KTTC Through the Years 1953-1962
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – July 2023 is an exciting time for KTTC Television as we reflect on seven decades of serving our community. To celebrate our 70th anniversary, we’re taking a look back at some incredible moments in southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa. Jess Abrahamson begins these reflections by digging into our earliest video archives from the 1950s.
During this decade, Rochester had grown from a settlement of 50 pioneers to a community of 35,000 people thanks to the growing reputation of Mayo Clinic as a world class medical center. The hospitality business was booming as people from across the globe made a journey to Rochester in search of a medical miracle. During this time, Rochester’s airport hosted 17 scheduled flights daily.
Downtown was a busy construction area. Promotional videos indicate the city had 345 retail establishments that did a yearly business of $50 million. The Miracle Mile was a retail marvel with 40 shops, stores and offices. Residents and visitors worshiped at 25 Rochester churches.
KTTC was first known as KROC TV. The 10 p.m. news was delivered by Ray Thompson and the 6:30 p.m. news was hosted by Cal Smith. Norm Selby illustrated his forecast with a piece of chalk and Bernie Lusk held down the sports desk.
In addition to our newscasts, other popular programming included “Homemakers U.S.A.,” “Folk Dancing Party,” and “Teen Party” - a variety and amateur talent show for teens.
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