This Week in History: Fire breaks out at the Austin Daily Herald

Published 7:08 pm Monday, December 30, 2019


Jan. 6, 1990: Jason Hoeve of Albert Lea received the Eagle Scout award. The Eagle Scout award is the highest advancement award offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Only about 2% of all Boy Scouts attain the Eagle rank.

Jan. 2, 1980: Jeffery Vincent Donahoe, born to Mr. and Mrs. Michael Donahoe of Hollandale, was the first Freeborn County baby of the new year.

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Jan. 6, 1970: Fire swept through the pressroom of the Austin Daily Herald. The blaze broke out shortly after 10 a.m. as the result of a lead heating pot that overheated and exploded. The intense heat caused rolls of newsprint to ignite. Austin firemen were dispatched to fight the fire in sub-zero temperatures. No injuries were reported in the incident.

Jan. 5, 1970: Richard Nelson, a teacher at Albert Lea High School, found 35 Christmas trees in his front yard after returning from the holiday break. Several of Nelson’s students confessed to the prank and voluntarily helped to clean up.



2018: Sen. Al Franken formally resigned from the Senate a month after the Minnesota Democrat announced his plan to leave Congress amid a series of sexual misconduct allegations.

2018: NBC News announced that Hoda Kotb would be the co-anchor of the first two hours of the “Today” show, replacing Matt Lauer following his firing due to sexual misconduct allegations.

2013: Students from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, reconvened at a different building in the town of Monroe about three weeks after the massacre that had claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.

2006: A methane gas explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia claimed the lives of 12 miners, but one miner, Randal McCloy, Jr., was eventually rescued.

2001: New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani spent his final day in office praising police, firefighters, and other city employees in the wake of 9/11, and said he had no regrets about returning to private life.

2000: The last new daily “Peanuts” strip by Charles Schulz ran in 26-hundred newspapers.

1979: The United States and China held celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

1977: Apple Computer was incorporated in Cupertino, California, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula.

1975: A jury in Washington found Nixon administration officials John N. Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman and Robert C. Mardian guilty of charges related to the Watergate cover-up (Mardian’s conviction for conspiracy was later overturned on appeal).

1972: The United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

1965: New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath to a contract reportedly worth $427,000.

Jan. 3, 1961: President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the United States was formally terminating diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba.

1959: Alaska became the 49th state as President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation.

1938: The March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who himself had been afflicted with the crippling disease.

1936: The United Auto Workers union staged its first “sit-down” strike at the General Motors Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Michigan. (The strike lasted until Feb. 11, 1937.)

1904: New York’s Times Square saw its first New Year’s Eve celebration, with an estimated 200,000 people in attendance.

1892: The Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.

1879: Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light by illuminating some 40 bulbs at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.