KTTC through the years 1963-1972

Published: Jul. 11, 2023 at 3:57 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The years 1963-1972 was a tumultuous and divisive time and a young KTTC was there to cover it all.

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, rocked the nation. Beatlemania was taking over in 1964, and the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender, sex or ethnic background.

The United States entered the Vietnam War on April 1, 1965, thousands of young men were drafted, including those from southeastern Minnesota and Iowa.

The country celebrated as the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon in 1969.

In this era, Mayo Clinic and IBM were the two biggest employers in Rochester.

Mayo Clinic celebrated its centennial in 1964, marking 100 years since Dr. William Mayo opened the first medical clinic in Rochester.

IBM was working to advance technology, building developing computers right in the Rochester lab.

KTTC was first known as KROC TV, founded in 1953. Reporters and anchors covered national events, but also local stories that sent shockwaves through the community, like in 1967 when the Norton Hotel in downtown Rochester burned down and killed three. The site of the hotel is now the Fontaine Towers on Second Street SE.

The station also covered the series of five tornadoes that hit Iowa on May 15, 1968. One hit Charles City and caused widespread destruction. In Iowa, the tornadoes caused 18 fatalities and 619 injuries.

In 1964, KTTC celebrated 10 years of the Eagle’s Cancer Telethon. It’s still going strong today, raising more than $22 million for cancer research. KTTC received the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation Celebration of Service to America award just this past April, in recognition of decades of service to the community.