore oil platform in Bass Strait, killing two journalists and an oil company employee.

25 A second royal commission into the Voyager disaster finds that the commander of HMAS Voyager, Capt. Duncan Stevens, was too ill to command at the time of the accident. Full blame is (conveniently) placed on the executive staff of the Voyager, although the commission concedes that the full story can never be known since all the bridge officers, including Stevens, died in the accident. The second report controversially overturns the findings of the first, which laid partial blame with the captain and crew of the Melbourne.

Something Easy / Michael  

It's A Happening World / Moving In A Circle
The Executives



 April 1968

6th Lady Madonna  
The Beatles  

13th  Lady Madonna  
The Beatles  

20th Lady Madonna  
The Beatles  

27th Honey  
Bobby Goldsboro

Major overseas releases:

1 American Christian evangelist Billy Graham begins a tour of Australia.

- US President Lyndon Johnson delivers a major speech announcing a reduction of US bombing of North Vietnam and makes the surprise announcement that he will not seek his party's endorsement to run for a second term as President. The ABC's This Day Tonight plays edited segments of the speech relayed from Washington, along with a report from Washington correspondent Peter Barnett -- the first international satellite newsbreak in Australian TV history.

2 A group of self-styled "urban guerrillas" firebomb two department stores in Frankfurt, West Germany. Former juvenile delinquent and petty criminal Andreas Baader and his girlfriend, student activist Gudrun Ensslin leave two time bombs in Frankfurt's Kaufhaus Schneider department store while accomplices Horst Söhnlein and Thorwald Proll leave another in the nearby Kaufhof store. At midnight the bombs go off, causing about $200,000 worth of damage. As the first flames appear, Ensslin phones the German Press Agency, screaming "This is a political act of revenge!". The Frankfurt fire-bombings are the first in a series of attacks against the West German establishment by Baader, Ensslin and their associates. They later become collectively known as the infamous Baader-Meinhof Gang, a loose collective of left-wing dissidents whose extremist agenda had been crystallised by the police killing of a young student, Benno Ohnesorg, during a demonstration in Berlin in June 1967, and by the attempted murder of left-wing student leader Rudi Dutschke a few days later .

4 America and the world are stunned when American civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis. Outrage in the African-American community over his murder --widely believed to have been orchestrated by rogue elements of America's law enforcement agencies -- triggers a wave of riots, looting and arson in cities across the country.

10 The Wahine disaster, New Zealand's worst maritime accident, claims the lives of 51 people. As Cyclone Giselle lashes Wellington, the vehicular ferry Wahine attempts a harbour crossing but is driven aground by the heavy seas, taking on water and losing power. Although within clear sight of the city, only a few hundred metres from shore, the fierce storm and heavy seas foil repeated attempts by rescue craft to tow the ship to safety. During the course of the day the ferry is driven broadside to the storm, takes on more water and begins to list dangerously. This in turn causes the cars on the vehicle deck to shift, and eventually the Wahine capsizes. Poor command decisions delay the evacuation until late in the day, and the subsequent crisis is compounded by the bad weather, panic and confusion during the evacuation, and inadequate lifesaving equipment -- including the total lack of any children's life jackets. The result is a catastrophe -- as darkness falls, dozens of people are swept into the raging waters as they attempt to abandon ship and 51 passengers drown. A huge controversy erupts when the subsequent enquiry exonerates both the captain and the ferry company.

The stricken Wahine lies capsized in Wellington Harbour

11 In Berlin, a young house painter, Joseph Bachmann, ambushes student activist Rudi Dutschke, the firebrand leader of the leftist APO movement, in the street outside his home. Bachmann shoots Dutschke three times, knocking him clean out of his shoes, but he survives the shooting. Immediately after the shooting Bachmann hides out in a basement of a local building and swallows 20 sleeping tablets in an unsuccessful effort to commit suicide.

