Change was in the air. Everywhere. From Saigon to Seattle, Paris to Pasco. On college campuses, the campaign trail and evergreen peaks, Washingtonians were spurred to action.

It was the year when Vietnam, civil rights, women's liberation and conservation coalesced—the year when tragedy led the 6 o'clock news with numbing regularity.

Nearly 50 million Baby Boomers were coming of age. The draft call for 1968 was 302,000, up 72,000 from the prior year.

1968 changed us in ways still rippling through our society a half-century later.

Above all, 1968 showed the power of an individual to make a difference.

Whether it was Ralph Munro fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, Polly Dyer protecting natural treasures with cheerful tenacity, Maxine Mimms striving to improve educational opportunities for African Americans, or the valor of Green Beret Sgt. Bryon Loucks deep in the jungles of Vietnam, these Washingtonians came from very different backgrounds. But they had one trait in common: the courage of their convictions.

As Governor Evans said of the half-dozen volunteers who crafted and lobbied for Washington's revolutionary Education for All law, "It didn't take huge amounts of money. It didn't take paid lobbyists. It took citizens who cared."