The public is invited to attend a presentation on Thursday, October 30th at the Steele County History Center at 1700 Austin Road, Owatonna. The presentation is called “Coming of Age: 1968” and will correlate with the Steele County Historical Society's newest exhibit about the year 1968, a pivotal and turbulent time in our nation’s history. The exhibit combines a traveling exhibit from the Minnesota Historical Society with companion programming developed by a volunteer committee from SCHS. The presentation will be held at 7 pm in the Atrium of the History Center.

Exhibit Coordinator and Steele County Historical Society (SCHS) Board Member, Barry Adams will moderate the discussion and also discuss the big news topics that year. He will be joined by Kirby Knutson who will talk about the Steele County memories that have been collected as part of the exhibit (more memories are welcome and guests will have an opportunity to add theirs that evening), Joanne Giga will talk about life in Steele County during that time – the food, clothes, dress codes, etc., Paul Knutson will honor the fallen soldiers from Steele County that died that year in the Vietnam War, Barry Gillespie will speak about the local music scene at that time, along with Travis Carroll,  the owner of the 1968 Ford Mustang that is on display. The audience will also have an opportunity to add to the discussion by sharing their memories of 1968.

“This panel of speakers has worked very hard researching a lot of our local history, as well as designing and creating this exhibit. As we begin to share the stories of our more recent history it is easier to find first person accounts of those time periods, however, it is still far enough in the past that our children and grandchildren have no personal connection to this time in history so it is important to make it available for them to learn from. Many of the civil rights that are the norm now were hard fought victories won as recently as the 1960s. This is just one example of many that will be discussed at the round table discussion that evening.”

-SCHS Director Laura Resler.

Guests will also have a chance to visit the exhibit prior to the discussion. The MHS portion of the exhibit features a video kiosk that takes you back to the 60s with local TV shows, music and more. Do you remember “Laugh-In”, “Star Trek”, “The Monkees”, “Get Smart” and “Dragnet”? You’ll be able to relive that TV era again if you visit. Also part of the MHS exhibit is a list of Billboard Magazines top 100 tunes for the year, headed up by the Beatles “Hey Jude”. A month by month timeline of the year’s top headlines, a music knowledge game, and colorful banners round out the exhibit.

Admission to the lecture is free for SCHS members and $2 for non-members. The History Center is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am until 4 pm, Thursdays from 10 am until 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am until 3 pm. For more information, please call our office at 507-451-1420 and ask for Laura.