SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Archives Editor Barb Nielsen was recently on a mission to retrieve footage of the Beatles concert in San Diego from their one and only appearance here on Aug. 28, 1965. She ordered the box of film that should have had the footage in it, but much to her disappointment, it was missing. But the good news is a lot was going on in late August/early September of that year. So for the next two weeks, we’re taking it way back 55 years to late summer of ’65.
As it was summer in San Diego, there was plenty going on.
San Diego hosts Mrs. America 1965 pageant
In August 1965, San Diego played host to the Mrs. America pageant for the first time. Contestants arrived one week before the contest to compete in homemaking activities.
These clips start with the reigning Mrs. America Desree Jenkins arriving in San Diego on Aug. 18, 1965. News 8’s George Lewis spoke to Mrs. Jenkins – who arrived with her husband and kids – about what she had done to become Mrs. America. The tasks included: baking a cake, fixing a casserole, arranging flowers, designing a floor, driving an automobile, and being judged on good grooming.
On Aug. 20, 1965, contestants for the Mrs. America pageant arrived in America’s Finest City and were welcomed by Mrs. America 1963 – Mrs. Marilyn Mitchell of San Diego. Local officials were also on hand to welcome the women who were given flowers as they deboarded a plane and a band played.
The final clip from Aug. 28, 1965, shows the pageant itself held at the Community Concourse. Out of 51 contestants, Mrs. Alice Buehner of Salt Lake City – previously Mrs. Utah – was crowned the 1965 Mrs. America. The 34-year-old had six children and was given $20,000 worth of prizes including a three-week trip to Europe with her husband.
Teen-Age Fair in Mission Bay, San Diego in the summer of 1965
In late summer 1965, San Diego hosted something called the Teen-Age Fair on Mission Bay’s Vacation Isle. The 11-day event featured entertainment, dancing, surfing, water skiing and more.
The first clip from Aug. 27, 1965 marks the start of the Teen-Age Fair which was opened by Congressman Lionel Van Deerlin and San Diego City Councilmembers Helen Cobb and Alan Hitch. Entertainment for night one was provided by surf-rock band The Challengers.
A couple days later, the party was still raging on Aug. 29 and the fair had featured more than a dozen bands.
On Sept. 3, our final clip shows the lead up to the Miss Teen Southern California pageant. The contest had been narrowed down to five finalists who are seen enjoying themselves throughout the fair before one of them was to be crowned the next day.
Pacific-Imperial Skateboard Club members try for endurance skating record in San Diego in 1965
Members of the Pacific-Imperial Skateboard Club set out to break a record for continual skating starting Sept. 5, 1965. These clips follow their journey which lasted three days. Three boys started skating together in the hopes of making it 50 hours total. You’ll have to watch to the end to see if they accomplished the feat.
Fashion shows at the Del Mar races and by the San Diego County KOPS Society in 1965
These clips from summer 1965 feature two San Diego County fashion shows.
The first from Aug. 30 shows a fashion show as part of Las Patronas Charity Day at the Del Mar Racetrack. In addition to peeks at the ponies and the stylish ladies of the mid-1960s, News 8 cameras captured glimpses of some well-known personalities at the track: composer Hoagy Carmichael, actor-musician Desi Arnaz - a thoroughbred owner and familiar figure at Del Mar - and Mrs. Jimmy Durante, Margie Little.
Next up, from Sept. 8, a fashion show at the Kon Tiki Room of the Catamaran in Mission Beach was held by the San Diego KOPS Society. KOPS standing for “keep off pounds sensibly,” the fashion show was meant to “demonstrate what weight-watching can achieve,” according to the script for the piece. New’s 8’s own Bob Mills was there to help hand out door prizes. The event benefited the American Cancer Society.
Archive film footage serves as time capsule of 1965