Presentation, discussion will reach back 50 years in Scottsdale

The year 1968 wasn’t only a watershed moment for the U.S., it also launched the evolution of modern Scottsdale – and the community has a chance to explore that era and hear from people who lived it.

“Turning Point: how 1968 shaped Scottsdale and its residents” is a photo-rich flashback and panel discussion hosted by local historian Joan Fudala. The free event is 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in the Scottsdale Civic Center Library auditorium (3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd.).

The panel discussion features:

  • Paul Messinger, civic and business leader who served on the Scottsdale City Council and in the Arizona state legislature
  • Jerry McElfresh, managing editor of the Scottsdale Progress from 1966 to 1988 and Scottsdale bureau chief for The Arizona Republic in the 1990s
  • Linda Gayle, a 1968 graduate of Coronado High School, who was an ASU student during the 1960s and then a Phoenix-area teacher for 43 years

The presentation is part of Celebrate ’68, a series of programs and events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Scottsdale City Hall and Civic Center Library. Both iconic public buildings opened in October 1968 and remain centerpieces of the community today.

Other Celebrate ’68 events include an exhibition of the art and architecture of City Hall architect Bennie Gonzales, and a street dedication in his honor, and a Gold Palette Artwalk in Old Town. Those lead up to the main event: a free family festival from Scottsdale City Hall to the Hotel Valley Ho, 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, featuring rock ‘n’ roll, art, classic cars and fireworks. 

Find the full lineup of Celebrate ’68 activities here.

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