Observations from the archives, 1964: First group of local draft registrants scheduled for physicals
1914, 100 years ago: G.A. Kortsch closed a deal transferring his general merchandise business to Herberger of Osakis. … A couple young men went swimming in Lobster Lake. They rowed out a ways and raced toward shore, leaving the boat out in the lake. One of the young men upon nearing shore was taken with cramps in the legs and began to sink. His partner succeeded in holding him from sinking until aid was given by a third party standing on the shore. This might have been a serious case.
1964, 50 years ago: The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce committee established to study and discuss the opening dates for the city’s public schools oppose the early school-year opening planned for August 27. “Early opening (before Labor Day) spoils the last week of vacation business and hurts State Fair attendance.” … The first group of 18-year-old draft registrants to be called in for pre-induction physical exams will leave from Douglas County at 8:46 p.m. on August 10, stay overnight at the Andrews Hotel, take their exams and return home that night. … The city council heard a report from Alexandria Civil Defense Director David R. Steinley. Activities the past year have centered upon finding, marking and stocking public fall-out shelters. At present, there are 14 such shelters, 13 marked and 12 already stocked. The existing shelters will accommodate 2,091 persons. The new Bethany Home may accommodate an additional 500 persons as a shelter.
1989, 25 years ago: Since about half of the new Voyager Elementary School is completed, a total of 22 District 206 employees, along with 10 young people hired from the local CEP program, moved desks, chairs, file cabinets and boxes into the new school. Workers shifted equipment from Washington and Lincoln into the new school. Officially, the school is supposed to be ready for occupancy by August 1. The only portion that won’t be completed by the deadline will be the gymnasium. … The Alexandria Youth Center, along with Subway Sandwiches, hosted the first-ever Skateboard Championship at Legion Park. More than 40 teenagers competed.
2004, 10 years ago: It all began in 1973 when Dr. Martin Cooper made the first mobile phone call. A mere 17 years later, there were more than 5 million cell phones in use in the United States. Today, there are more than 130 million subscribers. Miriam Svobodny of Cellular 2000/Unicel in Alexandria, said teens are the early adopters. A recent survey shows that 51 percent of adults say that young people should not have access to cell phones, and 72 percent believe that having a cell phone is an added distraction in young people’s lives. Jeff Hitland, vice-president of Cellular 2000, said for most parents, the most common reason cited for purchasing a mobile phone for their teens is that of safety. … Alexandria golfers Brett and Brady Swedberg finished in the top 25 in the 101st Minnesota Golf Association State Amateur Championship at Northland Country Club in Duluth.
Just for fun – 1964, 50 years ago: On the basis of a national study of business activity, Douglas County stands out as a solid, vigorous market. Marked gains were made in its trading area as local families with more money at their command indulged in large-scale buying. Local stores closed the year with a sales volume of $30,374,000, an increase over the 1962 total of $28,969,000.
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Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.