1920, 100 years ago: Women could not vote at all in the primary election of Minnesota this year as there were no offices voted on that women have a right to vote for under Minnesota laws. However, in November, women will vote for presidential electors in Minnesota, which is the same as voting for president and vice-president of the United States. And if one more state ratifies the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment between now and the November election, the women of all of the United States will have a right to vote for every candidate for office just like the men.
1970, 50 years ago: The Alexandria Area High School Computer Program is offering mathematics, science, and business teachers several two-week seminars at the Alexandria Area Vocational-Technical School Computer Center to study FORTRAN IV, a computer language, and to provide experience in writing and execution at their schools. Sauk Centre, Barrett, Glenwood, Morris, Benson, Willmar, Montevideo, Staples, Grove City, Bird Island, Osakis, Alexandria and Hoffman school teachers are participating.
Rumors that Alexandria lost in population during the past ten years have been refuted by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Chamber of Commerce Manager Harvey Hammergren received a letter from the director of the Bureau of Census, showing the preliminary population count for the city is 6,905, compared to 6,713 in 1960. Douglas County has increased by some 1,300 people overall with the heaviest influx believed to be scattered just outside the city limit area.
1995, 25 years ago: Alexandria city officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new city hall. The facility is being built on the old fire-hall police station location, and is needed because the present two-level building at 114 7th Avenue West is cramped for space, isn’t handicap accessible and has inadequate parking, according to city officials. The city has also had problems with roof leakage and a boiler malfunctioning. The new building will offer nearly 16,000 sq-ft, compared to the present space of 6,770 sq-ft.
2010, 10 years ago: Gov. Tim Pawlenty and his health cabinet designated Alexandria as a “Governor’s Fit City.” The city earned this recognition by making a commitment to support and encourage its residents to be more physically active and to improve the overall health of the community, completing an application with the MN Department of Health and partnering with the Douglas County Active Living Program which started two years ago and received $215,000 in grants through Blue Cross Blue Shield’s settlement funds with the tobacco companies for efforts that support physical activities.
Sports trivia 1970 – 50 years ago: Alexandria golf pro John Basten has installed a video-tape set-up at the Alexandria golf club to help golf students. Basten will use the outfit to give his golf lessons at the club this summer and at the computer golf this winter. There are three component parts to the complete outfit: First, a small television camera mounted on a tripod that can be moved around, giving the golfer a different view from all angles of his swing. Second, an actual 24-inch television for regular programming or in the operation set up with the video-tape. Basten can watch your swing on the television set or the actual golfer himself. Third, the video-tape recorder that records the golfer on a magnetic tape, much like an audio tape-recorder would record your voice. Basten and the golfer can watch the swing from two angles, one from the side and one from behind on the recorder and by watching, correct the errors in the golfer swing under the direction of Basten, and later record progress.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.