This Week in History: Talks of courthouse plans took place 20 years ago

Published 7:09 pm Monday, April 8, 2019

Editor’s note: This is the first of a weekly column dedicated to local and national history. It will appear in the newspaper every Tuesday.


Local history

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April 1864: The contract for making the brick for the Freeborn County courthouse was awarded to H.M. Manley at $6 per thousand.

1869: Pigeons were so plentiful in the region of Albert Lea that they darkened the sun like clouds.

April 9, 1999: The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced 34 new road projects totaling $34 million, including one project on Interstate 35 between Clarks Grove and Ellendale. The project called for new asphalt on the southbound lanes of I-35 from one mile north of Minnesota Highway 251 to half a mile north of Minnesota Highway 30

April 10, 1999: A fire gutted the 70-year-old Conner Colonial Chapel in Northwood.

April 14, 1999: The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners considered three choices for possible renovations to the courthouse. The first option included keeping all the current buildings and adding an addition behind the law enforcement center. The second option included tearing down the northern third of the courthouse. The 1954 building would be replaced by a larger addition. The third option called for the county to build a judicial building to the south of the courthouse across Pearl Street with limited remodeling.


U.S. history

1865: Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

1940: During World War II, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.

1959: NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 91, died in Phoenix, Arizona.

1968: Funeral services, private and public, were held for Martin Luther King Jr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church and Morehouse College in Atlanta, five days after the civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

1983: The space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

2003: Jubilant Iraqis celebrated the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, beheading a toppled statue of their longtime ruler in downtown Baghdad and embracing American troops as liberators.

2009: North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament appointed Kim Jong Il to a third term as leader.

2018: Opening statements began in the retrial of Bill Cosby, charged with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home. (Cosby was convicted and sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.)

— Information from “History of Freeborn County,” Albert Lea Tribune archives and the Associated Press.