From the Echo Press archives, 1961: Upper Midwest sees first-ever major league baseball game

This week in history in Douglas County.

This week in 1961, 60 years ago: Baseball “Big Wigs” will be present when the Minnesota Twins meet the Washington Senators on April 21 in the first major baseball game ever to be played in the Upper Midwest. The three-day event will be kicked off with a car cavalcade of the players from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis. Governor Elmer Anderson will throw out the first pitch. There are still many reserved admissions available at $1.50 each.

1971, 50 years ago: Alexandria Recreation Department expenditures for its 1971-72 fiscal year will not be increased above the current $30,300 figure, according to the majority vote by its board, when the new budget was considered. While the new budget only presented a 3.6% increase, this vote, according to a board spokesperson, was hoped would set a precedent for other school and city departments and result in “hold the line” efforts on expenditures, as well as forestall efforts to make across-the-board cuts on increased budget requests.

Edward L. Biederman of Evansville was one of 27 Minnesota men recently appointed postmaster. He will head the Evansville Post Office. Biederman, 31, has been acting postmaster at Evansville since July 1968.

1996, 25 years ago: With Brandon School curriculum starting students at the computer in kindergarten, many don’t remember what life was like without “The Internet.” But some of the older students do realize what a benefit the computer system is providing in their school. The Brandon “senior project” is currently in its third year and is a requirement for graduation. The project involves choosing and researching a topic, writing a report, and giving an oral eight-to-10 minute presentation to a panel of educators.

Alexandria Technical Institute President Larry Shellito said the 4% tuition increase next year should not affect student enrollment, estimated to be about the same as this year’s – 1,800 full-time equivalent students. Starting July 1, tuition will go from the current $40 per credit hour to $41.60 per credit hour, according to Shellito. Each year, the typical technical college student takes about 50 credits.


2011, 10 years ago: A new civil defense siren and pole in Brandon were installed to replace the existing siren, which has served the community for 75 years. The original siren was installed at the same time the Brandon Auditorium was built in 1936. The Brandon Fire Relief Association donated $20,000 – proceeds from its charitable gambling operation – to the city to fully fund the project. Ottertail Power donated time and equipment to install the 50-foot pole of which the siren sits atop.

Brent Smith, president of The Aagard Group, LLC, announced that Aagard has committed a lead gift in the amount of $1 million to the high school’s capital campaign. Aagard, an Alexandria-based company that designs, engineers and manufactures automated packaging machinery, was founded in 1997, and now employs 107 people.

Just for fun 1996 – 25 years ago: For the Brandon School “senior project,” this was the first year students were able to prepare the multi-media presentation on Macintosh computers and incorporate sound/audio, graphics, charts/graphs and video. Computer coordinator/instructor is Mary Burgess.

Sports trivia 1971 – 50 years ago: From the column “Time Out!” by Dennis Johnson: “Bat Day at the Met is scheduled for Sunday, May 9 this year, when the Twins take on Ted Williams and his colorful Washington Senators. This will be the eighth year for this successful event. A bat is given on the basis of one to each adult who attends the game accompanied by one or more children 16 years of age or under. Casey Jones and Roundhouse Rodney of WTCN TV fame will also be on hand to provide pre-game “high-jinks.”

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

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