12-15 Students riot in Berlin after the attempted murder of left-wing student activist Rudi Dutschke. The enraged students assume that Dutschke was targeted was because of the red-baiting rhetoric of the right-wing Springer Press group. The Springer press is owned by the ultra-conservative and rabidly anti-communist Lord Axel Springer. His newspapers dominate the German press and through them Springer rails against the Left, and particularly against the "red" Dutschke. After the shooting thousands of students converge on the 20-story Springer Press headquarters, which straddles the Berlin Wall. Among the demonstrators is noted journalist Ulrike Meinhof and future Baader-Meinhof biographer Stefan Aust, editors of the leftist magazine konkret. Many students park their cars in front of the building, forming a blockade; Aust suggests that Meinhof should park her car in the blockade, but she is unsure about getting involved. She compromises by parking her car at the very end of the blockade, but she is arrested anyway. Meinhof avoids conviction by persuading the court that she is only guilty of poor parking! Although seemingly innocuous, the act is Meinhof's first step towards a far more radical political agenda, culminating in her becoming a key member of the notorious Baader-Meinhof urban terrorist gang.

21 On the eve of the passing of the Race Relations Bill through the British Parliament, right-wing MP Enoch Powell delivers his infamous "rivers of blood" speech in Birmingham, predicting that there will be a race war in UK if the admission of non-white migrants is not curtailed. In the wake of the speech, the British political climate lurches to the right and a Gallup Poll indicates that a shocking 74% of Britons support Powell's views.

- French students occupy the campus at Nanterre, a university in a bleak suburb of Paris, where students are sexually segregated. The occupation is the first of a series of events of leading up to the famous May '68 protests.

23 A surgical team headed by A.G.R. Sheil performs Australia's first liver transplant at Sydney Hospital

30 Gough Whitlam retains leadership of the ALP, defeating his rivals including Dr Jim Cairns, whom he beats by only six votes.

Hide & Seek / Livin' In Style  
Somebody's Image  

Gotta Stop Lying / Time Killer  
The Wild Cherries



 May 1968

4th Honey   
Bobby Goldsboro  

11th Honey   
Bobby Goldsboro  

18th Honey   
Bobby Goldsboro  

25th The Unicorn   
The Irish Rovers

Guitarist Kevin Peek leaves The James Taylor Move, and is replaced by John Pugh (ex-Roadrunners) and Lance Dixon

Major anti-war riots and student protests break out in Paris

Major overseas releases:
James Brown - Licking Stick , Licking Stick
Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Man
Aretha Franklin - Think
The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash
Simon & Garfunkel - Mrs. Robinson, Bookends

2 The federal government is forced into an embarrassing admission that the purchase price of the twenty-four American-made F-111 supersonic fighter-bombers, originally ordered by Menzies in 1963, has now blown out by 140% from the original estimate of $112 million to $266 million.

3 French university students mount a massive series of anti-government protests in Paris. The Sorbonne is closed and fierce street fighting rages for days between police and demonstrators, causing many casualties in the Latin Quarter, which has been blockaded by the students. The Paris riots, later immortalised in song by The Rolling Stone's classic Street Fightin' Man, trigger a month-long wave of dissent, industrial action and political unrest across Europe; the protests in France bring the ultra-conservative De Gaullle government to the brink of collapse.

5 Three Australian journalists are killed by Viet Cong near Saigon; a fourth escapes.

14 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie begins a five-day state visit to Australia

15 The Beatles announce the formation of their own recording company, Apple Corps.

18 Possibly affected by his heavy and protracted use of LSD, John Lennon calls a meeting of The Beatles at their London office to inform them that he is Jesus.

19 While his wife Cynthia and son Julian are away on holiday, John Lennon and Japanese-born avant-garde artist Yoko Ono spend the night together recording their experimental work Two Virgins, concluding by making love for the first time at dawn.

21 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visits Australia

- French unions stage a general strike in support of students. France grinds to a standstill

24 A French policeman is killed during rioting in Lyon.

26 An Oz benefit is held at the Middle Earth Club, London.

28 Sydney underworld figure Joe Borg is killed by a car bomb at Bondi. His will includes a huge $250,000 bequest to the RSPCA, which is used to establish a new animal shelter at Yagoona.

30 In France, President De Gaulle announces strong measures against anti-war protesters, dissolves the National Assembly, and calls General Elections

Drawing Room/ I'm Your Puppet  

Love Machine / Spread A Little Love Around  
Love Machine



 June 1968

1st The Unicorn  
The Irish Rovers 

8th  This Guy's In Love With You  
Herb Alpert 

15th This Guy's In Love With You  
Herb Alpert 

22nd This Guy's In Love With You  
Herb Alpert 

29th This Guy's In Love With You  
Herb Alpert 

Seminal Brisbane blues band Bay City Union breaks up.

