SAN DIEGO —
Lots was happening in San Diego in the summer of 1965! Last week we shared vintage videos of America’s Finest City hosting the Mrs. America pageant, a Teen-Age Fair in Mission Beach, the Pacific-Imperial Skateboard Club going for an endurance skating record, and fashion shows around town.
From some of our oldest film, we have even more highlights for this week’s News 8 Throwback including legendary San Diego sports figures, tourist destinations that never get old, and more.
Get ready to step back 55 years in our city’s history with help from some of our current News 8 talent.
Baseball legend and San Diego native Ted Williams talks sports and more in 1965
In late summer 1965, baseball great and hometown hero Ted Williams sat down with News 8’s George Lewis for an interview. The longtime Boston Red Sox player who was born and raised in San Diego talked to our reporter about his thoughts on baseball at the time, his favorite local fishing spots, and his newfound love for golf. The last few moments of the video don’t have sound but show Williams speaking to smiling teenagers and even showing off his swing.
Preseason football action at San Diego State with the Aztecs in 1965
This film from late summer 1965 captures the action on the gridiron at San Diego State as the Aztecs prepared for the football season. Coach Don Coryell later lead the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Cardinals after 12 seasons with SDSU.
The original script from September 1965 appears below and was tracked for this clip by News 8 sports anchor John Howard in September 2020:
"The competition is wide open out on Montezuma Mesa these days. Preseason drills continue at San Diego State College with some 50 aspiring Aztecs working out under the watchful eyes of coach Don Coryell. Quarterback Don Horn handed off to tailback Nathan Johns in this play. Coryell says his defensive line is fairly well intact but the offense needs re-molding. The Aztecs lost 17 lettermen last June, many of them offense stars. Horn completes to flanker Craig Skoggins here as scrimmagers compete for varsity positions for the season opener against The University of the Pacific September 18th in Aztec Bowl."
SeaWorld San Diego celebrates its one-millionth visitor in September 1965
An attraction for locals and tourists alike, SeaWorld San Diego celebrated its one-millionth visitor less than a year-and-a-half after opening on Sept. 8, 1965. The family was greeted by an interesting array of characters and perks for being a part of the park’s history.
The original 1965 script appears below and was tracked for the video seen below by News 8 anchor Steve Price in 2020:
"A member of a vacationing family of five from Madera, California was SeaWorld’s one-millionth visitor. As the Floyd Williams family, including children Frank, Mary and Danny, approached the entrance yesterday, they were greeted by SeaWorld marketing director Mike Downs. He was accompanied by a six-foot tall penguin—not exactly a real one—who presented the Williams’ with a refund and free annual passes to the Mission Bay Aquatic Park. Pearl diver Suzuki Nakano had a beautiful pearl pendant for Mrs. Williams and there also were flower leis for each. SeaWorld has been growing more popular every day since its opening a year and five months ago, and this summer’s attendance was up 94 percent over last year."
Scenes from the San Diego Zoo in summer 1965
The San Diego Zoo has been a favorite place to visit since it opened in 1916. The summer of 1965 was no different as the zoo welcomed guests among expansions and firsts for the park. These clips from September ‘65 capture a new enclosure for primates, the 48th annual Zoological Society meeting and lots of baby animals including nilgais (part of the antelope family), a gnu, a dromedary camel named Gemini, and the zoo’s first display sifakas which included a youngster. Sifakas are a rare form of lemur and it was the first time one had been on display in a United States zoo. The San Diego Zoo received five that year. See the original scripts for these stories on YouTube.