1960, 60 years ago: Playing in Alexandria at the Sunset Drive-In: Psycho; at the Andria Theatre: Elmer Gantry; and at the State Theatre: Shane.

1970, 50 years ago: Some 1,500 people swarmed onto the Theatre L’Homme Dieu grounds near Alexandria to hear the Minnesota Orchestra perform. The famed symphony group made their appearance in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the summer theatre.

Bob Norlund, owner of Norlund’s Douglas County Ambulance Service, presented the keys for an ambulance with all the necessary equipment for an emergency to Viking Speedways President Oliver Buse. The ambulance is the second one for the Speedways.

The big 61st Annual Douglas County Fair begins. There will be thousands of school exhibits, along with many 4-H projects, cattle and other farm animals, vegetable and fruit produce exhibits. Drawings of $500 each will take place every evening. Harold G. Johnson is fair manager and Dale Benson is president of the fair board.

Thirteen-year-old Diana Leslie, a Central Junior High 8th grader this fall, and daughter of the Kenneth Leslie’s, will represent Alexandria in the forthcoming Miss Teenage Minnesota Contest. Site of the pageant is the Holiday Inn in Minneapolis and Hugo Nelson of the Federal Savings and Loan of Alexandria is sponsoring Diana.

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1995, 25 years ago: The new Lakes Community Recreation Gymnastics Center is offering year-round programs, according to coordinator Barbara Benson. The recreation center is in the Douglas County Service Building and has taken over management of the two gyms in the former Central School. Aided by School District 206, the new Gymnastics Center should be a boost to the LCR not only for gymnastics but for other recreational programs.

The Alexandria Technical College is starting a new course entitled “Machine Assembly Specialist.” The three-quarter course will cover all skills required in the high-tech area of automatic packaging machinery with training in machine shop, applied physics, engineering drafting, hydraulic components, electricity, logic controls, welding and basic computer. Four local industries expressed the need, and the college responded with the new course offering.

2010, 10 years ago: A girl’s varsity soccer program, funded by a local booster club, will begin this fall in Alexandria School District 206. Soccer enthusiasts at the school board meeting said that the local Soccer Booster Association would pay for the first two years of the program, estimated to cost about $15,000 per year. The program will be limited to girls in grades 9-12 and the soccer coach will be fully licensed. The District 206 school board also approved a start-up program for girls cross-country Nordic skiing for this winter. Girls in grades 7-12 will be eligible to participate and two teams of about 14 will likely be formed.

The old King Koin Launderette was demolished in Alexandria to clear the way for the next phase of the Nokomis development project.

Just for fun 1970 – 50 years ago: Becky Ranum and Eugene Barsness were selected as the Douglas County 4-H Queen and King at a luncheon at the Garden Center Bowling Alley in Alexandria. Becky and Eugene will reign during the county fair.

Sports trivia 1970 – 50 years ago: The Alexandria High School football team is starting its fourth season as a member of the West Central Conference. The first two seasons in the conference brought third place finishes and in 1969 a share of the conference title. The overall record for the past three seasons has been 15 wins, 6 losses, 6 ties, 13 all-conference players, 7 all-area players and 1 all-star. Lost in graduation in 1969 are many fine athletes, including Most Valuable Players Mike Steidl and Norty Blanchard.

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