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This Week in History: Ma’s Cafe closed its doors after 35 years


Aug. 19, 1989: Brenda Armstrong won the Miss Albert Lea pageant, taking the crown from her sister, Amy, who was named Miss Albert Lea 1988.

Aug. 26, 1979: Ma’s Café, a South Broadway fixture, closed its doors after 35 years. Mary Dahl and husband, Clifford, took over the restaurant July 29, 1944.

Aug. 25, 1969: The Albert Lea Garden Club had its annual flower show in Skyline Plaza. Participation was high with over 100 flower arrangements on display.

Aug. 24, 1959: Aut Swenson’s Thrillcade was a featured attraction at the Freeborn County Fair. Al Post in his “iron chest” demonstration, where he was run over by a truck, added a new twist to the Thrillcade show.



2018: In a letter to Catholics worldwide, Pope Francis vowed that “no effort must be spared” to root out sex abuse by priests and cover-ups by the Catholic Church.

Afghan forces rescued nearly 150 people, hours after the Taliban ambushed a convoy of buses and abducted them; the militants escaped with 21 captives.

2017: Actor, comic and longtime telethon host Jerry Lewis died of heart disease in Las Vegas at 91.

2014: The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes against Islamic State extremists and weighed sending more troops to Iraq as President Barack Obama vowed to be relentless in pursuit of a terrorist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Ferguson, Missouri, to meet with federal investigators and reassure residents of the community torn by several nights of racial unrest since the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

2009: The only man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 returned home to Libya after his release on compassionate grounds from a Scottish prison. Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, said to have only months to live because of prostate cancer, died nearly three years later.

One-time Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress accepted a plea bargain with a two-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub.

2008: A Spanish jetliner crashed during takeoff from Madrid, killing 154 people; 18 survived.

2005: Northwest Airlines mechanics went on strike rather than accept pay cuts and layoffs; Northwest ended up hiring replacement workers.

San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Thomas Herrion, 23, died of a heart attack shortly after a preseason game against the Denver Broncos.

1989: Entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife, Kitty, were shot to death in their Beverly Hills mansion by their sons Lyle and Erik. The brothers are now serving time in the same San Diego prison.

1988: A cease-fire in the war between Iraq and Iran went into effect.

1986: Postal employee Patrick Henry Sherrill went on a deadly rampage at a post office in Edmond, Oklahoma, shooting 14 fellow workers to death before killing himself.

1968: The Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” liberalization drive.

1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure.

1955: Hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.

1953: The Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

1910: A series of forest fires swept through parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington, killing at least 85 people and burning some 3 million acres.

1862: The New York Tribune published an open letter by editor Horace Greeley calling on President Abraham Lincoln to take more aggressive measures to free the slaves and end the South’s rebellion.