Drummer Bryan Harris leaves The La De Das and is replaced by Keith Barber (ex- Wild Cherries)

Major overseas releases:
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Fire
Deep Purple - Hush
The Doors - Hello, I Love You
Fairport Convention - Fairport Convention
Pink Floyd - A Saucerful Of Secrets
Aretha Franklin - Aretha Now
Randy Newman - Randy Newman
The Nice - The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack
Harry Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin'
Otis Redding - The Immortal Otis Redding
The Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake

3 Melbourne's GTV-9 launches Australia's first breakfast TV program, Today, hosted by former radio DJ Mike Walsh and co-presenter Bobo Faulkner. Local versions are subsequently set up in other capital cities. The 'Today' format is dropped by Nine; it is picked up by the Seven Network for some time and it is eventually revived as a national program on the Nine Network in 1982.

- Radical feminist Valerie Solanis, author of the SCUM Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men) shoots Andy Warhol at The Factory in New York. Warhol is critically wounded and only barely survives the shooting.

5 Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles while campaigning for the 1968 US presidential election.

12 President De Gaulle bans all demonstrations in France

14 Conscientious objector Simon Townsend is granted exemption from national service. Townsend had resisted the draft and was forcibly inducted under order from a magistrate. In May he had been put on bread and water at Ingleburn Army Camp after refusing to obey his first Army order. In the '70s and '80s Townsend becomes well-known as host and producer of the successful children's TV program Wonder World.

15 John and Yoko plant acorns for peace in the grounds of Coventry Cathedral.

- The heroes of the Paris barricades Daniel Cohn-Bendit aka (Danny The Red) and Alan Geismar are flown to London by the BBC to address a conference at the London School of Economics.

18 The Warringah Expressway opens in Sydney.

24 British comedy star Tony Hancock is found dead in his Sydney flat. A coroner later rules that Hancock had committed suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates. Hancock had come to Australia to make a TV series for the Channel 7 in Sydney. He rose to fame in the '50s with a series of popular BBC radio and TV programs, and was regarded as one of the most gifted comic actors of his generation. Although tipped for international success, he was plagued by depression and self-doubt. His career and personal life took a nosedive after leaving the BBC in the mid-Sixties, and his psychological problems were exacerbated by alcoholism and his increasing abuse of amphetamines and barbiturates. It was evident for some time that Hancock was in trouble -- when he performed at Melbourne's Dendy Theatre in October 1967, he fell several time during the show, and eventually left the stage amidst jeers, catcalls and audience walkouts. Many factors contributed to his suicide -- his drug and alcohol problems aggravated his long-standing problems with depression and paranoia, his notorious perfectionism and his pathological fear of failure. Other factors included his split from his long-time collaborators, actor Sid James and writers Galton & Simpson (a move which Hancock himself had described as "professional suicide"). Hancock's divorce was another contributing factor, having been finalised only a week before his death.

- Penalties for the evasion of national service are increased

29 Pink Floyd release their second album A Saucerful Of Secrets

30  In France, the Gaullist Party are returned in the election; a coalition of the Gaullist state, the Unions and the French Communist Party turns the revolutionary impulses into reforms

Windy Day / This Town Ain't The Same Any More
The Executives

Advice / I Had A Dream 
Doug Parkinson In Focus 

What Price Love?/Only Once In My Lifetime 
The Avengers



 July 1968


6th This Guy's In Love With You  
Herb Alpert 

13th MacArthur Park  
Richard Harris  

20th MacArthur Park  
Richard Harris 

27th MacArthur Park  
Richard Harris 

The Groove win Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds. 

Major overseas releases:
The Beach Boys - Friends, Do It Again
The Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around
The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo
Aretha Franklin - I Say A Little Prayer
The Move - Wild Tiger Woman

2  30 protesters are arrested when police clash with anti-conscription demonstrators in Sydney

- Artist Sir Hans Heysen dies, aged 90

4  Mounted police charge into a crowd of over 1,500 anti-Vietnam war demonstrators outside the US consulate in Melbourne. 45 people are arrested.

10  World-famous US paediatrician and best-selling author Dr Benjamin Spock is sentenced to 2 years for encouraging draft dodging.

30  The Beatles announce the closure of their Apple Boutique in Baker St, London. The store is shut down after just six months in business, all the stock is given away and the controversial psychedelic mural on the building's exterior, created by design collective The Fool, is removed immediately after the store shut down.

