Aircraft hijacking incidents between the United States and Cuba were at their height between 1968 and 1972. These incidents were attributed to extortion, flight for political asylum and mental illness.

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The passing of “Jeopardy” game show host Alex Trebek on Nov. 8, 2020, was like losing a member of one’s own family.

Budd Andrews of Pelican Rapids, who turned 100 on Dec. 22, over the years had a long list of hobbies that won him the admiration of relatives and friends.

On Dec. 23, 1966, the night before Christmas Eve, Fergus Falls Otter boys basketball fans packed the old high school gym next to Roosevelt Park. Fergus Falls was the heavy underdog against Moorhead which eventually advanced to the state boys basketball tournament.

Many longtime residents of Fergus Falls recall the days in the 1950s and 1960s, when they were kids, of being dropped off at 940 W. Cavour Ave., to take piano lessons from the legendary Hazel Van Dyk.

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Minnesotans, and people all across the nation are politically divided. The reasons are many, and not the least of these are divisions between metro and rural areas.

Many older residents of Fergus Falls, while experiencing the challenges with COVID-19, recall the early 1950s when the polio outbreak also was a scary time.

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Fergus Falls retiree Steve Johnson, FFHS Class of 1972, played in six different bands between 1966 and 1989, and then ran a mobile disc jockey service called Steve’s Audio Plus for 22 years, until 2012.

Roger Bjorklund, a 1966 graduate of Fergus Falls High School who played baseball in this community, enjoyed attending college baseball games as a resident of Southern California.

Guy Snoeckx, an exchange student from Belgium to Fergus Falls High School in 1964-65, now finds himself locked down in his home country due to COVID-19.



Sid Hartman, several years before his passing, finally came around in his support of women’s athletics. For many years the Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist operated in the old boys club, almost adhering to the saying of “no girls allowed.”

One of the lasting legacies of President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower, who left office in 1961, was construction of the interstate highway system.

I grew up on the 900 block of West Cavour Avenue. John Runningen, currently a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, grew up on the 1000 block of West Summit Avenue, the street just north of Cavour Avenue.

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Many people, while driving across the bridge just north of the roundabout on the west side of Fergus Falls, witness construction at the nearby Pisgah Dam.

The first TV presidential debate took place 60 years ago, on Sept. 26, 1960. Participating were the Democratic candidate, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Vice President Richard Nixon, a California native.

Sixty years ago the Fergus Falls Red Sox town baseball team had to wait more than a week to play in the state Class B title game. That’s because rain fell day after day, after Labor Day, at the state tournament baseball field in Springfield, west of Mankato.

Longtime football fans of the Fergus Falls Otters and Pelican Rapids Vikings recall the Labor Day classics between the Otters and Vikings in the years following World War II, from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.

Many baby boomers have good memories of Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Byrds, widely acclaimed pop rock bands who performed in the mid-1960s, at the Balmoral Pavilion on the southeast side of Otter Tail Lake.

Over the years many Wheaton natives have found their way to live in Fergus Falls, and the same holds true for Fergus natives ending up in Wheaton.

Tourism is a big part of the North Shore economy, all the way from Duluth to Grand Marais near Lake Superior in northeast Minnesota.

Many people who grew up in Fergus Falls, when heading north over the Union Avenue bridge, remember the old Lincoln School that was situated a short distance north of the bridge, on the west side of the street.

The passing of 1963 Fergus Falls High School graduate Chuck Beck on May 23 in Bend, Oregon, has led to several accolades from his classmates and relatives.

Downtown businessman Bob Allison, in May 1950, was president of the board of directors for the Fergus Falls Red Sox town baseball team. He was highly optimistic at the start of the season. 

Some long-time residents of rural Henning and Ottertail city recall the days in the summer of 1970 when former New York Yankee player and former Minnesota Twins manager Billy Martin stayed with his wife and son at Leaders Resort at Leaf Lakes.

Sixty years ago, on April 12, 1960, Minneapolis Lakers’ star Elgin Baylor and his teammates came to Fergus Falls to play a group of local all-stars in a benefit basketball game sponsored by the Fergus Falls Jaycees.

I have covered meetings of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners as a columnist and part-time newspaper reporter for the past eight years.

Jim Bohannon, a Vietnam veteran and conservative late-night radio talk show host, admonishes both Republicans and Democrats for a federal deficit that now exceeds $1 trillion on an annual basis.

Sixty-three years have past since the 1957 Otter boys basketball team bus went off the road near Carlisle and hit the ditch during a snowstorm. Fortunately nobody was injured enroute to Region 6 tournament action in Moorhead, prior to the days of the interstate highway system.

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Four years ago Donald Trump garnered many votes in rural Minnesota, including widespread support from farmers. He came within one percentage point of taking all of the state’s electoral votes in the 2016 presidential election.

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Will Robertson, who was newsroom editor at The Daily Journal for half a century, never deviated from his support of Republican presidential candidates from 1912 to 1962.

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Lloyd Omdahl, a retired University of North Dakota political science instructor, proposes a suspension of political intolerance during the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season.

In each of the past three years I’ve partaken of lutefisk on four occasions, usually from late fall through the Christmas season. This year will be no exception.

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Right in the thick of things with presidential politics in Iowa is former Daily Journal reporter Amie Rivers. She now works as a journalist with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

Closing out the year 2019 is, in a sense, also closing out the year 1919 which was relived in light of the Fergus Falls cyclone a century ago. Most important is to never forget those who lost their lives.

Fergus Falls had close to 25 neighborhood grocery stores during the 1950s and 1960s. West End Grocery at the corner of West Cavour Avenue and Buse Street, also known as Gerhardson’s Grocery, was a three-generation enterprise. Otto Gerhardson started West End Grocery with his wife, Hilma, after their marriage in 1907. They lived down the hill, […]

This fall the World Series returns to Washington, D.C., for the first time since 1933. That’s 86 years ago. Franklin D. Roosevelt was in his first year as president of the United States. The 1933 World Series took place 28 years before the Washington Senators moved to the Twin Cities, in 1961, to become the […]

George Aas, a 1966 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, fondly recalls his father, Ernie Aas, as a custodian at the Washington Junior High in the 1960s. Ernie’s father and George’s grandfather, Anton Aas, had worked as a custodian at McKinley School, starting in 1936 Ernie’s brother, Art, who was the uncle of George Aas, […]

Taxpayers want to see that their dollars are put to good use. Here’s an example of just that, with a partnership between Otter Tail County and the state of Minnesota. County Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom, at the Oct. 1 county board of commissioners meeting, outlined Otter Tail County’s coordination with a state program to […]

Rural Clitherall resident and successful businessman Milt Paulson, who died Sept. 16, not only gave back to society. He also had a reassuring presence when the going got tough. He did a lot in his 79 years, examples include volunteer service with the Otter Tail County Historical Society, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, school board, […]

With the postseason major league baseball playoffs right upon us, many older fans recall Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. During a recent vacation, I read the book, “Perfect,” authored by Lew Paper. On Oct. 8, 1956, New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen took the mound at Yankee Stadium for Game 5 […]

Labor Day evening in 1964 proved to be another rugged football game between the home team Pelican Rapids Vikings and Fergus Falls Otters. Those two teams played each other on Labor Day from the late 1940s, into the 1960s. “We played Pelican in 1964 more or less without a quarterback, because starter Dave Olson and […]