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The March 24, 1967, cover of TIME

Milestone moments do not a year make. Often, it’s the smaller news stories that add up, gradually, to big history. With that in mind, in 2017 TIME History will revisit the entire year of 1967, week by week, as it was reported in the pages of TIME. Catch up on last week’s installment here.

Week 12: March 24, 1967

As the 450th anniversary approached of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, TIME took a look at the entire history of Protestantism — including the question of whether the religion of the 1960s needed a new Luther to intervene.

No matter the circumstances, however, the appearance of such a figure seemed unlikely. Not only was the life of the man who launched the Protestant Reformation unique, the urge to reform the church by launching a new church seemed far from a solution in a modern world — the world Luther helped create — where it was possible to “try to remain a Christian outside organized Christianity,” as one priest put it. Plus, Pope John XXIII seemed as willing to reform the Catholic Church as anyone else might be.

But the urge to seek a Luther was not surprising, the piece explained:

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Things to come: Richard Nixon had thrown his “well-worn hat” in the ring for the following year’s presidential election, though he was careful to say that he had not made up his mind to run. His supporters, however, were eager to get behind a man “respected everywhere around the world.”

At Arlington: More than three years after his death, John F. Kennedy’s body was finally brought to Arlington National Cemetery, the national news section reported, and buried next to the two babies he and Jackie had lost. Despite the fight between Sen. Robert Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson that TIME had reported on in the previous week’s issue — the veracity of which the publisher had to defend — the two men were among the small group that came to pay their respects.

Two perspectives: This issue contains an interesting (and very modern) juxtaposition. The TIME Essay — the unbylined analysis-opinion format that appeared in most issues at the time — concluded that “crime in the U.S. is a national disgrace,” the crime rate was spiraling upward and that the nation’s police needed more support in their dangerous work. Meanwhile, in the legal-news section, readers learned about a case in which police in Nashville had shot and killed an unarmed student who seemed to have been suffering a psychiatric emergency, and the debate over whether such use of force was necessary.

Great vintage ad: Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I’m pretty sure this utility-company ad is a weird “joke” about World War II or Cold War resistance movements in Poland.

Coming up next week: The aerospace industry and James McDonnell.

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Write to Lily Rothman at

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