Southern Living covers, 1966-1968


Yesterday I hit the red leather-bound volumes of Southern Living, starting at the top left corner of the shelves in 1966. What I found felt very much like a time capsule.

The March 1967 cover photo of Johnnita Harkins, Mississippi’s 1966 Junior Miss, actually led into a story titled, "What Makes a Teenager Tick?" where the writer documented her time at the Mobile pageant. Johnnita’s monologue focused on the mysteries of teenagedom, where she mused about "busy life," before she sang a bit of "Wonderful Day Like Today" for the crowd.

September 1966


One of the more popular and iconographic travel locations in the South, San Antonio’s Riverwalk, was subject for the September 1966 cover. Photographer Bob Lancaster captured a group on the Casa Rio supper barge the day before Thanksgiving 1965. Editor Lena Sturges story, "Try a Mexican Meal Afloat," described what she called, "Venice in the Southwest."

May 1967


Churchhills Downs. Early May. Seersuckers, mint juleps, and the $5 windows. Writer Paul Plawin seemed even more thrilled than I. His words:

"You don’t see the Kentucky Derby, or watch it, attend it, make it. You behold the Kentucky Derby…When the voice on the public address system announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, ‘My Old Kentucky Home’," and a band in the infiled strikes up a blaring rendition of this Kentucky anthem and the throng, 100,000 strong, stands and begins to sing along, and you get goose-pimples on the back of your neck and your hair feels like it’s standing stright up like so many little pins, this is what you came to behold."

September 1968


Football on the cover? I know. War Eagle indeed. What’s more Southern than Saturdays in September?

November 1966


John McKinney visited the George Franklin hunting plantation in Holly Ridge, Louisiana for his piece about sportsmen (and -women) in the bayou. His first sentence was a quote from one of the hunters: "Most anyone can eat a whole mallard!" The 18,000-acre land lease was shared by 125 Louisiana families, who seemed one-of-a-kind characters themselves. The cover shot, taken from a duck blind at sundown, hangs in my office.

If you enjoyed the look into our archives, let us know. Southern Living’s been around since 1966, so there is definitely more where these came from.


  1. Dorita Richardson

    Is Bob Lancaster the photographer for ALL of these magazine covers shown on this page?

    September 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm
  2. replique montre

    La dernière chose qu’on veut, quand aller à un site de veille nouvelle

    June 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm
  3. Denny I.

    Hey, are these old Sls really worth anything? Are there collectors out there? I once rented a cabin at a lake that was filled with old Reader Digest mags. I spent every evening and early morning looking and remembering when. Loads of fun.

    December 31, 2008 at 6:26 pm
  4. Taylor Bruce

    Come back next week for a continued look into the archives. And on another note, you should really see the advertisements in these magazines. Pretty funny stuff.

    December 5, 2008 at 8:37 am
  5. Tanner

    Great exploration, TB. I would be interested in seeing more. Maybe a few from each decade to really show that evolution Matt spoke of.

    December 5, 2008 at 3:56 am
  6. Larry Bleiberg

    What a great nostalgia trip. Thanks for scanning and sharing. (Kind of reminds me of old Smithsonian covers FWIW …)

    December 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm
  7. Matt

    Keep ’em coming.
    Although Southern Living has taken some twists and turns in its 30-year evolution, these covers are like time capsules.
    On an odd side note, these sort of remind me of Garden & Gun – or perhaps what it might have looked like thirty years ago had it existed.
    (I’m not trying to say one thing or another about SL or G&G, just an observation – discuss.)

    December 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm

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