1970s: Fights, royalty and a big change
It's not every day royalty visits St. Louis.
Troubled complex leveled
Implosions take down Pruitt-Igoe housing complex buildings
Blues part of worst player-fan-police hockey fight
Light-hearted magazine show airs on KSD
Prince Charles stops in St. Louis
KSD becomes KSDK
A change in call letters
5 at 75
In 2022, 5 On Your Side is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and we’re looking back at some of the most memorable stories throughout our history.
Prince Charles was one of the world's most eligible bachelors before he married Princess Diana. In the mid-1970s, he visited St. Louis in a whirlwind six-hour visit. That's just one of the big stories covered by KSD in the early 1970s.
Here are some of the headlines from that decade.
Troubled complex leveled: Implosions take down Pruitt-Igoe housing complex buildings
When it was built in the mid-1950s, the Near North Side’s Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex was one of the largest urban housing developments in the country and considered a masterpiece of urban planning.
But early on, residents of the 33-building complex located at Jefferson and Cass avenues faced problems with crime and vandalism, and the buildings fell into disrepair. By the late 1960s, there were calls for the buildings to be torn down.
It took several years, but in 1972, implosions started bringing down the buildings one at a time until the site was finally cleared in 1976.
Today, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new headquarters is under construction next to the site where Pruitt-Igoe once stood.
Story written by Kay Quinn
Hockey brawl: Blues part of worst player-fan-police hockey fight
One of the worst player-fan-police fights in hockey history took place at The Spectrum in Philadelphia when the Blues played the Flyers.
It was Jan. 6, 1972, and all hell broke loose at the end of the first period.
"The fans come down, they threw beer, soda, everything on Al. It was just about all over, then the police come, and the pushing started,” said a very young Blues defenseman Bob Plager in an interview after the game that night. “I saw Al get knocked down by the police. I saw Al was on his knees. I saw the police hit him on the head with the billy."
Blues players, including Plager and several others, Philadelphia fans and police all fought in the stands after the period ended. It started when Blues Coach Al Arbour followed a referee into the tunnel to protest two calls.
After the fight was over, officials made the decision to finish the game. When the Blues went back on the ice, Plager saw a group of officers taking down numbers of players involved in the fight, so he stayed in the dressing room for another five minutes before heading back out to play.
The Blues won the game 3-2 and three of Plager’s teammates spent the night in jail. Only one penalty was given after the fight.
Story written by Kay Quinn
'Newsbeat' debuts: Light-hearted magazine show airs on KSD
In the mid-1970s a light-hearted magazine show debuted on KSD called “Newsbeat.”
Hosted by Dick Ford and John Auble, the show focused on local people and their accomplishments.
Airing each weekday at 6:30 p.m., the show got the attention of people in the news industry. The time slot “Newsbeat” aired in was typically used for game shows or sitcom reruns.
The show aired for seven years. Below is a clip from the episode that aired Oct. 18, 1978.
Royalty visits: Prince Charles stops in St. Louis
Before Prince Charles married Diana and had two sons, he was one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. When he came to St. Louis for a six-hour visit in 1977, he created a lot of excitement.
St. Louis Mayor James Conway, County Supervisor Gene McNary and students from Kratz Elementary were among those who greeted Prince Charles at Lambert Airport.
He then went downtown to shake hands and speak to well-wishers. But not everyone gathered downtown was excited to see the prince. A small group of demonstrators protesting the British presence in Northern Ireland was there and caught Charles’ eye.
Charles then rode to the top of the Arch and said the view of the city was “beautiful.” After that, he stopped at the Old Courthouse. On his walk over, he stopped to watch a performance by the Black American Folklore Society. The group was among about 200 people who greeted him.
Inside the Old Courthouse, Charles attended a private reception. After, he made a short speech.
“When I was in school, I once performed in the round Macbeth. It’s rare that I had a reception in the round. I was so pleased to meet all of you, well, some of you, and shake your hands. I shook quite a few,” said Prince Charles.
The visit wrapped up with a tour of the McDonnell-Douglas plant where he was shown around by James McDonnell.
Charles then headed to the airport and flew on to his next stop in the United States.
Story written by Kay Quinn
KSD becomes KSDK: A change in call letters
When KSD-TV went on the air in 1947, it was owned by Pulitzer Publishing Co., which also owned the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and KSD-Radio.
In 1979, Pulitzer sold the radio station to Combined Communications Corporation. To satisfy FCC regulations, the call letters of the TV station were modified to KSDK. In 1983, Pulitzer traded KSDK to Multimedia Inc. in exchange for stations in North Carolina and South Carolina.
5 at 75: Anniversary celebration
Take a walk back in time with some of the biggest stories from each decade:
Be sure to learn more about our banner show at locations throughout the Bi-state.
Find complete 5 On Your Side anniversary coverage, stories and videos at ksdk.com/75.