Post-election Unrest in America

Participants in a Students for a Democratic Society-sponsored demonstration display signs protesting the general election as a “hoax” and calling for peace in Vietnam. The demonstration was staged on the steps of the Iowa capitol building after a three-mile march under police supervision

Who created the artifact?
Anonymous but it is credited to Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images

When was the artifact created?
November 5th, 1968

Where was it created?
Des Moines, IA; at an SDS demonstration at the Iowa capital building.

Why was the document created?
To document the events that were taken place within the college community during the election year of 1968.

Why is the document a primary source?
This photograph is a primary source because it has never been manipulated (sans AP images watermark) or altered since it was captured in ’68.

How trustworthy is the source?
Very. The AP images archive is a very credible source for images.

What other questions might you ask of the source in order to better understand what it reveals about the events of 1968?
In regards to this specific event, I would ask the photographer who he spoke to at the event, and why they decide to attend. I would like to know what the overall vibe and feeling was like within the crowd that day. Also, the difference between demonstrations/protests he had attended that year that took place prior to the election as opposed to post-election.


The major themes of the culture conflicts in 1968 are all evident in this photograph. This is a great location and time to help construct an argument about these conflicts. Along with this photograph; in order to present a more balanced view of this event, I would have to see more photographs that were taken at this very event. Ideally it would be best to gather photographs from a variety of sources, that way I can be safe in assuming I’m not getting images that are biased to a specific cause.

Along with collecting photographs from the event; written or recorded interviews from demonstration attendees would help with putting a voice to the people in the photographs. It would assist in giving a more through analysis of who was at the demonstration and why. Interviews would be nice, but video of the demonstration would be best. By seeing the event in real time, you will be able to get an unbiased view of the event from a specific vantage point. This would help in making you feel as if you were actual attendee. Any press release from the SDS or varying collegiate organizations in response to the elections, would prove vital in identifying the purpose and message they were trying to give the country with organizing the demonstration.

To gather all of these sources I would first attempt to find as many items through the Baruch Library database. Further research can be done at various databases and archives that do not fall under Baruchs database; as well as other libraries in the area.

In order to construct a well rounded argument, I would have to read further into the SDS and other demonstrations they held that year. Reading about the specific movements that are mentioned in the signage present in the photograph would also prove helpful in the arguments construction.