Some significant events occurred Downriver in the 1960s:


  • September 28: The Wyandotte YMCA, located in the downtown area on Biddle Avenue for many years, constructed and opened a new state-of-the-art building on Fort Street just north on Eureka.
  • A last-ditch effort was proposed by the Michigan Turnpike Authority in order to stop construction of the Seaway Freeway (I-75) through Downriver into downtown Detroit.  The MTA had been proposing toll expressways through the area for several decades and had not been heard from since a later proposal failed back in 1955.  Meanwhile, it was proposed the section of Seaway Freeway be electrified from Detroit to Toledo through an idea proposed by General Motors.



  • November 26: Kmart Corporation opens their original Southgate store on Eureka Road just east of the Southgate Shopping Center.
  • The Michigan State Legislature officially disbanded the Michigan Turnpike Authority, finally putting to rest attempts to have toll expressways in the Downriver-Detroit area.  Construction on the Seaway Freeway would commence shortly thereafter.



  • Petroleum Specialties, Inc. (PSI), a small oil refinery located on Peters Road bordering Brownstown Township, Flat Rock and Woodhaven, closed its doors to active refining business, turning instead into a tanker storage facility.  Two and a half decades later, they would be in the news again, but for negative reasons only as Superfund money would be targeted toward remediating the site.
  • The local rock band MC5 (Motor City Five) would start up in Lincoln Park.
  • March 5: Downriver's second Kmart store opens in Taylor Township on Van Born Road.


  • Ford Motor Company began operations of a new Stamping Plant in Brownstown in January.  The 400 acre project took the place of the Trombley soybean farm located between King and West Roads.  The official dedication would take place the following year under its current name of the Woodhaven Stamping Plant.
  • Woodhaven incorporated as a city, which began the proverbial ball rolling toward Brownstown Township avoiding additional annexation of other lands. 


  • In the latest (to date) attempt at a land swap for annexation, Rockwood sought to add the village of East Rockwood to its coffers, and Southgate sought to annex a portion of Brownstown Township as far south as King Road, while venturing as far west as Telegraph Road, in effect doubling Southgate's size.  Despite the best campaign attempts by Rockwood and Southgate's mayors, the proposals were brought to defeat in November elections.  No land swaps or annexations have taken place since.
  • October 5: A partial meltdown at the Fermi I nuclear power facility in nearby Monroe put Downriver residents on edge. This would place Fermi in the position of the closest a nuclear facility in the United States ever came to a meltdown, prior to the accident at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island in 1979, in turn surpassed by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine and the 2011 Fukishima disaster in Japan.
  • The James M. Davey Terminal was completed at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, virtually doubling passenger capacity.


  • July: The 12th Street Riots in Detroit caused parts of Downriver to be put on curfew or lockdown.  Routine operations district-wide were not restored until the following week.
  • The Seaway Freeway (I-75) was completed through Downriver.