BOSTON (CBS) – This will be my last chance this year to talk with you as I take a little break, and I want to use the time to address the palpable sense among so many of us that 2016 was somehow the year from h-e-double-hockey sticks.
Admittedly, this was a tough one.
Any year that includes the slaughter of innocents in a nightclub and a campaign season where both major-party candidates were less popular than a red wine spill on your white shag carpet is one that begs to be quickly forgotten.
But a little perspective is in order here.
There are a long list of years that arguably make 2016 seem like a festive picnic.
My vote goes to 1968, a year that began with the Tet offensive, a deadly escalation of the Vietnam War, and ended with the first victims of the Zodiac Killer being found in northern California.
In between those terrifying stories, there was often-violent campus unrest over the war and continuing, sometimes-fatal clashes involving civil-rights protests. And then, in April, perhaps the worst setback American civil rights have ever experienced, the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by a vicious racist.
Riots broke out in several cities after that atrocity, and 1968 was just getting started.
In June, Bobby Kennedy was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. In August, the Democratic Convention was disrupted by a police riot in the streets of Chicago.
Commercial airplane hijackings, a mine disaster that killed 78 men, the bad news just kept on coming.
And it’s believed that 1968 was the year HIV first arrived in America.
2016? A walk in the park compared with 1968.
Here’s hoping 2017 is nothing like it.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: