1950s-60s history, literature in ‘Words on Paper’ at KCHS June 30 


“Words on paper” headlines a program with Willmar author Forrest Peterson, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30 at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society in Willmar. Focusing on the 1950s and 1960s, it will offer a review of major historical events and a listing of books in that era that reflected and influenced society. It will conclude with tips about writing memoirs and the current publishing world. 

 This historical reflection applies to all ages, Peterson says. “People now in their 60s and 70s were busy as children growing up and may have only sporadic memories of the news back then. Younger people today can learn from history and the books that influence society.” 

 The title also implies the vast change in publishing and information technology between traditional mass media and today’s digital world, Peterson says. “Far more information is available on virtually everyone’s fingertips, and everyone has access to disseminating information worldwide.” 

 “While the list of books from the 1950s to 1970s may be far fewer than today, as a group they seem to be more consistent in quality such as accuracy, professional editing, and printing,” Peterson says. “The decline of such quality measures in today’s digital era has contributed to information anarchy and misinformation worldwide.” 

 Peterson has published three novels and is closing in on a fourth. Previously, he was managing editor at the West Central Tribune in Willmar from 1982 to 1998. In August 2022 he retired after serving as a public information officer with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 

 He has a BA in history from Bethel University and MA in journalism-mass communication from the University of Minnesota. He has participated in workshops at The Loft in Minneapolis and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa. 

 His novels include Good Ice (2007), Buffalo Ridge (2012), and The Swineherd’s Angel (2020). In 2017 and again in early 2022 he received grants from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council that support his work. For more information go to