Timeline: 1945 – 1974

Era 9: Postwar United States – 1945 to Early 1970s
Compiled by Tom Sullivan

10 April
Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt comes to Keene to give a speech.

12 April
President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies. The city mourns his death.

14 August
Church bells rang, factory whistles blew, and people gathered in Central Square to celebrate the end of WWII.

Keene’s last surviving Civil War veteran, Frank E. Amadon, dies at the age of 99.

K.H.S. Enterprise, the prize winning high school literary magazine, turns 50.

Parking meters were installed.

Presidential hopeful Harold Stassen was among the first to campaign in Keene during the New Hampshire primaries.

Keene celebrated 100 years of railroad service.

The Keene Clinic was formed, including the formation of a blood bank, visits by the “bloodmobile” and inoculations against polio.

Keene Drive In Theater was opened off lower Marlboro Street.

Keene State College Alumni Association was formed by Sprague W. Drenan.

Population of Keene was 15,638.

Adult education program at Keene High School began.

28 June to 5 July
Keene celebrated 200 years under its New Hampshire charter. Special events included exhibits, a street dance, an historical pageant, an air show, and a gigantic parade. A time capsule was buried in Central Square.

The Fourth of July Bicentennial Parade was the largest parade ever held in Keene.

The Keene Police Department added women police officers to its force. The first was Mrs. Myrtle Jennison, assigned to traffic duty in West Keene at the Symonds School.

The Keene Business Bureau became the new Chamber of Commerce.

Faulkner & Colony, the second oldest woolen mill in the nation run by the original family, closed its mill.

The Arch St. Junior High School opened.

Northwest Airlines and Mohawk Airlines offered flight services. Two flights daily to Boston, New York, Albany, and Lebanon.

Major highway relocation around Keene began.

The City Hall auditorium was closed.

The first television cable service was established in the city by Better TV, Inc.

The Southwestern New Hampshire District Mutual Aid System of fire department protection was inaugurated.

Keene men went off to participate in the Korean conflict.

One hundred and eleven new homes were built off of Court Street. This development was known as Pako Park.

The City Hall tower was renovated.

The Keene City Band celebrated its centennial.

17 October
The Otter Brook Dam project on Beech Hill began.

One hundred and forty new homes were built of Court Street in Pako Park.

The Central Junior High School, the old High School on Winter Street was torn down.

Keene telephones went to a dial service, receiving the code name Elmwood and the 352 number.

The Keene Forum began.

28 August
The New Hampshire Sentinel ceased publication.

31 May
The last passenger train from Boston arrived in Keene with 23 passengers on board.

Keene’s first shopping plaza was built on West Street by Edward and Lester Fairbanks.

The Keene Art Festival began.

30 May
Radio station WKBK was established by the Monadnock Broadcasting Corporation.

20 September
The new YMCA was dedicated on Roxbury St.

New homes were built on Maple Avenue.

Al During field at Wheelock Park was dedicated. During was a well known softball player who died of cancer.

Keene State College celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Keene Shopper News began publication.

A new state armory on Hastings Ave.

The population of Keene was 17,527.

The Otter Brook Dam’s adjoining land was dedicated as a state park location.

“Operation Orphans” sent six tons of food, clothing, and supplies to orphans in South Korea.

Keene High School moved to West Street while the Junior High moved to Washington Street.

Keene High School first offered summer school.

The “Steamtown U.S.A.” rail museum was proposed.

Keene became one of the first 500 American cities to join the national air raid warning system.

Keene adopted a Housing Code.

22 November
The assassination of John F. Kennedy shocked Keene as it did the entire world. Special services were held in churches.

The national finals of the American Legion Little League World Series were played in Keene before 23,000 spectators, including baseball great Ted Williams.

Dutch elm disease killed many elm trees in the city.

Keene State College joined the University of New Hampshire system.

The Keene Art Association was formed.

Keene’s zip code was decided: 03431.

4 July
Veteran’s Memorial swimming pools were dedicated at Robin Hood Park and Wheelock Park to honor Keene’s servicemen.

Keene District Court, as a part of the state system, went into operation, replacing the former Police Court.

Keene State College’s Lloyd P. Young Student Union opened.

Keene was a successful candidate in the All-American City Award of the National Municipal League and Look magazine, becoming in 1965 the first New Hampshire city so honored.

WKNE began FM broadcasts.

Civil Rights worker Jonathan Daniels from Keene was killed. Young Daniels was buried at Monadnock View Cemetery on the 24th of August. Nearly 1,000 people attended his funeral.

The world’s Horseshoe Tournament was held in Keene.

The new Keene State College Mason Library and Thorne Art Gallery were dedicated.

The City of Keene sent 8 tons of food and clothing to Mississippi Negros, renewing its support of civil rights.

A new 24 hour service over Keene cable television, Channel 12 was inaugurated.

Mrs. Pauline Kendall, a Keene housewife, represented New Hampshire in the Mrs. American contest.

Main Street and the Common were renovated and widened.

Highway construction of Keene’s first overpass began on West St.

Keene State College received a 400 acre tract, creating the Louis Cabot Preserve.

Jonathan Daniels School was built, with a subsequent addition in 1971.

The world’s Horseshoe Tournament was held in Keene.

The population in Keene was 20,467.

The Cheshire Hospital opened, which replaced the old Elliot Hospital.

The Keene Clinic moved to its present location.

The world’s Horseshoe Tournament was held in Keene.

Tom Sullivan teaches elementary school in Keene.