The city found itself on a short list of places where riots did not break out after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4.
Senator Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign brought him to Indianapolis that day. But instead of a stump speech, he broke the news of Dr. King's death to the crowd gathered at 17th and Broadway. He kept the peace, quelled the outrage of injustice and restored hope in Indianapolis.
There was plenty of talk about hope and winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1968. Film crews were at the track in May, capturing shots for the upcoming movie, "Winning," starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
And many curious fans wondered and hoped if this was the year a turbine would win the 500. Three turbines were in the field, including Joe Leonard on the pole, with a qualifying speed that topped 170 miles an hour for the first time.
Two of the other drivers in the field of 33 were the Unser brothers, Bobby and Al. But Al's day was short-lived, crashing after just 40 laps.
It turned out to be Bobby's day. he led most of the race, and after Leonard's turbine failed on lap 191, it was clear sailing for his piston-powered Offenhauser to drive into victory lane.