This Week in History: Albert Lea Tribune loses longtime mascot to natural causes

Published 8:00 pm Friday, April 9, 2021


April 5, 2011: Albert Lea Medical Center and Austin Medical Center launched their new electronic medical record (EMR). The EMR brought together patient information from all Mayo Health System locations into a single system.

April 6, 2011: Peggy Bennett was named 2011 Albert Lea Teacher of the Year. Bennett was in her 30th year with Albert Lea Area Schools at the time.

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April 5, 1961: Burglars stole nearly the entire stock of guns at the Kaplan Sporting Goods Store, 128 E. Main St. Police Lt. Herb Bohlman said the loss was estimated at $3,002.79.

April 6, 1961: The Albert Lea Tribune lost its long-time mascot to natural causes. Since 1945, a Kerry Blue Terrier “Blu” roamed the Tribune offices. Blu brought love and good cheer to all, only the occasional stranger in uniform was received with skepticism. 


1939: Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after the Black singer was denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

1682: French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River Basin for France.

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.

1942: During World War II, some 75,000 Philippine and American defenders on Bataan surrendered to Japanese troops, who forced the prisoners into what became known as the Bataan Death March; thousands died or were killed en route.

1952: President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)

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.

1963: British statesman Winston Churchill was proclaimed an honorary U.S. citizen by President John F. Kennedy. (Churchill, unable to attend, watched the proceedings live on television in his London home.)

1967: The first test flight of Boeing’s new 737 took place as the jetliner took off from Boeing Field in Seattle on a 2½-hour trip to Paine Field in Everett, Washington.

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

1979: Officials declared an end to the crisis involving the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania, 12 days after a partial core meltdown.

1994: Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.

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.

2005: Britain’s Prince Charles married longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles, who took the title Duchess of Cornwall.

2010: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. (His vacancy was filled by Elena Ka gan.)

2011: A man armed with several weapons opened fire in a crowded shopping mall in the Netherlands, killing six people before taking his own life. Sidney Lumet, the award-winning director of such American film classics as “Network,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon” and “12 Angry Men,” died in New York at age 86.

2016: After weeks of frantic searching, Belgian authorities announced they had identified recently detained Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini as the “man with the hat” who was spotted alongside two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Brussels Airport the previous month.

2020: The government reported that 6.6 million people had sought unemployment benefits in the preceding week, bringing the total to 16.8 million in the three weeks since the coronavirus outbreak took hold. New York recorded another 799 deaths from the virus; it was the third straight day in which the daily total reached a new high. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved out of intensive care at the London hospital where he was being treated for the virus. The Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones, telling him to stop pitching bogus remedies for the coronavirus.