Streets ablaze from rioting following assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  (Photo by Lee Balterman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The most turbulent time in modern American history (it's not now)

Updated 12:10 PM ET, Fri May 18, 2018

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(CNN)A president with low approval ratings. Tensions between the US and North Korea. Athletes protesting racial injustice. Bitter divisions threatening to rip our country's social fabric apart.

Sound familiar? But we're not talking about 2018.
All this happened 50 years ago, in 1968.
Echoes of that year, considered by many the most turbulent in modern US history, can be found in today's headlines about President Trump, social protests and shocking acts of gun violence. Our country has changed immensely -- the internet, a black president, same-sex marriage -- since then. And yet, some things feel eerily similar.
"Yes, it's a continuation," says Charles Kaiser, author of "1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation," about parallels between 1968 and now. "We're certainly still fighting many of the same battles."
Here are five of them.

Our embattled president was warring with the media

President Lyndon B. Johnson on the phone in the Oval Office in January 1968.
Lyndon B. Johnson, thrust into the presidency after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, enjoyed widespread support during his first years in office. But by the summer of 1968, his approval rating had plummeted to 35%.
    The main reason was the war in Vietnam, which was going increasingly poorly. The North Vietnamese's Tet Offensive earlier that year had dashed any hopes for a swift end to the war. Americans' appetite for the conflict was waning, and anti-war protesters filled the streets of US cities.
    Caught between hawks who urged him to send more troops to Vietnam and doves who wanted him to pull out, LBJ trod a middle path that pleased almost no one. A fractured Democratic Party turned against him.
    He also faced an increasingly hostile press corps who suspected he wasn't being candid about what was happening on the ground in Vietnam.
    In March, Johnson stunned the nation by saying he would not seek re-election.
    Fast forward to today, and while we're not at war, you see some similarities with President Trump. His approval ratings have mostly hovered under 40%, although they have ticked up lately.
    Trump has had an antagonistic relationship with the news media, refusing to grant interviews to outlets he views as unsympathetic and blasting stories he doesn't like as "fake news." In return, many media outlets have repeatedly called him out over false statements.
    Meanwhile, he's faced vociferous protests from women, students and intellectuals -- three groups that also opposed LBJ.

    We were locked in a tense war of words with North Korea