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What Innovation Changed the World in 1968?

Discover the game-changing innovations of 1968 that still impact our world today.

What Innovation Changed the World in 1968?

What Was Invented in 1968

The Computer Mouse

The humble computer mouse that we take for granted today was actually invented in 1968 by Douglas Engelbart. It was a groundbreaking invention that revolutionized the way we interact with computers. The original model was made of wood and had two metal wheels that allowed users to move it in two perpendicular directions. Although it was not an immediate success, it paved the way for the creation of modern computer technology.

The mouse as we know it today has undergone significant changes since its inception. From the ball mouse to the optical mouse and now the wireless mouse, it has evolved into a crucial tool for navigating computers. Without the invention of the computer mouse, we would still be stuck with antiquated methods of computer input such as punch cards and keyboards.


The first ATM or Automated Teller Machine was installed by Barclays Bank in North London in 1968. This groundbreaking invention allowed people to access their bank accounts and withdraw cash without the need for a bank teller. The first ATM dispensed cash but later added features like balance inquiries, fund transfers, and bill payments.

This transformative invention made banking more convenient and accessible to the masses. Instead of having to line up in long queues at the bank, customers could simply walk up to an ATM and conduct their transactions. The ATM paved the way for future electronic banking innovations such as online banking and mobile banking. Today, we take the convenience of ATMs for granted, but it was a major game-changer in 1968.

Hot Wheels

Toy manufacturer Mattel introduced Hot Wheels in 1968. Unlike other toy cars of the time such as Matchbox cars, Hot Wheels featured fast wheels and custom designs. Its success paved the way for other toy brands like Matchbox and later, Hot Wheels' main competitor, Micro Machines.

Hot Wheels toys soon became a favorite among children around the world. They were a major departure from traditional toy cars, featuring designs that were sleeker and faster than anything that had come before. The success of Hot Wheels ushered in a new era of toy car design, where customizability and speed were the key features. Hot Wheels became so popular that they are still a major toy brand almost 60 years later, with a wide variety of toys for children of all ages.

What Events Happened in 1968

1968 was a tumultuous year in history, marked by significant events that continue to influence contemporary society. In this article, we will explore some of the most notable happenings of 1968 that impacted the world.

The Tet Offensive

On January 30th, 1968, North Vietnamese forces launched a surprise attack on major cities and towns in South Vietnam, which included an assault on the U.S. embassy in Saigon. While the Tet Offensive ultimately failed and resulted in heavy losses for the North Vietnamese, it is still considered a turning point in the Vietnam War. The Offensive exposed the reality of the situation in Vietnam to the American public and caused widespread disillusionment with the war effort. Anti-war protests and sentiments intensified, leading to increasing pressure on the U.S. government to end the conflict.

The Assassination of MLK Jr.

In the early hours of April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. King was a prominent civil rights leader who advocated for racial equality and led the nonviolent resistance movement. His death not only shocked the nation but also sparked a wave of violent protests and riots across major cities in America. King's assassination marked a turning point in the civil rights movement and further highlighted the long-standing issues of racism and inequality in America.

The Prague Spring

In January 1968, Alexander Dubček was elected as the leader of Czechoslovakia. Dubček promised to liberalize the Communist regime and create "socialism with a human face," which would grant greater political and cultural freedom to Czech citizens. However, this policy was met with resistance from the Soviet Union, who saw it as a threat to their authority. In August, Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia to suppress the liberalization movement and reinforce Soviet dominance in the region. Dubček was removed from power, marking the end of the Prague Spring.

The First Heart Transplant

On December 3rd, 1967, Dr. Christiaan Barnard of Cape Town, South Africa, performed the world's first heart transplant on a 54-year-old man named Louis Washkansky. The groundbreaking surgery was successful, and Washkansky lived for 18 days before passing away due to pneumonia. The heart transplant opened up new possibilities in medical science and sparked a wave of research and innovation in the field of organ transplantation.

The Launch of Apollo 8

On December 21st, 1968, NASA launched the Apollo 8 spacecraft, which marked the first time humans had traveled to the moon. The spacecraft orbited the moon ten times and took extensive photographs of the lunar surface, marking a significant achievement in the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

In conclusion, 1968 was a year defined by significant global events that shaped history. From the Vietnam War to the civil rights movement, the Prague Spring, the first heart transplant, and the Apollo 8 launch, these events have left a lasting impact on society and continue to shape contemporary discourse and progress.

Technology Advances in 1968

1968 was a year of technological innovation and advances, with several major inventions and developments that would change industries and society as a whole. In this article, we'll take a closer look at three major technological advancements that took place in 1968.

