Delaware Historical Society Photographs: Delaware History for the Past 50 Years

The Main Events: Looking back at the past half-century in the First State.




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A southbound work train rumbles past the old Wilmington train station (at left) in March 1968. Kelly’s Logan House, a landmark in the city’s popular Trolley Square neighborhood, is seen on the other side of the tracks. The Logan House, founded in 1864, is still the place to catch a brew.


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Models pose with new cars outside the entrance to the General Motors assembly plant in Newport in 1965. GM would shutter the plant in 2009, causing hundreds of locals to lose jobs. Fisker Automotive took over the property in 2010 with plans to produce plug-in hybrid electric cars on the site.








Delaware National Guardsmen, firefighters and a shopkeeper survey the damage during the Wilmington riots in April 1968.









National Guardsmen stand guard outside Tower Hat Shops in the 600 block of Market Street. Rioters took to the city’s streets after the assassination of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  and the Delaware National Guard was activated to restore order. The Guard would occupy the city for 10 months.










Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally in Wilmington on Feb. 3, 2008. Thousands of folks packed Rodney Square to catch a glimpse of Obama, who would become the country’s first African-American president, with Delawarean Joe Biden serving as his vice president.









U.S. Sen. Caleb Boggs (shown at left saluting), U.S. Army Gen. William Westmoreland (center) and a Delaware National Guard commander review troops at the Greater Wilmington Airport in 1972. Westmoreland served as Army chief of staff from 1968 to 1972, when he retired from active duty.








A crowd gathers outside The Grand Opera House in Wilmington. Restoration plans for “The Grand Old Lady of Market Street” were unveiled on Dec. 22, 1971, to celebrate the building’s 100th anniversary. Today, The Grand hosts more than 300 events a year and draws more than 120,000 people annually.









The Ninth Street Lunch Hour Fair in Wilmington was a popular attraction in 1974.














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