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

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Salem in 1965

World Events
  • The US goes from advising the South Vietnamese government to active military offensives against the Vietcong.
  • President Johnson pledges a "Great Society" in America to end poverty and racial injustice; Medicare Bill is passed in Congress.
  • Voting Rights Act passes forbidding discriminatory practices: Watts burns: Malcolm X is assassinated.
  • People are talking about Ed White (the first American to walk in space), Ralph Nadar publishing "Unsafe at any Speed" (criticizing American auto manufacturers for lack of safety features) and Cassius Clay (who had changed his name to Muhammad Ali) defeating Sonny Liston for the World's Heavyweight Boxing title.
In Salem
  • The construction industry is booming. Salem Plaza (now Salem Center Mall), a new retail commercial center downtown, begins with the construction seen above. The first building (located north of Center Street, between Liberty and High Streets) will not be finished until 1966. The first completed of the "Big Box" enterprises is J.C. Penney's new store on the corner of Liberty and Chemeketa Streets with a Grand Opening in January. To the east of downtown,  the first four marble buildings of North Capitol Mall were in place in the four block area from Court to Center Street by 1959. In the next five years, the state created parking lots out of the blocks up to Union Street. In 1964, construction began at northwest corner of Union and Summer Street for the new Agricultural Building. Demolition of the neighborhood residences and construction of this building continued this year.
  • Quite a different construction project ran into difficulties. While moving the historic Jason Lee House from its original location near Mill Creek on Broadway to the new Mission Mill Museum (now Willamette Heritage Center), it was discovered that the building was too tall to pass under the Center Street Bridge.  The problem was solved by letting some of the air out of the tires on the vehicles and the move was successfully completed.
  • Vista Market, a Roth's IGA Foodliner grocery store, is established on South Library Street. Parts of the South Salem area have been annexed to the city by this year.
  • On a smaller scale, residents enjoyed their first Dunkin Donut eatery. It was in North Salem on Portland Road. 
    • During this year, Federal regulations continued to force change in how Salem industries could dispose of unhealthy materials in the public environment. The Boise Cascade Company lagoons on Minto Island were off-limits to the public because of contaminated materials settled there. Fifty year later, these lagoons are still a source of concern as the city and the state work toward expanding our Salem recreational trails with a bridge between Riverfront Park and the public sections of Minto Brown Park. It is anticipated that the Minto Brown Park, an area larger the Central Park in New York City, will someday be the center of our city. As such it will be a valuable natural resource in the growing urban community. 
    • Salem is introduced to a new line of automobiles when Datsuns are displayed in the Japan Exhibition at the State Fair this year.
    • A more traditional vehicle made news when the Salem Public Library, under the directorship of Hugh Morrow, has its first Bookmobile to serve residents in suburban neighborhoods. Mr. Morrow was the Director of the library from 1939 to 1972. His term of office began in the Carnegie Library on State Street and extended into the construction of a new public library in the Civic Center between Commercial and Liberty streets. The library collection of Oregon historic materials is named for him in honor of his service.
    • Two of Salem's outstanding citizens are involved in Salem's municipal administration: Willard Marshall (1963-5) resigns as mayor due to ill health; Dr. Vern Miller (1965-72) takes his place. As a physician, Dr. Miller had been drawn into public life by the problems of local sanitation surfacing he saw surfacing from the septic tanks of South Salem. His successful efforts to bring sewers to that vast area led him to a city council seat. That campaign also set the stage for the annexation of the South Salem areas.

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