Two generations ago: Spring 1970


By David Shumway - Beavercreek Historical Society



Recent history is still history, and even more so affects us all, especially if we don’t pay attention. This Spring of 1970 is being marked by escalating protests against the seemingly-endless Vietnam war.

President Nixon has just decided to invade Cambodia to deny safe haven, leading to the deaths of four Kent State protesting students. Questions are being asked: Why are we there? What constitutes victory? When will we get out? (Bringing that forward, similar questions are being asked today.)

Okay, not everything is bleak. National interest is growing in in the environment. The first “Earth Day” was just been announced for April 22, 1970, and our local schoolkids are studying “ecosystems” and picking up litter. (Coming forward, this was the genesis of today’s worldwide environmental movement.)

And that meanie Nixon just signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, prohibiting cig advertising on TV.

But the new pill-popping culture is reaching home, with a local Greene County warning: “Young people see their parents taking a sleeping pill … and they believe that a pill is the answer to every problem.” (Coming forward: So less smoking, more pills.)

On a personal note, GMC has just introduced the Gremlin. I had one, light blue. (Coming forward, the last was made in 1978.)

1970 is starting as an active year on the local scene as well. Inevitavbly, Beavercreek is growing, and it’s at a crossroads. My Jaycees have been conducting a Community Development Survey with questions on development, quality of life, amenities, incorporation, annexation, schools, etc.

Cases in point: A subdivision to be called Rona Oaks is planned for 350 homes, and the Township Trustees refused to certify election results in a neighborhood calling itself “Valleywood” favoring incorporation. (Coming forward, that refusal was pivotal in the eventual incorporation of what is now the city of Beavercreek.)

Hozie Brothers Circus will come to the BHS grounds this May 14th! Tickets are $1-$2. (Personal note: I worked for the Ringling Brothers – Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows when it came to my town. Quite an experience for a 14-year-old!)

At Knollwood Pharmacy, Kodacolor prints are 19¢ each, after a processing charge of 69¢ per roll. (Coming forward, well, we’ve come a long way from snapshots with Kodaks (named for the sound of the shutter, incidentally) to cellphone selfies stored in the cloud.)

Easter coloring contest by Knollwood Pharmacy, first prize $5!. Might pay for an Easter Sunday dinner at Hasty Tasty for 20% off. (The restaurant apparently is still there on Linden, called a pancake house.)

So where are we this Spring of 1970? Turmoil in the country, with little Beavercreek suffering from growing pains but carrying on and keeping calm. Happy Easter.

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By David Shumway

Beavercreek Historical Society

Dave Shumway is a member of the Beavercreek Historical Society and guest columnist.

Dave Shumway is a member of the Beavercreek Historical Society and guest columnist.