1919, 100 years ago: Mr. H. Thiessen of the Thiessen Pickle Company of Omaha, Nebraska, is arranging to start a pickle factory in Alexandria. A meeting will be held in the Alexandria High School Auditorium, the purpose to find out if enough farmers will guarantee to raise a certain acreage of cucumbers to furnish the pickle factory a sufficient supply to make it worthwhile to establish a pickle factory. The factory will be located on the Soo Line's right-of-way in this city.

A large number of people from the Le Grand neighborhood attended the war tank exhibition and Liberty Loan talk in Alexandria.

1969, 50 years ago: Jefferson High School's new experimental foods class, taught by Joan Norgaard, has 14 students, including Jim Pennie. During the first nine weeks, the class studied meat cookery and also the various meat cuts. In coordination of this, the class visited Wally's Meat Market to observe meat processing.

Members of Jefferson High School's Rainbow Strings have been invited to collaborate on a special half hour NBC-TV program in Fargo. The use of television to communicate happenings in music education is to be one of the big features of the 1969 North Central Division of Music Educators National Conference (M.E.N.C.) Convention on the campus of NDSU.

George Gobel, the popular comedian, will be in Alexandria under the sponsorship of the local Lions Club.

1994, 25 years ago: Alexandria police are investigating several incidents of thefts from cars. Captain Richard Wyffels of the Alexandria Police Department said the thefts are likely related, based on time period and the types of items taken. Items stolen range from hood ornaments and binoculars to CD players and stereos.

Douglas County will spend $7,000 this year to provide lifeguard services for Lake LeHomme Dieu Beach, signing a one-year agreement with Lakes Community Recreation to provide the services for the summer of 1994.

The Alexandria Area Chamber of Commerce's Community Development Committee is "solidly behind" a project to clean up the beach at City Park by Lake Agnes, according to Chamber Director, Mac Bryant. He noted that the project stalled when private donations fell short, but new funding leads are being developed. The chamber is also supporting a "rails to trail" project that will convert 36 miles of the abandoned Burlington-Northern railroad bed into trails for biking and walking.

2009, 10 years ago: Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the new Alexandria Area YMCA. Dave Kjos, fundraising campaign co-chairman, said that the YMCA was not a dream of one or two people, but that it was a project with well over 1,200 people working on the community goal of making it happen. "It was a community objective accomplished by the community," Kjos said.

The Alexandria Area YMCA and Young People's Place are merging. Discussions between respective boards of each organization have been ongoing for three years. The merger will formally take effect July, 1, 2009.

Just for fun 1969 - 50 years ago: The Rainbow Strings are completing over four years of performing this spring, nearly 300 times in and about the community of Alexandria besides in North Dakota, Iowa, other towns in Minnesota, and at the 1968 Minnesota Music Educators Mid-Winter Clinic in St. Paul. Members pictured are James Woolliscroft, Phillip Benson, Larry Perkins, Dale Lee, Caryn Johnson, Kathy Toft, Kevin Hoeschen and Fred Bursch.

And...Now showing at the Andria Theatre is Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet - nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Sports Trivia 1919 - 100 years ago: In Carlos, there was a very interesting game played last Sunday. The married men played against the single men and the game was won by the single men. Our boys will have to get out and practice a little.

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