The ’70s Brings new Innovation and SEO magazine

Southeast Ohio magazine has its humble beginnings in the 1970s.  SEO, then known as Athens magazine, kicked off with coverage of darker topics. From multiple articles about Satanism and cults to polling the Athens population about taking in Vietnam War refugees, there was no shortage of topics to investigate when the magazine launched.  

Athens in the 70s, depicted through SEO articles, bears semblance to life in Athens now. A love of community and independence link the decades. SEO covered water skiing, dirt biking and horseback riding as Southeast Ohioans enjoyed the outdoors.  

The ’70s saw the invention of the Frisbee, which SEO documented more than once as war coverage slowed. The community was strong and tight knit, with one family adopting the first Ohio University (Athens) hockey team. Students protested housing prices and conditions of off-campus housing, much like they do today.  

Oh, and the magazine referred to the university as “OU,” which should be even more proof that the University of Oklahoma is not the original OU and doesn’t deserve that trademark.  

All in all, the newborn magazine was much like a baby deer—trying to steady itself and find its niche in the world. The ’70s were about growth and discovery for SEO and they served as a launching pad for the magazine’s 50-year run, with more to come. 

Five Favorite Stories

“Charlie’s Creator” (Spring 1971)

Profiles the author of Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes, a former OHIO creative writing professor.  

“Mt. Nebo: Cultist’s Crest” (Spring 1971) 

A great “weird things around Athens” story about hubs of cultist activities right here in the hills. 

“The Future: Are You Prepared?” (Fall 1972) 

Well, are you? A fun article examines new technological and social developments in Athens and how they might affect the future. 

“1921 v. 1971” (Winter 1972) 

Similar to this issue, a comparison of OHIO and Athens over 50 years, only from 1921 to 1971.  

“Coming Out” (Fall 1973) 

Examines coming out and the LGBTQ experience in Athens and OHIO in the early 1970s. 


1970: Ohio University (Athens) closes for Vietnam War protests on May 15

1972: SEO rolls out first in-color covers  

1975: SEO costs 65 cents until the end of the decade