The First 747 Flight

On February 9, 1968, Boeing's 747 took to the skies for its maiden flight, marking a major milestone in aviation history. The 747 was the largest passenger plane ever built, and it revolutionized air travel with its impressive range and size. With the ability to carry up to 550 passengers and fly up to 6,000 nautical miles, the 747 quickly became the go-to choice for long-haul flights and international travel.

Thanks to the innovative engineering behind the 747, air travel became available to people all around the world. The 747 is still in use today, albeit in a more updated and modernized form, and continues to be an important part of air travel history.

Intel Corporation Founded

On July 18, 1968, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore founded Intel Corporation. With a vision to change the world using technology, the two men set out to revolutionize the computer industry through the development and production of microprocessors.Intel quickly became a leader in the field of microprocessor technology, with its first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, introduced in 1971. The 4004 was a major breakthrough, incorporating all the components of a computer's central processing unit (CPU) onto a single chip.

This invention paved the way for the development of personal computers, as well as the internet and other technological advancements that rely on microprocessors. Today, Intel is still at the forefront of the industry, producing cutting-edge technology and continuing to change the world.

LED Technology

In 1968, Nick Holonyak Jr. of General Electric invented the first LED (Light Emitting Diode) with visible light output. This groundbreaking invention represented a major breakthrough in lighting technology, as LEDs are highly energy-efficient and emit little heat.

Initially used for displays and indicators, LED technology quickly expanded, and LEDs are now used in a wide range of applications, including home lighting, streetlights, and automotive lighting. LEDs have revolutionized the lighting industry, offering greater energy efficiency, longer lifespan, and lower costs. They are also environmentally friendly, producing less waste and reducing overall energy consumption.

Overall, 1968 was a year of extraordinary technological advances and innovations. The first 747 flight, the founding of Intel Corporation, and the invention of LED technology paved the way for further developments and advancements that would shape the world as we know it today.

Music and Pop Culture in 1968

In 1968, the world was witness to various historical events. It was a year full of social and political unrest, but amidst all of that, 1968 also became a noteworthy year for music and pop culture. Here are some of the most iconic and significant cultural contributions of 1968.

The Beatles' "Hey Jude"

The Beatles were one of the most popular bands of the 1960s, and their song "Hey Jude" was a masterpiece. It was released on August 26, 1968, and became an instant hit, holding the top spot on the US charts for a record-breaking 9 weeks. The song was written by Paul McCartney for John Lennon's son, Julian Lennon. What made "Hey Jude" iconic was its sing-along chorus, strong vocals, and piano outro, which remains one of the most recognizable parts of the song.

The song had a lasting impact on popular culture, with artists like Wilson Pickett, Elvis Presley, and Bing Crosby doing their own versions of the song. Over the years, "Hey Jude" has been covered by many other artists and remains a timeless classic.

"2001: A Space Odyssey"

One of the most defining movies of the 1960s, "2001: A Space Odyssey" was released on April 2, 1968. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the movie revolutionized the sci-fi genre with its unique portrayal of future technology and space travel. Undoubtedly, it was a groundbreaking film during the time of its release, and its influence and legacy continue to this day.

One of the most recognizable aspects of the film is its use of classical music as the soundtrack. Composers such as Johann Strauss and Richard Strauss feature prominently in the movie, and their music became instantly recognizable to a much wider audience. Even today, the music of "2001: A Space Odyssey" is frequently used in popular culture, commercials, and movies, showing its enduring appeal.

The First Comic-Con

The first-ever Comic-Con was held at the U.S. Hotel in downtown San Diego from August 1-3, 1968. It was primarily focused on comic books and science fiction. The festival was initiated by a group of comic book enthusiasts who wanted to meet other like-minded people and share their love for comics.

The event was an instant success, attracting approximately 300 attendees, and since then it has grown into an annual mecca for fans of all things pop culture. Comic-Con has become one of the most influential events in the entertainment industry, where actors, directors, and artists come together for panels, meet-and-greets, and presentations of upcoming projects. It has become an essential platform for launching new comics, movies, and TV shows.

The Legacy of 1968

1968 was a year of social and cultural change. It was a time when young people expressed their discontent with the establishment, and the world was witnessing revolutions and protests. However, amidst all of this unrest, the music and pop culture of 1968 provided a fleeting escape, and people found comfort in the art and entertainment of the era. The contributions of this year are still influencing the music, movies, and comics that we enjoy today.

From "Hey Jude" to "2001: A Space Odyssey" and the first-ever Comic-Con, 1968 was indeed a remarkable year for music and pop culture. All of these cultural contributions have contributed significantly to the shaping of popular culture in subsequent years. They are symbols of an era that continues to captivate and inspire audiences to this day.

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