Texas A&M Years Launched Perry — and a Rivalry

COLLEGE STATION — When Rick Perry arrived at Texas A&M University in 1968, it was at the end of a summer in which Soviet troops crushed the Prague Spring, protesters at the Democratic National Convention were met by a police riot and the United States reeled from the twin assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

With its conservative culture, military tradition and focus on agriculture, few places in the U.S. might have seemed more insulated from the prevailing currents of the age. But A&M was in the midst of its own political awakening.

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