2023 – 55 years since Myrtle Beach in its prime

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David Hucks
David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

As we close 2023, MyrtleBeachSC News looks back on Myrtle Beach in its prime.

In 1968, the City of Myrtle Beach hit peak as the baby boomer generation came of age.

Previously, the town featured many day trip visitors largely from across rural S.C. towns, along with traffic from Rock Hill, S.C., Charlotte N.C., and N.C. summer week stay travelers.

With the inception of Golf Holiday in 1967, the town began a peak reach into the North East.

Myrtle Beach in its prime

The bakini was suddenly in vogue and could be seen daily on the beach or nightly among guests visiting the Myrtle Beach Pavilion.

America was in a transitional state of rebelling against all things authority. Cruising Ocean Boulevard was how these young boomer celebrated.


In 1968, the automotive industry saw a range of popular cars that were in high demand. Here are some of the top-selling cars of that year:

1. Ford Mustang: The Ford Mustang continued to dominate the market, offering a stylish and affordable option for car enthusiasts.

2. Chevrolet Impala: The Impala was a full-size car that appealed to a wide range of buyers due to its spaciousness, comfort, and reliability.

3. Chevrolet Camaro: Introduced as a rival to the Mustang, the Camaro gained popularity with its sporty design and powerful engine options.

4. Plymouth Satellite: This mid-sized car from Plymouth had various trims and engine options, appealing to different types of buyers seeking both power and comfort.

5. Dodge Charger: Known for its aggressive styling and performance capabilities, the Charger gained popularity through its appearances in movies and TV shows.

6. AMC Javelin: American Motors Corporation (AMC) introduced the Javelin as a sporty alternative to muscle cars, attracting attention with unique styling and decent performance.

7. Chevrolet Chevelle: The Chevelle offered a mix of performance, style, and affordability, making it a popular choice among car buyers.

8. Oldsmobile Cutlass: With its versatility in body styles and engines, the Cutlass became one of Oldsmobile’s best-selling models in 1968.

9. Pontiac GTO: Known as the original muscle car, the GTO continued to enjoy strong sales in 1968, thanks to its powerful V8 engine and aggressive styling.

10. Ford Galaxie: The Galaxie was a full-size car with several engine options, attracting buyers with its comfortable ride and spacious interior.

The top songs of 1968 could be heard in cars cruising Ocean Boulevard. Those songs included:

1. “Hey Jude” by The Beatles
2. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones
3. “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel
4. “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream
5. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
6. “Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding
7. “Stand By Your Man” by Tammy Wynette
8. “Revolution” by The Beatles
9. “White Room” by Cream
10. “The Weight” by The Band

The year 1968 was a tumultuous and pivotal year in history, characterized by significant events across various fields. Here are some of the biggest events that occurred in 1968:

1. Tet Offensive: In Vietnam, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong launched a massive surprise attack against South Vietnam and US forces during the lunar new year holiday called Tet. This offensive marked a turning point in the Vietnam War.

2. Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.: On April 4th, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. His death triggered widespread riots and protests across the United States.

3. May 1968 protests: In France, a series of student protests and general strikes erupted in May 1968. The protests paralyzed the country and led to significant social and political changes, including labor reforms and increased workers’ rights.

4. Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy: On June 5th, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a Democratic presidential candidate, was assassinated in Los Angeles. His assassination shocked the nation and further fueled the divisions and unrest of the period.

5. Prague Spring: In Czechoslovakia, a period of political liberalization known as the Prague Spring began in January 1968. It aimed to create a more democratic and open society. However, it was abruptly ended in August when Warsaw Pact troops invaded the country, crushing the reforms.

6. Mexico City Olympics: The 1968 Summer Olympics were held in Mexico City. It is mostly remembered for the black power salute given by African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony, which became a symbol of the civil rights movement.

7. Apollo 8: NASA’s Apollo 8 mission became the first manned spacecraft to orbit the Moon on December 24th. The crew members, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders, also captured the iconic “Earthrise” photograph.

8. The Beatles release the “White Album”: In November, The Beatles released their eponymous album, commonly known as the “White Album.” It is considered one of the greatest albums of all time and showcased the musical growth and experimentation of the band.

These are just a few of the significant events that took place in 1968, which was marked by societal upheaval, political turbulence, and cultural milestones.


Myrtle Beach has attempted to re-invent itself multiple times since Myrtle Beach in its prime.

Unfortunately, the leaders of that era have long since passed away.

Today, Myrtle Beach is over managed and under-led. Competent leadership is now at a premium and lacking.

In 1999, the city implemented a failed plan called the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation to re-imagine the boulevard area. This plan failed and closed after over $20 million in investments.

Recently, the city spent $100 million in land purchases with no private sector business willing to partner with the command economy, top down, business driven government.

It’s been 55 years since Myrtle Beach in its prime, but change will come. It always does.

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