1920, 100 years ago: The Brundage Bros.’ store in Forada was destroyed by fire at an early hour Sunday morning. Fire of unknown origin started in the rear of the store and had gained such headway before it was discovered that nothing was saved. Building and stock were partially covered by insurance.

1970, 50 years ago: The Alexandria Telephone Company has announced that Direct Distance Dialing (DDD) service is now available at Villard. By dialing “1” the subscriber will be connected to the special equipment in the Villard office, which will then be stored. This equipment will then seize one of six special DDD trunks to St. Cloud and pass the necessary information to the ticketing equipment at the NW Bell exchange in St. Cloud. From here the call will be routed to any “dial-able” point in the United States or Canada. The messages are automatically timed and rated for preparation of the monthly long distance statement.

PFC Thomas H. Koudela arrived in CamRanh Bay Vietnam in September after entering the service on Jan. 5, 1970 as an enlistee on the buddy plan with PFC Kenneth J. Tvrdik who is now also in Vietnam. Koudela completed his eight-week basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was then transferred to Fort Lee, Virginia for eight weeks for a school in accounting.

1995, 25 years ago: Vern and Paul Anderson of Douglas Machine in Alexandria once again brought in a top-notch performer for the company’s annual Christmas party. This time it was country music superstar Lee Greenwood who performed an hour-and-fifteen minute concert at the Radisson-Arrowwood. The party drew close to 800 employees, spouses and guests. Greenwood is perhaps best known for his Song of the Year blockbuster, “God Bless the USA.”

If all you want for Christmas is a “Holiday Barbie” doll, forget it! All Alexandria area stores are sold out as area shoppers scooped them up as fast as they were put on the display counters. Barbie is very much “in” again this year, according to merchandise managers. Everything to do with Barbie is selling like hotcakes. The “Teacher Barbie” is also sold out, at least at Target.

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2010, 10 years ago: The Douglas County Commissioners voted to go ahead with the approval and purchase of the Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) system for Douglas County. ARMER is a “four position public dispatch console which would resolve concerns with the current dispatch console that was purchased in 1986.” Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolberson explained the financial plan that is in place to pay for the Motorola unit, the only company with consoles approved by the State of Minnesota. The proposed cost starts at $650,000. Subtract Grant 1, which has 50% match: $255,877 (grant) and $255,877 (county); end with remaining console cost of $138,246; Subtract Grant 2, which has no match from the county: $175,000; end with grant funds remaining, $36,754. Earlier this year the commissioners had set aside $2.8 million for the ARMER project.

Just for fun 1970 – 50 years ago: “Under my Hat” by Erc Aga: “So you’ll know, the license plates for our county are 7JA 100-999 and 7JB 100-999. The 7 stands for the seventh congressional district and the J is for Douglas County. Remember that, and we can keep track of each other as we travel about the country.

Sports trivia 1920 – 100 years ago: The Osakis boys defeated the Villard boys in their first game of the season, 26-8. Costly fumbles and too hurried shooting held the Osakis score down to what it was. The Villard boys played a defensive game throughout. They are a clean, fighting, gentlemanly bunch against whom any team will find it a pleasure to play. McKindley Bowman, as referee, was entirely satisfactory to both teams.

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