SHINE on Salem 150, celebrating the sesquicentennial of our city's 1860 charter, continues (and concludes) with the 2012 entry.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Salem in 1960

World Events
  • John F. Kennedy wins election as President of the United States.
  • Gary Powers, U-2 pilot, is shot down over Russia and given 10-year prison sentence for espionage.
  • Wilma Rudolph, Cassius Clay and Rafer Johnson star in Rome Olympics for US, but Soviet Union takes most prizes.
  • Birth-control pill approved by FDA.
In Salem
1960 ~ acid ball arrives in Salem


2010 ~ Eco Earth Ball as a symbol of our city's place in the world


In Salem
The 1960 Ben Maxwell photograph above shows a tugboat pushing a globe tank into a Salem facility identified as the Columbia Paper Company. The asphalt-covered stainless steel Acid Ball weighed 10 tons and was 25 feet in diameter. When installed, the pressurized tank held acid that was used to "cook" wood chips into pulp.
The Columbia Paper Company was associated with Oregon Pulp and Paper Company for the production of newsprint. The sawmill of Oregon Pulp and Paper closed in 1955 and Boise Cascade assumed that company's operations on the Salem waterfront in 1962. Boise Cascade demolished the portion on the mill that used this acid ball in 1982.

When you visit
When the city purchased the former industrial land along the Willamette River for a park, there was no plan for this relic. A community effort of 5 years, completed in 2003, turned this industrial tool into the work of art covered with 86,000 colored tiles. The Eco Earth Ball is positioned at the south end of Riverfront Park on a headland overlooking the Pringle Creek entrance into the Willamette River.
An interpretive marker recalls, " It was through community effort that the idea of Eco-Earth proceeded forward with generous local donations and countless hours of volunteer labor going into its creation. The final outcome was Eco-Earth, a vibrant symbol of our world's struggle for peace, cultural diversity and ecological awareness."

Other events
  • The Salem population is 68,309.
  • Willard Marshall accepts the Salem award as All American City.
  • Five members of the Salem Diving Association are photographed in wetsuits and flippers as they prepare to jump from the deck of the "Maid of Bayne" into the chilly waters Willamette River.
  • In August there is a groundbreaking ceremony for the new National Guard Armory on 17th Street. The armory building was completed that year. The auditorium was location for EJD sponsored concerts and dances for about twenty years and continues to host a variety of events, including visits from prominent entertainment and political personalities.
  • In September, John Kennedy greets a supporter at the airport, and then visits the State Fair as part of his campaign for the presidency. His youngest brother Ted accompanied him.
  • The Pringle Park building in completed in November. The present building and plaza were built after the flood of 1996. Funds from our Sister City in Japan, Kawagoe, helped with the restoration. (A Sister City Advisory Commission was established in 1966 that meets as needed.)
 
Prospects for Capitol Mall
  • The state produces proposed scale models of how the Capitol Mall was expected to look when completed. It includes structures along the Winter-Summer-Capitol streets corridor as far as D Street. These plans, including the prospect that Summer Street would be eliminated south of "D" Street and a series of high-rise structures were envisioned for west of Winter Street, were never realized. Subsequent state buildings, located to the east of Winter Street and the State Archives Building are prominent alterations from this plan. Instead of the dome (pictured at the north end of the mall) there is now a Heritage Park along D Street that makes an attractive transition from state offices to the Grant residential neighborhood to the north.
  • The Shasta Daylight, a fast west coast rail connection between Portland and San Francisco, makes stops in Salem. The train left Portland at 7:45 a.m., stopped in Salem a little over an hour later at 8:55, and arrived in San Francisco at 11:30 that night. The Southern Pacific Railroad maintained a freight station downtown on the northwest corner of Trade and Commercial. 
Religious Figures at Christmas at Capitol
  • At Christmas, life-sized nativity figures were erected on the Capitol grounds. After the controversy over religious displays on government property, they were transferred to Willamette University the next year. Vandals later destroyed the figures.

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