SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For the next week, we are celebrating our 70th anniversary by looking back at the stories that shaped KELOLAND.
We’re going back in time to the 1960s, which was a decade of politics and progress.
At the time, you could find TVs in most homes and some of them were even in color. That meant people here in KELOLAND were learning about national and international stories as they unfolded.
In KELOLAND, the 1960s began with presidential campaign stops from both parties.
“Senator Kennedy welcome to Sioux Falls once again.”
“Well, I’m glad to be here.”
John F. Kennedy didn’t win in South Dakota. He received about 42% of the vote.
His 1963 assassination still hit the area hard.
“People have undoubtedly been hushed and saddened by the death of our president JFK. The flag atop the northwestern national bank is flying at half staff as they are around the nation and in the nation’s possessions around the world.”
“It’s all so shocking that a thing of this kind can happen in a country like ours.”
During a visit to Sioux Falls, Dr. Martin Luther King stopped by the KELOLAND studio to talk about his efforts to end segregation.
“I’m convinced more than ever before that as we delve into the struggle for freedom and first-class citizenship we must delve deeper into the philosophy method of nonviolence.”
During the 60s, KELOLAND viewers also weighed in as the war waged on in Vietnam.
“Personally I feel real strongly that we should go in and knock them out and win the war.”
“I’m with McGovern a 100% and I think President Johnson is escalating the war unnecessarily.”
In local headlines, in the mid-’60s, Watertown welcomed one of South Dakota’s first vocational schools.
“Being taught here not Shakespeare or Socrates or world politics but the know-how of electronic technology, drafting, office machine servicing… For the ladies, there’s a year-long course in cosmetology.”
In 1967, drivers looking for a deal could get a gallon of gas for less than a quarter.
But, the competition got so heated it forced some stations to close.
“In a gas war as in any war, it’s the front line that suffers all the casualties.”
The decade also brought the area’s first interstates. This stretch near Brookings opened in 1969.
“On hand for the dedication were 200 people including Governor Frank Farrar who predicted the entire north-south interstate system in the state will be completed in the next two or three years.”
But there was one local story that captured the world’s attention. In 1963, South Dakota became home to the nation’s first surviving quintuplets.
“The father Andy Fischer and the staff at St. Lukes hospital and several others were notified after the x-rays that a miracle was in the making. Only a couple of newsmen were in the know and they were sworn to secrecy until after the births and then early in the morning September 14th, the world responded after its initial shock and started to beat a path to Aberdeen, now known as the Quint city.”
We will continue to look back at the stories that shaped KELOLAND Monday night, as we turn our attention to the 1970s. From the Occupation at Wounded Knee and the murders at Gitchie Manitou to the Rapid City Flood… it was a turbulent time in local and national headlines.
You’ll also want to join us next weekend for our anniversary special “KELOLAND Your Home for 70 Years.” It will air on KELO TV on Saturday, May 20th at 7 p.m. CT.