1919, 100 years ago: N. S. Randall will be the speaker at the Nonpartisan Leaguers’ meeting in Kensington at the village hall. Arrangements for this meeting were made by John J. Strom, John Johnsrud and other live wires of Solem Township. Ole Langhaug, the president of the Park Region Publishing Company, will be there. If the roads are good enough for driving across from Alexandria at that time, the editor of the Echo may also be present.

Quality Bakery –Cakes and Bread like Mother Made – that’s what we specialize in – homemade bakery goods. - Sixth Ave. East in Alexandria. Jos. Gorghuber, Proprietor.

1970, 50 years ago: Hardly a weekend goes by without Mr. and/or Mrs. John Bosek of Alexandria winning a snowmobile race. A 52-mile cross-country whizeroo was held in Glenwood and John (Jeaner) Bosek sped by the finish line the winner driving his 340 Ski-doo. He also took a first in the 400 cc class and his wife, Arlene, placed first in the 400 cc Powder Puff class. Mr. Bosek had 13 first, 8 seconds and 5 thirds last season and has already chalked up four firsts and a second this year.

Oliver Olson, owner and manager of the Olson’s Super Market in Alexandria, is the first to install the most modern packaging, weighing, pricing and labeling machine west of the Twin Cities. This is the only one in the area that is completely automatic in West Central Minnesota.

1995, 25 years ago: Sheriff Bill Ingebrigtsen said, “The ‘Operation I.D.’ program, started in Douglas County about 15 years ago, works. We’ve used it a lot to return many stolen items, especially fishing gear and tools.” Using an engraving tool available at the sheriff’s office, residents write identification numbers on various items they own, such as cameras, VCRs, televisions, firearms, etc. The numbers are then entered on a computer at the sheriff’s office – a computer that ties into law enforcement computers throughout the nation. After engraving, the household usually puts up an “Operation I.D.” warning sticker on front and back doors.

The Alexandria Police Department has started a new, voluntary donation program for unlocking vehicles, according to Police Chief Chuck Nettestad. An officer who unlocks a vehicle will hand out a small envelope containing a release form and the police department’s address. Motorists have the option of putting a donation inside the envelope and dropping it off at the station or mailing it. Donations will benefit officers’ training or equipment and fund department programs – Major Crimes, Child Abduction, and Technology and Training. The police department unlocks about 2,000 vehicles a year.

2010, 10 years ago: The effort to renovate and restore the Brandon Auditorium has received a $100,000 matching grant from the Minnesota Historical Society. For nearly a year, the City of Brandon, along with consultants ORB Management Corporation of Alexandria and Claybaugh Preservation Architects of Taylors Falls, has been planning the historical preservation and renovation of the Auditorium. A $50,000 private donation from Joan Fjoslien initiated the project idea and a commitment from the city of Brandon allowed the team to move forward with planning and funding research. Otto Bremer Foundation provided a $40,000 grant.

Just for fun – 1970 50 years ago: In Cap Piciotti’s “Capsule Sports” column: “Last Sunday’s Super Bowl was the longest afternoon of TV-watching I have ever put in. There’s no joy in watching your favorites get beat. In fact you can almost get mad at the announcer’s report of the game even though it was an accurate description of what you were actually watching.”

Sports trivia – 1970 – 50 years ago: Dick Greengo, wrestling coach, received the VIP treatment when his Cardinal squad traveled to the Brainerd Tourney. They traveled by the Area-Tech bus and had the boss men themselves – Vern Maack and Ray Ahlfors – as their drivers.

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