31 The Beatles record Hey Jude at the Abbey Rd Studios in London. The song tops Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for nine weeks (Sept-Nov) making it their biggest-ever American hit.

What Is Soul / Goin' Back
The Groove



 August 1968

3rd MacArthur Park   
Richard Harris  

10th MacArthur Park   
Richard Harris   

17th MacArthur Park   
Richard Harris  

24th You Keep Me Hangin' On   
Vanilla Fudge  

31st You Keep Me Hangin' On   
Vanilla Fudge

The La De Das make their second trip to Melbourne

A major epidemic of Hong Kong flu breaks out in Melbourne and soon spreads to other states.

Major overseas releases:
The Beach Boys - Stack-o-Tracks
Jeff Beck - Truth
Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Stephen Stills - Super Session
James Brown - Say It Loud - I'm Black And I'm Proud
Cream - Wheels Of Fire
The Moody Blues - In Search Of The Lost Chord
The Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man
The Beatles - Hey Jude / Revolution

6 "Rocket" Rod Laver wins the men's singles title in the first Wimbledon Open

7 The Easybeats feature in an all-star lineup at the Sounds '68 concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. Topping the bill are co-headliners The Move and The Byrds. This version of The Byrds is the legendary but short-lived lineup that includes Gram Parsons. The Albert Hall concert proves to be one of his last appearances with The Byrds -- he leaves the band at that end of the month over his political objections to their impending tour of South Africa. Also supporting with The Easybeats were the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Joe Cocker and The Alan Bown Set.

8 Following the sudden death of aging premier Jack Pizzey, Kingaroy peanut farmer Johannes Bjelke Petersen is elected unopposed as the new Country Party leader, thus becoming the new Queensland Premier. Joh's pro-development leadership ushers in an unprecedented era of growth for the state, but he is reviled by the Left for his autocratic style, his anti-union, anti-civil liberties stance, and his heavy-handed use of police powers to repress dissent. Joh retains retains power into the 1980s thanks to his cynical exploitation of Queensland's notorious electoral gerrymander, but in later years his administration, and in particular the police force, are dogged by constant allegations of corruption. When these allegations are eventually aired on the landmark Four Corners program "The Moonlight State", they lead to the establishment of the Wood Royal Commission. Its damning findings result in a stunning electoral defeat which sweeps the National Party from government, and leads to criminal charges against several government ministers and former police commissioner Terry Lewis.

9 UBU Lights premiere the use of liquid slides and their "Jumbo Strobe" at the St Aloysius College Ball.

10 Tamam Shud play a benefit for the Coogee Boardriders Club (with lightshow by UBU) at the Hefferon Hall in East Sydney. Partway through the show the hall manager cuts the power, calling it "the ultimate in depravity". The same night, UBU premiere "Trip Without Glue" (simulating an LSD trip) at Briar's Club in Sydney's western suburbs.

- Cream's Wheels Of Fire, with covert art by Martin Sharp, reaches #1 in the US album charts

12 More serious race riots break out in the black suburb of Watts, Los Angeles

15 The National Library opens in Canberra

- Yippies Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin arrive in Chicago and claim that they will disrupt the Democratic Party Convention by releasing greased pigs, seducing delegate's wives and daughters and getting female yippies to dress as prostitutes and put LSD into delegate's drinks. The suggestions are taken seriously by the mayor and his police force.

16 Government health statistics reveal the shocking fact that deaths amongst Aboriginal children account for almost 10% of the infant mortality rate in Australia, even though Aborigines comprise less than 1% of the population.

17 Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown reaches #1 on the UK charts and stays there for the next fourteen weeks

20 The National Gallery of Victoria opens in Melbourne

21-23 Soviet forces invade Czechoslovakia, dramatically terminating the reforms of the so-called 'Prague Spring' and the liberal government led by Alexander Dubchek.

22 Cynthia Lennon files for divorce from John Lennon

23 A Be-In is organised by the Yippies in Chicago. Allen Ginsberg and Ed Sanders of The Fugs lead a dance through the Old Town

27 Under orders from Chicago mayor Richard Daley, police use extreme force to quell demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention. The police brutality is so extreme that the McCarthy campaign office is turned into an emergency hospital to cope with the injured. Many Yippie 'leaders' are arrested but the events backfire on the Establishment, drawing widespread criticism of Daley's heavy-handed approach. Many of the events surrounding the clashes, and graphic footage of the riots themselves are captured by film-maker Haskell Wexler, who uses the footage in his classic docu-drama Medium Cool.

