It was written in The Thirty-Second State – A Pictorial History of Minnesota, published by the Minnesota Historical Society in 1966, “When Minnesota was admitted to the Union in 1858, it added a thirty-second star to the American flag and a musical name to the list of states.”

1970, 50 years ago: The Brandon Creamery Cooperative Association building is available for new industry in Douglas County. The structure is 70 feet by 76 feet in size and located on the paved main street, one mile from the super highway. Two large apartments are on the second floor, and a feed locker is in the rear. It is a two-story brick building, had extensive work done, and is equipped with a boiler. The creamery was established in 1920 and equipment will be sold at auction.

Alexandria Mayor Marvin Hansen told the “Press” that the newly “proposed” Alexandria Sewer District will possibly be set up by September of this year and the entire system should be in and ready to go by October 1972. Should the sewer district be formed, the board would take over full responsibility of the entire sewage treatment facilities, new and old, in the city and in the whole district area.

1995, 25 years ago: The new Alexandria freeway interchange, including a new bridge, should be completed by the end of October. The $2.6 million state project began in June and is being constructed about five miles west of Alexandria, at Highway 27 West. It is hoped that the interchange will alleviate some of the traffic problems in the heart of Alexandria, especially once a southwest bypass is completed. The two-mile bypass will connect the freeway interchange with County Road 82 just west of Alexandria.

The Alexandria Sertoma Club is planning to give the Central Lakes Trail Association (CLTA) a $20,000 donation. With matching state and federal grants, the $20,000 is expected to grow to $100,000. CLTA members say the Sertoma donation will go toward the construction of a parking lot for the trail that will be located near Big Ole and the Depot Express restaurant in downtown Alexandria.

Work on a new Parkers Prairie water tower and fire hall will begin soon. In an April 2 explosion, the Parkers Prairie Fire Department was completely destroyed and many downtown businesses were so damaged that they had to be torn down. Within weeks of the explosion, Governor Arne Carlson announced that the city would receive $1.1 million in federal and state grants to rebuild.

2010, 10 years ago: John Hawkes, 1977 Jefferson High School graduate, will return home for a visit as his new movie, “Winter’s Bone” opens at the Midway Mall Cinema 9 in Alexandria. Hawkes, the son of Pat Perkins of Alexandria and Pete Perkins of Austin, Texas, stars as Uncle Teardrop in the movie, which won Best Picture (grand jury prize) and Best Screenplay (Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award) at the Sundance Film Festival.

For the first time in 43 years, YMCA of the USA is unveiling a new brand strategy, along with a logo change. From now on, more than 2,600 YMCAs will now be known as “the Y.” The aim of Ys across the country is to bring more services in three key areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Just for fun 2010 – 10 years ago: The Alexandria Area Arts Association recently hosted Improv Café, presented by Colin Hearn and David Christman from “Theatre Off the Cuff.”

Sports trivia 1970 – 50 years ago: The largest field ever will participate in the 49th Resorters golf tournament next week in Alexandria. A field of 352 golfers will take part in the tourney, which added one more flight in each of the three divisions.

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