1970s Modesto Timeline


Modesto’s population is 61,712
Modesto Peace Life Center founded
Modesto celebrate its centennial
April 22, Modesto celebrates the first Earth Day
Modesto became the first city in the USA to offer curbside recycling
Memorial Hospital opens on Coffee Rd

The new Stanislaus County Library opens on I street. The old library would become the McHenry Museum
Muhammmed Ali speaks at the SOS Club and visits the King Kennedy Center

Fred C Beyer High School opens with the first graduating class to complete four years would be in 1976 for the USA Bicentennial. The mascot was the Patriots

Modesto is named as an All American City

Ernest and Julio Gallo appear on the cover of Time Magazine. Gallo Winery is now the largest privately owned winery in the world

Modesto native Mark Spitz wins 7 gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics, all in world record time

Streets of San Francisco premiered on TV, with Michael Douglas as a detective from Modesto
Ward Stine becomes conductor of MoBand

Nancy Young begin working at the Modesto Downtown Improvement District
George Lucas releases American Graffiti about the cruising era in Modesto
Briggsmore Avenue gets completed.

Roller & King opens behind K–Mart

Cesar Chavez marches with 10,000 people to Modesto to stand up for farm labor rights

Fleetwood Mac plays the Ice Arena
McHenry Mansion was purchased by Julio R. Gallo Foundation and then donated to the city of Modesto to become a museum.

May – Vintage Faire Mall opens at Standiford Avenue at US 99
July – Star Wars opens with a special double gala at the Briggsmore Theatre and featuring a new Dolby sound system.
Heat Wave Skateboard Park opens

The East Area Rapist (later identified as the Golden State Killer) strikes fear across Modesto
OJ Simpson speaks at the SOS Club
Peggy Mensinger elected first woman mayor of Modesto

George Gardner becomes conductor of MoBand
Modesto Certified Farmer’s Market begins
Civil rights leader Julian Bond speaks in Modesto

Posted in: community, news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.