Rochester, N.Y.- Channel 13 is celebrating its golden anniversary this year. We signed “on the air” in September of 1962. Perhaps one of the biggest decades for the television station was as we entered a “new millennium.”
A new millennium with major events we will all remember for a lifetime.
It was on September 11, 2001 that four suicide attacks were committed on U.S. soil. Terrorists hijacked four airplanes that morning, crashing two into the Twin Towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksvills, Pennsylvania after its passengers attempted to take control of the jet from the hijackers.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, including some from our area.
We would reflect on our togetherness during that challenging time, a spirit that brought our community together.
The 2000s also brought us “The Spirit of Ontario.”
Rochester’s fast ferry was built in Perth, Australia and we were the only local media to travel there to see it under construction.
And when the much talked about vessel finally arrived in Rochester’s port, we took viewers on the premier passage to Toronto on its maiden voyage.
A few short years later, faced with financial challenges, we all watched it sail away.
The decade wouldn’t be complete without a mention of J-MAC. Jason Mcelwain, a high school student challenged by autism would show us all what he could do on a basketball court.
It was in February of 2006, McElwain, a student at Greece Athena, was put into the last four minutes of a basketball game against Spencerport High School. McElwain made six three-point-shots and one two-pointer. After the final buzzer rang, the crowd dashed onto the court to celebrate.
Perhaps the biggest transition for Channel 13 came on January 10, 2005 when we signed off the air as WORK-TV and signed back on as WHAM-TV. The letters changed but the number did not.