August 29, 1968: The Whole World’s Watching Democratic Convention in Chicago


Song off Grammy Hall Of Fame debut album Chicago Transit Authority – 1969, about the 1968 Democratic Convention held in Chicago. Riots and Vietnam protests spread out across America. The date August 29, 1968 was the day protesters chanted “Whole World Is Watching”.

“The whole world is watching” was a chant by antiwar demonstrators outside the Conrad Hilton Hotel the evening of August 28 during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

The event was broadcast from taped footage on the night of Wednesday, August 28, the third day of the convention. Demonstrators took up the chant as police were beating and pulling many of them into paddy wagons, “each with a superfluous whack of a nightstick,” after the demonstrators, being barricaded in the park by the police, began to come into Michigan Avenue in front of the hotel.

On track 10 of Chicago’s 1969 hit debut record album, the rock band Chicago, then known as CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) used what may be a copy of the real audio clip of the crowd chanting, “The whole world is watching.” The track called, “Prologue, August 29, 1968” is 57 seconds long. The chant continues into the next song, track eleven, “Someday (August 29, 1968)” but fades away after a few seconds, only to return again in the middle of the song backed by a haunting piano beat and a ride cymbal courtesy of Robert Lamm and Danny Seraphine respectively.

In 2008, Chicago reprised the chant in the third track, “All the Years”. At about two and a half minutes into the track, the chant is played after a montage of other notable historical clips and concurrently with a harmonica solo.

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