Upcoming book ‘Allen County Photo Album 1960-1969’ offers pictorial look at decade of change in Fort Wayne and Allen County

The cover photo of the upcoming book "Allen County Photo Album 1960-1969" features this image of the iconic 1960s design of a McDonald's restaurant and other noted local buildings in the background. (The News-Sentinel archive photo)
New Haven High School’s Latin students transformed part of school to into ancient Rome for a banquet that celebrated that city’s history and customs. Dick Longardner sips from his golden goblet, while wearing a the traditional helmet with wings, like the Roman god, Mercury. (The News-Sentinel archive photo)
Jesse Owens, winner of four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, addressed a sales meeting at Peter Eckrich Company on June 10, 1965. He was co-owner of the Chicago public relations firm Owens and West. In his remarks to the media, he debunked the myth that although he saw Adolph Hitler a few times, he was not snubbed by him. Owens also expressed that he believed, over the years, progress has been made for black civil rights. (The News-Sentinel archive photo)
Glitzy tinsel and twinkling stars decorations were a festive backdrop for shoppers at Wolf & Dessauer Department Store. An assortment of handbags, clothes and candies were displayed for shoppers looking for the perfect gift. This was the last Christmas at the beloved store; L.S. Ayres & Company bought it in December 1969. (The News-Sentinel archive photo)

The 1960s were a time of great change in America, and you can revisit that history in the upcoming book “Allen County Photo Album 1960-1969,” which features about 200 photos from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

“This is a great look back at a pivotal time in our nation’s history and local history,” said Pete Van Baalen, general manager of Fort Wayne Newspapers (FWN), which is compiling and publishing the 144-page, hardcover book. FWN is a business partnership between The News-Sentinel and Journal Gazette newspapers.

“Many of the pictures haven’t been seen since the day they were published,” Van Baalen said. “A few are even pictures that were never published. There are some real gems in this book that I think people who love Fort Wayne and Allen County will love.”

Copies of the book can be ordered now at the pre-sale price of $29.95, plus tax, if you pick up the book at FWN, and $34.95, plus tax, if you want the book shipped to an address. Books should be delivered by Dec. 1.

The book is the same size and style as two books published previously by the News-Sentinel: “Allen County Photo Album 1852-1954” and “Allen County Photo Album 1955-1959.” Both of those books now are out of print.

Change in Fort Wayne during the 1960s included the construction of Interstate 69, Glenbrook Square and Southtown malls, and downtown buildings such as what is now named the Rousseau Centre at Main and Calhoun streets. People also witnessed the demolition of a few longtime favorites, such as the Paramount Theater.

The decade began with the election of late President John F. Kennedy and people marching for civil rights and ended with soldiers marching off to fight in the jungles of Vietnam. The 1960s also signaled the start of another invasion – the British invasion led by The Beatles and Rolling Stones.

Noted visitors to Fort Wayne during the 1960s included presidential candidates Richard Nixon and Robert F. Kennedy, civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., track-and-field legend Jesse Owens, and future Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Rolling Stones.

News-Sentinel photographers captured major events and daily life on film, said Laura Weston, FWN book editor.

Weston reviewed thousands of photo negatives to compile an initial pool of about 600 images for possible use in the book. She and Van Baalen later selected the approximately 200 black-and-white photos you will see on book pages, she said.

“I love history,” Weston said. “I always am trying to find something that’s representative for the time.”

The photos selected include some she had never seen during her 26 years as the News-Sentinel’s librarian and multimedia editor.

Weston believes the result will be a book people will want to curl up with in a chair and page through as they enjoy a look back at 1960s Fort Wayne and Allen County.


WHAT: The upcoming book “Allen County Photo Album 1960-1969,” which is being published by Fort Wayne Newspapers, takes a look back at the 1960s in Fort Wayne and Allen County with information and more than 200 photos from The News-Sentinel archives.

WHEN: Pre-orders are being accepted now for delivery by Dec. 1.

WHERE: Order at www.books.fortwayne.com or by mail using the order form now printed regularly in the Journal Gazette newspaper.

COST: $29.95, plus $2.10 sales tax, if you pick up the book at Fort Wayne Newspapers, 600 W. Main St. Cost is $34.95, plus $2.45 sales tax, to have the book shipped to an address.


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