Idaho News 6 50th Anniversary: Biggest events of 1974

The station was "born" in '74, but that's just one of the big events that year
Posted at 5:40 AM, Dec 01, 2023

NAMPA, IDAHO — If you did the math correctly, you know that the 50th anniversary of Idaho News 6 means we first hit the air in 1974. Obviously, that makes 1974 a significant year in our station's history, but it was just one of many other significant events to occur across the country. Matt Sizemore gives us some perspective on some of the other major events from the eventful year.

1974 was packed with historic events, but for those that were around and remember that year, nothing stood out more than the Watergate scandal, subsequently leading to the first and only time a sitting US president resigned from office when Richard Nixon did just that on August 9th.

"What we saw in the nation in 1974 was indicative of what we're seeing today. There was a lot of divisiveness in the country. The republicans during the Nixon administration wholeheartedly supported the president, and democrats wanted to indict him," said former KIVI Assignment Manager Steve Bertel.

Also like today, the generational gap in 1974 was incredibly apparent.

"We saw a lot of influence from the summer of love from the 1960's. So you still had kind of that hippie influence. And George Mcgovern, who was the democratic presidential candidate opposing Richard Nixon, he garnered a lot of the vote. He lost the election but he garnered a lot of the youth vote, the young vote, the hippie vote. So it was a lot of the anti-establishment, the younger demographic versus the middle-aged or older establishment demographic," said Bertel.

And while the state of Idaho mostly sees red these days, there was plenty of blue back in 74.'

"The political scope in Idaho in those days was very democratic. You had Cecil Andrus, democratic governor, he did two terms. He later became the Secretary of the Interior in the Carter Administration. You had US Senator Frank Church, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, another very strong, very well known democrat," said Bertel.

Americans were feeling the effects of the 1973 gas embargo, which heavily affected Idahoans. All Idahoans.

"There were long lines at gas pumps all across the nation, and the same way here in Idaho as well. In fact, I remember seeing a picture of US senator Frank Church, well known democrat in Idaho politics. He had to sit in the gas line just like everybody else," said Bertel.

That lead to another one of today's issues; gas prices.

"Gas even then was like a dollar a gallon or two dollars a gallon. Nowadays, we don't think anything of that, but that was kind of a big deal back then," said Bertel.

But here in the Gem State, 1974 and the following few years turned out to be a time that would shape the Treasure Valley into what it is today.

"Boise Junior College becoming Boise State University. You had Micron which started in a garage that's now in this huge complex in Southeast Boise. You had Hewlett Packard in West Boise. So you had a lot of transformation in the Boise Valley," said Bertel.

1974. The year KIVI flipped up the on-air switch. A big deal locally in a year that saw major changes to our nation.

"Of course, the Vietnam War was winding down. So obviously, we didn't see a lot of the protests of the Vietnam War and the country was going through this transition. We had, Watergate was sort of behind us. President Nixon had resigned. President ford has taken his place. So it was a new chapter in the nation's history," said Bertel.