Bird In The Tree/I Gotta Know What You're Like  

You'd Better Get Going Now / 3 Jolly Little Dwarfs



 September 1968

7th You Keep Me Hangin' On  
Vanilla Fudge 

14th You Keep Me Hangin' On  
Vanilla Fudge 

21st You Keep Me Hangin' On  
Vanilla Fudge 

28th Hey Jude   
The Beatles

The Seekers' farewell LP Live At The Talk Of The Town reaches #2 in the UK.

UBU provides lighting for a Dave Miller Set performance in the ABC-TV pilot Good Grief It's The Twilights, and also for segments of Channel 7's The Mavis Bramston Show.

Major overseas releases:
The Band - The Weight
Deep Purple - Shades Of Deep Purple
Jefferson Airplane - Crown Of Creation
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along The Watchtower
The Move - Something Else By The Move (EP)
The Supremes - Love Child

3 Adelaide band Zoot hold a media reception at Berties Disco in Melbourne. For the occasion, club owner Tony Knight decks out the disco completely in pink, including pink champagne and pink carnations. The party, organised by new manager Wayne De Gruchy (who also manages Berties) is to launch the band's "Think Pink - Think Zoot" campaign, part of the group's new image as a bubblegum act, which has them decked out with matching pink suits and pink guitars and even sees Daryl Cotton's luckless Afghan Hound dyed pink!. Although the group later repudiate the idea, it proves a promotional success and their next single 1x2x3x4 is a Top 40 hit in Melbourne.

3-7 Ubu Films presents "Underground 68", a week-long season of new underground and experimental films from Australia and overseas. The program includes Count Vim's Last Exercise, the first film by Peter Weir, who is working at Channel 7, Sydney as a stage hand on The Mavis Bramston Show.

5 The premiere of ABC-TV's new rural affairs program A Big Country. 10 shows are made in 1969, followed by twenty each year from 1970-72.

14 Aboriginal activists Pastor Doug Nicholls and Charles Perkins are refused service at the lounge bar of the Crown Hotel in Cairns.

21 South Sydney beat Many-Warringah in the NSWRL Grand Final.

26 The censorship of theatrical productions in Britain is officially abolished. The change has largely come about because of the public outrcy surrounding the Lord Chamberlain's banning of Edward Bond's second play, "Saved" in November 1965. The play was banned because of an allegorical scene in which a baby is stoned to death in its pram, but London's Royal Court Theatre sidestepped the ban by temporarily converting into a club theatre (which was exempt from such controls) in order to stage the premiere.

27 The cast of the musical Hair appear naked onstage in London for the first time.

28 Carlton defeats Essendon before a record crowd of 116,828 in the VFL Grand Final

- The Beatles' epic single Hey Jude reaches #1 on the US charts.

Good Good Feelin/ It Won't Be Long 

I Don't Care / Theme For A Merry Go Round  
The Wild Cherries



 October 1968

5th Hey Jude    
The Beatles  

12th Hey Jude    
The Beatles  

19th Hey Jude    
The Beatles  

26th Hey Jude    
The Beatles

The Groop returns to Australia after 11 months in the UK.

Conscientious objector John Zarb, 21, is jailed for two years for refusing to obey his call-up notice. Zarb is the first person to be prosecuted under the amended National Service Act. Zarb states that he is not a pacifist and is prepared to do military training, but specifically objects to Australia's involvement in the Vietnam conflict, which he feels is unjust.

The Frankston home of IMT star Graham Kennedy is severely damaged by fire

Major overseas releases:
The Temptations - Cloud Nine
Stevie Wonder - For Once In My Life
The Jeff Beck Group - Truth
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland

3 Arts Vietnam an anti-war event at Paddington Town Hall with music by The Id, Nutwood Rug, Stray Wild Dogs, Feeling, Ian Walsh Trio and Pip Proud and lightshow by UBU.

7 Tim Buckley performs his first solo concert in Britain at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall with guitarist Lee Underwood, vibes player David Friedman and British jazz/folk bassist Danny Thompson (later of Pentangle). The concert is recorded and eventually released as the album Dream Letter in 1990.

12-27 The Olympics are held in Mexico City. During one medal ceremony two black American athletes give the Black Power salute, and some are expelled from the games.

