Rockford History 1962-1963

April 12, 1962 ------ 100-acre tract on N. Main St. is purchased for $270,000 as site of an $8 million state mental health clinic.

May, 1962 ------ St. Thomas High School graduates 50 seniors and closes after more than 52 years of service to Rockford education.

Aug., 1962 ----- Public Building Commission prepares plans for $8 million City-County Building.

Sept., 1962 ----- Opening of school finds students attending classes in Guilford, Rockford's fourth senior high school.

Sept. 5, 1962 ------- Rock Cut State Park dedicated and opened by Gov. Otto Kerner; Pierce Lake in the park is named for State Rep. William Pierce, who was instrumental in bringing the facility to the area.

Nov. 5, 1962 ----- Kirk S. King, in political comeback, wins election as sheriff of Winnebago County; Congressman John B. Anderson re-elected to a second two-year term.

January, 1963 ----- Gates Rubber Co. of Denver announces plans to build factory in Rockford, and city council sells the company 27 acres of War Memorial tract. St. Anthony Hospital moves into new building; old hospital structure is renamed St. Clara Continuing Care Center. It later is torn down.

March 1, 1963 ------ Bloomington Broadcasting Corp. buys Rockford radio station WROK from Rockford Newspapers, Inc.

March 13, 1963 ----- Rockford's new state mental health clinic is given a name --- the Singer Mental Health Center -- in honor of Dr. Douglas Singer, and Englishman who in 1908 founded the Illinois State Psychopathic Institute, forerunner to the State Psychiatric Institute.

March 14, 1963 ---- Rockford's official population is announced at 132,835.

March 26, 1963 ----- Sweden's Prince Bertil kicks the cornerstone into place at dedication of the new $5.5 million addition to Swedish-American Hospital.

April 4, 1963 ------ Winds with gusts up to 58 miles an hour lash Rockford. At least four are injured; damage to buildings is placed at thousands of dollars. One powerful gust rips a chunk of rotted sheet metal from the giant dome atop the Winnebago County Courthouse and dumps it just west of the main entrance.

May, 1963 ----- Alma Nelson Manor Nursing Home on Mulford Road, south of E. State St., opens to first patients. Open house at the $1.25 million facility June 22-23 attended by 3,980 persons.

May 22, 1963 ----- Planning Director Michael Meehan reports Rockford population at 135,175.

May 25, 1963 -----Rockford Board of Education, meeting to adopt 1963-1964 budget of $13,344,923, makes it official: kindergarten will be eliminated at the close of the current school year.

July 8, 1963 ----- Winnebago County farm officials decide to seek federal disaster aid because of severe drought conditions. Rain finally falls on July 13, and more is predicted.

July 29, 1963 ----- Winnebago County, one of five Northern Illinois counties declared disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after the worst drought in nearly 30 years.

Nov. 14, 1963 ------ Chrysler Corp. announces it is considering the Rockford area for the new assembly plant that would employ 4,500 persons and turn out 900 vehicles daily; estimated cost of the proposed facility is $50 million.

Nov. 22, 1963 ----- Rockford and Winnebago County joint the nation in sorrow and stunned disbelief at the assassination in Dallas, Tx, of President John F. Kennedy.

Nov. 26, 1963 ---- Site east of Rockford and south of Belvidere, in Boone County, is chosen for the multi-million-dollar Chrysler Corp. assembly plant.


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