From the Echo Press archives, 1973: Businessmen put up nearly $1,500 to save airplane service to Alexandria

This week in history in Douglas County.

Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1973 – 50 years ago: In an 11th hour move Thursday night, about a dozen businessmen put up $1,488.75 to guarantee the continuation of air service to Alexandria. The men were in attendance at a specially called meeting of the Alexandria City Council — a meeting called in a last-ditch attempt to save scheduled air service. Earlier in the day, at a meeting with officials of Mississippi Valley Airlines, the city was informed that unless revenue for the Alex route was increased immediately, service would have to be terminated.

2013 – 10 years ago: This year’s late spring missed making ice-out history by two days. The ice finally vanished on Lake L’Homme Dieu on May 13. That’s just two days shy of the latest ever ice-out recorded by the newspaper, May 15, 1878 (unofficially). The Echo Press has been keeping track of ice-out dates since 1867. Lake Osakis was originally the official ice-out lake but the site was changed to Lake L’Homme Dieu in 1965.

1973 – 50 years ago: Library procedures in District 206 schools will be streamlined under a “centralized processing” trial plan approved by the board of education. The plan will be tried for one year. The plan involves the establishment of one centralized processing station, probably the Central Junior High School, where all incoming media (books, audio visual equipment, magazines, movies, tapes, etc) would be recorded and processed. The center would keep a master inventory and then send the media to the school or schools where needed. This process is followed at each individual school at the present time.

1998 – 25 years ago: It is believed to be the largest crane ever used in Alexandria – a 1998 Grove model recently purchased by Walt Johnson Construction of Alexandria. The 70-ton crane, which has a reach of 202 feet, came in handy when it was used for a roofing project at the Viking Plaza.

The Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria is now a “latex safe zone.” According to Barb Friederichs, hospital employee health services coordinator, this means that latex balloons, as well as other latex products, will not be allowed in the hospital. The ban of some latex products is the result of a growing awareness of latex allergies.


2013 – 10 years ago: More than 600 fourth graders absorbed information about local water resources and the importance of retaining its quality as students across Douglas County participated in the 20th annual Kids’ Groundwater Festival in Alexandria. Over the last 19 years, nearly 10,000 students have attended the festival, which is made possible by donations from local businesses, organizations and agencies.

Just for fun, 1948 – 75 years ago: Alexandria High School Principal Clifford Rykken announced the selection of Alvin Miller as valedictorian and Kathryn LeRoy as salutatorian. The selection was based on a study of scholastic grades which were compiled during their sophomore, junior and senior grades.

1933 – 90 years ago: Competing against nine other bands, Alexandria High School won high honors in the first annual central Minnesota band festival held in St. Cloud. A total of 514 musicians took part and thousands watched the bands parade down St. Cloud’s main streets.

Sports Trivia, 1973 – 50 years ago: In cooperation with the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs of Alexandria, Alexandria Golf Club Pro John Basten has put together a rather unique tournament this spring. Called the Tri-Service Club Spring Benefit, members of the three service clubs will be shooting trap and playing golf, with each participant donating $2 toward Project New Hope. More than 100 men are expected to take part. The inter-service rivalry golf tourney has been an annual affair, but the benefit aspect is new this year. Each club will try and outdo the other in number of entrants.

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

What To Read Next
Get Local