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1918: Chicken sale benefits Red Cross

1918, 100 years ago: Every housewife in Alexandria will no doubt be present at the big auction of the Red Cross chickens, which will be held on Main Street. On that date every patriotic woman from every point of the county will bring in her Red Cross chicks and they will be sold to the highest bidders. The auctioneering will be done by Gust Loo. This means that every household in Alexandria will have a chicken dinner, and they will be the sweetest chickens ever eaten.

1968, 50 years ago: The new addition to Alexandria's Central Junior High School will go into service when the 1968-69 school year opens. The round portion of the addition is the new swimming pool, which has been in use this summer. The addition also houses a new cafeteria, classrooms, music rooms, science rooms, etc.

Mayor Otto Weinrich and Fire Chief Winston Johnson announced that the village of Brandon accepted delivery of its new fire truck, a John Bean High-Pressure Fog Firefighter mounted on a 1968 IHC chassis. To solve the problem of limited water supply in the rural areas of Brandon, Moe and part of Urness Townships, as well as the village, the high pressure fog unit was felt to be particularly well suited. The truck is equipped with a 500-gallon water tank.

This year's Douglas County Fair gate totaled 25,427 compared with 25,373 last year. Receipts were ahead of last year's, $6,505 as compared to $5,639 but the grandstand receipts dropped with $5,194 this year and $6,324 last year.

1993, 25 years ago: In "Love Letters," the newest play presented by the Alexandria Area Arts Association, the two characters, played by Kevin Lee and Sandy Susag, calmly read letters to one another as audience members supply the pain, joy, humor and vulnerability that lie beneath their words. As with other AAAA-sponsored events, all proceeds from the play will support the local arts and members note that funds are urgently needed to repair the roof of the auditorium.

A cooperative agreement between Douglas County and the City of Alexandria calls for surfacing the two-mile gravel road from North McKay Avenue to County Road 73. The project will provide tarred access to the new junior high school that will be built in the area.

2008, 10 years ago: Operation Renovation, a remodeling project at the Alexandria Area Arts Association theatre, is in full swing. Updates include new dressing rooms, air conditioning in the lobby and the office, new décor and color scheme in the lobby, new bricking on the outside front of the building, a new fire alarm system and upgrades to the marquee.

Rural Minnesota CEP is celebrating 40 years of serving the 19-county area of north-central and west-central Minnesota to identify and implement strategies that prepare the workforce to meet the needs of the region's employers. Services are delivered through WorkForce Centers where companies, workers and entrepreneurs can come together to create a competitive advantage.

Just for fun 1968 — 50 years ago: From Erc Aga's Potpourri column: "Gosh...if the city annexation plans go through we'll be 1,500 acres bigger soon. Plans now include taking in this much new ground south of our present border. When it's all over, we'll have Alexandria all the way from near the Geneva Lodge to the new Interstate."

Sports Trivia 1993 — 25 years ago: Approximately 200 4-H'ers participated in the annual Douglas County 4-H Softball and Field Days at Millerville. The Spruce Hill Rangers organized the tournament. First place in the softball tournament went to the Christina Lakers while Moses and Aaron placed second. The Victoria Vikings received the Sportsmanship Award. Other clubs competing were Spruce Hills Rangers, Brandon Happy Knoll, Happy Go Lucky, Chippewans and LaGrand.

Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.