The Jackson 5's return to Gary in January 1971 wasn't just reported as local news. It was widely covered on a national level.
It was reported with a photo spread in the March 22, 1971, issue of Soul. Check out the security guard looking directly at the camera on the far right side of the first photo, and again in the last photo on the far left side. It looks like he wasn't thrilled with the photographers.
Spec teen magazine reported on the return in their July 1971 issue, claiming it was "the happiest day of their lives!" All of the photos suggest otherwise. In fact, the J5 look about as happy as their security guard.
The best coverage of the J5's return to Gary, however, appeared in Sepia magazine. It was so extensive that it merits its own post, so tune in tomorrow for another installment of national press coverage.