13 Fledgling German terrorists Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Söhnlein and Thorwald Proll are convicted of arson attacks on two Frankfurt department stores. Each is sentenced to three years imprisonment. (<-- 11/4/68).

14 The Western Australian town of Meckering is virtually demolished by an earthquake which is estimated at 7 on the Richter scale.

18 The London home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono is raided by the Drug Squad, beginning a concerted campaign of ridicule and hostility against the pair in the British establishment.

23 Dr Harry Windsor leads a team which performs Australia's first heart transplant at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney

25 Swimmer Michael Wenden wins the 200m freestyle, taking the Australian gold medal tally at the Mexico Olympics to five.

27 Pop show Uptight, hosted by Ross D. Wylie, premieres on the 0-10 Network.

28-29 Major bushfires around Wollongong and in the Blue Mountains kill three firefighters and destroy over one hundred homes

- The PMG reduces suburban postal deliveries from two to one per day

31 RSL President Sir William Hall tells the RSL annual congress that the "lawless behaviour" of tertiary students who protest the draft should be punished by expulsion from university.


You Are The One I Love / Merry Go Round
The Groove



November 1968

2nd Hey Jude    
The Beatles  

9th Hey Jude    
The Beatles  

16th Hey Jude    
The Beatles   

23rd Hey Jude    
The Beatles   

30th Hey Jude    
The Beatles

The Best Of The Seekers knocks The Beatles' 'White Album' off the #1 spot on the UK album chart, and it stays on the UK album chart for 125 weeks.  

UBU installs a permanent lightshow at the Cheetah Club (formerly the Latin Quarter)  

British supergroup Cream splits.  

Major overseas releases:
The Band - Music From Big Pink
The Beatles - The Beatles (The White Album)
Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - I'm The Urban Spaceman
James Brown - Live At The Apollo, Volume II
Donovan - Atlantis
The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society
Aretha Franklin - See Saw
John Lennon/Yoko Ono - Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins
The Supremes & The Temptations - I'm Gonna Make You Love Me

1 President Johnson orders a halt to the US bombing of North Vietnam

2 "Barbarella Night" at the TV Producers Club, Sydney with music by The Id and lightshow by UBU.

3 500 people attend UBU's first self-promoted event, the First Intergalactic Festival Lightshow Concert, at the Cellblock Theatre, East Sydney with music by The Id and Nutwood Rug

5 Rain Lover wins the Melbourne Cup

16 Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience reaches #1 on the US album charts.

25 The Beatles ('The White Album') is released in the U.S.A.

26 Cream play their farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London

28 John Lennon and Yoko Ono are fined £150 in a London court for possession of cannabis




7th Hey Jude    
The Beatles  

14th Hey Jude    
The Beatles  

21st Hey Jude    
The Beatles  

28th Hey Jude    
The Beatles

Singer Wendy Saddington (ex-James Taylor Move) joins the first line-up of seminal blues band Chain in Melbourne.  

The La De Das are voted 'Best Australian Disco Act' in the annual Go-Set Pop Poll

UBU provides lightshows for numerous Sydney Xmas balls and dances, including the Teachers College Ball and the UNSW Engineers Ball.  

Koomooloo wins the Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race

Major overseas releases:
The Doors - "Touch Me"
The Nice - Ars Longa Vita Brevis
The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet

3  Fifty-two workers are forced to jump into the sea to escape a wildcat gas fire which that erupts at the Esso-BHP Marlin oil rig in Bass Strait.

4  World-famous Texan oil trouble-shooter Paul "Red" Adair arrives at the Bass Strait oil fields. Adair has been called in to tackle the Marlin gas fire.

13  UBU stages their first Underground Dance at Paddington Town Hall with the UBU lightshow, films screened between music sets, and music by Tamam Shud ("the wildest new group on the local scene") and The Id. Admission: $1.00.

14  A referendum approves the proposed Wrest Point Casino in Hobart, the first legal casino in Australia.

19  NSW introduces the the use of the Breathalizer to combat drink-driving.

- The Shadows play their final concert at the London Palladium.

27  Apollo 8 becomes the first manned spacecraft to orbit the Moon.

31  A MacRobertson-Miller Airlines Viscount aircraft crashes at Port Headland, killing all 26 on board.


Age Of Consent / Piccadilly Pages
Ronnie Burns

Christopher Robin / Summerhill Road
The Executives

Chart information courtesy Oz Net Music Chart ©1997