We note this month, April 1968, that Paul Yoder won the Knights of Pythias public speaking contest, and that Captain Larry Brown, a pilot, has been assigned to Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in Vietnam. The Beavercreek News was great at publishing these small-town notices.
The iconic BeaverVu “Skate Arena” just had a successful fifth birthday party. Admission: 75¢. Many of us remember Cy Grillot. Bringing it forward, Beaver-Vu is still there, of course. I don’t bowl anymore but from the cars in the lot it’s still doing well.
There’s a new national highway possibly cutting through Beavercreek! Three townships which usually are at odds over annexation and incorporation issues, Beavercreek, Sugarcreek, and Bath, are having joint planning and zoning meetings concerning “IR 777.” “There are lots of questions.” It would soon be called Interstate 675 of course.
School menu “entrees” for the week: Chicken & noodles, hamburger on bun, wieners on bun, Spanish rice, and BBQ sandwich. (Also popular were fish sticks, mac ‘n’ cheese, and of course meatloaf.) Bringing that forward, I wonder how much these have changed. Pizza must be in there somewhere. Probably quinoa and sushi too.
On a more serious note, a lot was happening nationally in April 1968: Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, setting off numerous “race riots” and marches under the motto, “I Am a Man.” And resistance to the Vietnam War was reaching even suburban Beavercreek as it became more obvious that it couldn’t be won.
Bringing that forward, my first 2018 issue of Smithsonian magazine had as its title article. “1968, The Year That Shattered America,” placing 1968 in history as a turning-point year. It’s one of those eras we never forget, like the great depression. “I Am a Man” was the granddaddy of today’s “Black Lives Matter.” History has a way of repeating itself.
But let’s get back to quirky 1968 Beavercreek, where a six-pack of Frostie root beer bottles could be purchased for 33¢. Remember glass bottles, in cardboard cartons?
David Shumway is from the Beavercreek Historical Society and a monthly columnist.