From the Echo Press archives, 1961: Lutheran Hour Rally expected to draw 10,000 faithful to Alexandria

This week in history in Douglas County.

This week in 1961, 60 years ago: One of the largest crowds ever to gather in Alexandria for a religious event is expected for the Lutheran Hour Rally on June 25. About 10,000 Lutherans from widespread areas of Minnesota are expected to attend.

Also in 1961 – 60 years ago: Moviegoers to the Andria Theatre were the first to get a sneak preview of a new, unnamed movie. Produced by John Ford, it is apparently based on a Saturday Evening Post story that shocked the nation. The movie was shown as a bonus to those who paid admission to see "Gidget Goes Hawaiian." "Dondi" was appearing at the State Theatre.

1971, 50 years ago: A complete power outage occurred in Alexandria and lasted for about 10 minutes. According to James Rudd of Alexandria Light and Power the outage was apparently caused when a sudden drop in voltage on lines bringing Bureau of Reclamation Power to the city dropped a relay. At the time, the city was generating about 35 percent of its total power requirements and the sudden load was too much for the single operating generator and caused the total power outage.

The Douglas County Action Center has announced the formation of the Unabridged Combined Shadow Shows and Cross Continental West Central Pandemonium Theatre Company II or West Central Pandemonium Players. The Theatre Company will travel through a five-county area which includes the counties of Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Big Stone and Traverse. The Theatre Company will be comprised of high school students from Barrett, Evansville, Morris, Alexandria and Elbow Lake.

1996, 25 years ago: Local HAM radio operators had a field day communicating far and wide during a nationwide broadcast. The Runestone Radio Club’s “Field Day” is an annual event in which radio operators test their skills and their emergency preparedness capabilities. For 24 hours straight, HAM radio operators in front the Alexandria Area Technical Institute’s Avionics building contacted their counterparts throughout the nation via voice and Morse code. HAM radio operators are often the only communication link possible in times of natural or man-made disasters that can wipe out other types of communication systems.


Some of the movies playing at Cinema 7 at the Midway Mall in Alexandria are "Mission Impossible" starring Tom Cruise, "Phenomenon" starring John Travolta and "The Rock" starring Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage. Matinee tickets are $3.

2011, 10 years ago: Tracy Anderson of Kensington has done something that no one has ever done in Minnesota. Her painting, titled “Into the Shadows” took all four awards available in the Artists of Minnesota Spring Show. Anderson’s art captured 1st Place, Best of Show, People’s Choice and Member’s Choice honors.

Nineteen marching bands and nearly 1,500 musicians drew a crowd of nearly 15,000 to Alexandria for the Vikingland Band Festival.

Douglas County Commissioners have approved substantial roadway work in Evansville, Carlos and Millerville – reconstruct and repair projects expected to cost nearly $1 million.

Just for fun – 1971 - 50 years ago: The inauguration of the new U.S. Postal Service on July 1 will be celebrated in Washington, D.C., and in every post office across the country. Locally, visitors to the post office will be given a souvenir envelope imprinted with the old and the new insignia of the Postal Service. This envelope will also be made available in limited numbers as a first day cancellation – for just the cost of an 8 cent stamp.

Sports trivia 1996 – 25 years ago: Loreena Anderson, former Alexandria athlete and graduate, was named head women’s track and field coach at Hamline University. Anderson was an All-American javelin thrower at the University in 1984 and also the Big Ten champion in addition to being an Olympic trials qualifier that same year. While in high school as a Cardinal, she was a state meet qualifier.

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

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