Education

1968

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  • Al Pacino wins Obie Award for best actor for his role in The Indian Wants the Bronx.
  • In the context of nationwide racial unrest, the city’s teachers union begins a massive teacher strike, triggered by the firing of several Jewish teachers in the largely African-American Ocean Hill-Brownsville neighborhood. The strikes result in the city’s decentralization law the following year, which grants community school boards control of local schools.
  • Columbia University students begin a strike and occupation of administration buildings over the university’s plan to construct a gym in Morningside Park. Columbia is closed down for several weeks and the NYPD violently stifle the demonstrations. Nobody is killed, but one policeman is paralyzed when a student jumps on him from a second-story window.
  • Harlem residents riot following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4.
  • The Black Panther Party opens up an office in New York City.
  • Shirley Chisholm of Brooklyn becomes the first black woman elected to Congress.
  • The Voice mourns the passing of writer Don McNeill.
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