Local News Highlights from 1962
Roadtrip-'62 ™ has discussed news before: world news, national news, and other big headlines. Today, I’m going to look at some local news. These are the types of stories that might have made a small newspaper or radio station but never moved into the national conscience.
Some businesses start small and stay small, some become giants. Both of these businesses probably made little or no news when they opened in 1962. Warren Jackson started Jackson’s Window Shoppe in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1962. He had been employed by the local downtown department store, Piersol Co., but lost his job when the store was bought out by another company. Over the many years between then and 2007, Jackson’s Window Shoppe remained a small business, serving mostly local residential customers. That year, Warren’s grandson Brian Jackson decided to go after commercial customers and pushed the company to pass the $1 million sales mark for the first time. The company is still in business in Lancaster, now grossing over $3 million a year.
At the other end of the spectrum is a company that also began in 1962, as one man and a trash truck in the Chicago, Illinois metro area. H. Wayne Huizenga was only 25 years old when he borrowed $5,000 from his father and started hauling trash. Over the next five years he consolidated around 100 other small garbage pickup companies into Waste Management, becoming the largest trash hauling company in the country. In another five years he had become a multimillionaire and eventually Waste Management became the largest solid waste disposal company in the world. Mr. Huizenga left the company in 1984 with a value of $3 billion and went on to build two more multi-billion dollar businesses: Blockbuster video rentals and AutoNation automobile sales. In the 1990s, he diversified further, creating a Florida-based sports empire by bringing major league baseball, hockey, and football to Florida with his Florida Marlins, Florida Panthers, and Miami Dolphins.
Just like businesses, some buildings have long-term staying power and some fizzle out. The YMCA opened their Arlington, Florida branch in 1962 but closed the facility in 2017. They cited declining participation and increasing costs, which also forced them to close additional buildings in other nearby towns. On the other hand, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Marine Plaza, a 22-story skyscraper built by Marine Bank, opened in June, 1962. It was designed by the New York architectural firm Harrison & Abramowitz as a wall of glass in the “international” style. It was the second-tallest building in downtown Milwaukee: only City Hall was taller. It remained the largest office building in Milwaukee until 1973, when the U.S Bank Center was constructed. The building was later renamed Chase Tower when JPMorgan Chase bought Marine Bank and is still leased for office space.
Newsreel footage of snow in Dallas, Texas, March, 1962.
Weather news is often local news because it seldom affects a large area. In 1962, Dallas, Texas suffered through a rare snowstorm, as captured on a local TV station’s news broadcast. In this case, the weather did make national news, as the footage was incorporated into this newsreel. Newsreels such as this were still a popular way to add news to your experience at a movie theater, as discussed at Roadtrip-'62’s ™ All the News of 1962 page. Two inches of snow fell in Dallas in March of 1962! It would not snow that much in March in the Dallas area again until 2008.
Of course, no discussion of local news would be complete without an item from my hometown of Saginaw, Michigan. I have sports news today, about football pro Al Hinton. Hinton was born in Georgia, but moved the Saginaw when he was 3 years old. At Saginaw High School, he played football, basketball, and on the track team, breaking the school’s shot put record in 1958. On a scholarship to the University of Iowa, he earned MVP there and was named to the Coaches All-American team in 1961. Though the Dallas Texans of the AFL drafted Hinton in 1962, he signed to play for Toronto in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Probably just as well, because the Dallas Texans folded after the 1962 season. He played in the CFL for six years with Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal. He had studied art in college and worked as a commercial artist during eight years of living in Canada. Hinton earned a master of fine arts degree from Cincinnati University in 1970 and went on to become a full professor at the University of Michigan. His stint in football was so short that he has no page on Wikipedia and I still had to find all info on him from our local newspaper!
What was happening in your home town in 1962? Stick around and I just might find out and report it here on Roadtrip-'62 ™!
All photos by the author and Copyright © 2018 - Milne Enterprises, Inc., except as noted.
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