Explosive growth was the hallmark of this dynamic decade in Arizona and the Valley of the Sun. Developers used a variety of gimmicks to market their new desert communities, the state got its first major league sports franchise, and malls made shopping a recreational experience.
Teenagers found their fun at drive-in theaters and cruising Central Avenue. Barry Goldwater ran for president, Arizona’s Vonda Kay Van Dyke was crowned Miss America and astronaut Frank Borman, a native son, photographed the first Earth rise from Apollo 8. Eight began broadcasting from Arizona State University. Baltimore Jack, an amorous gorilla, arrived on the Playboy jet for a rendezvous with Hazel, the Phoenix Zoo’s reigning playmate.
It was a time of innocence and optimism as America continued its romance with the West . . . and Phoenix was the Sunbelt’s rising star. Viewers who are new to Arizona will gain insight into its recent past, and long-time residents will enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane.