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Living History

5 years ago

Excerpts from the Nov. 30, 2006 Pioneer Journal

• Book store's new owner living a dream

Gillette Kempf is living her dream of owning a book store in Wadena.

"This is the happiest I've been in years," she said.

Kempf purchased Borealis Books, located in downtown Wadena, after walking into the store while in town visiting her mother.

• Editorial: A good sign

They took some getting used to -- large signs taking over previously open spaces -- but the new Wadena signs are a real credit to a good community.

Now marking each major highway entrance to town, the Wadena signs are impressive in style and size.

10 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 6, 2001 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena residents remember Pearl Harbor

Now 99 years old, Helmar Wallavand was home listening to the radio on Dec. 7, 1941, when the announcer said six or seven ships sank after Japan bombed the Pearl Harbor naval base.

The actual casualty numbers hadn't been released yet. Americans would learn later that 13 ships and 220 plans were lost or severely damaged; 2,330 people died and 1,145 were wounded during the raid.

"I knew it was real," said Wallevand. "The telephone started ringing with people calling."

Wallevand opened a barbershop in Vining in 1920. The day of the attack, he was home ill.

Mimi Erickson, 92, was a Rockwood Township housewife doing her daily domestic chores when she heard the news.

"It was a shock," said Erickson, who can recall both world wars and Korea and Vietnam wars.

• Pearl Harbor attack felt half a world away

Eldon Roberts was a peacetime soldier when he enlisted in the Army in 1940. After basic training and schooling, Roberts was stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico -- on the Atlantic Ocean.

A member of the 12th Signal Corps, Roberts laid cable and went on training maneuvers preparing for, but never entirely expecting, to go to war.

"When we got word, we went on active duty," said Roberts, who grew up in Pennsylvania. "It was all peacetime up until then."

25 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 2, 1986 Pioneer Journal

• Smith pleads guilty to second degree murder of grandfather

Bryan Dean Smith, 22, plead guilty to Count 2 which was murder in the second degree last Tuesday in District Court in Wadena.

Smith had been charged in connection with the shooting death of his grandfather Jacob Francis Fellman, 72, of rural Staples.

• Corn sweeteners vs. sugar

For the first time ever, per capita use of corn sweeteners surpassed sugar, reaching 64 pounds in 1985. Use of sugar has slipped from 91 pounds in 1978 to 63 pounds in 1985.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 2, 1971 Pioneer Journal

• Large village voter turnout expected Tuesday

One of the largest turnouts of voters in recent history is expected in next week's Tuesday (Dec. 7) village election.

The increase is expected because of two questions on the ballot, races for mayor, councilman and justice of the peace, besides 18-year-olds will be voting in Wadena for the first time.

• CWA's Hi-Mom contest continues

Local 7219 of the Communications Workers of America reminded the public today that 15 servicemen and women stationed overseas will get a free telephone call during the holidays this year, thanks to the Union's 15th annual Hi-Mom program now in progress.

Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives of U.S. military personnel overseas are eligible to enter the contest, according to C.T. Nygaard, president of the Local.

60 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 6, 1951 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena Hide & Fur Co. moves to new buildings

Saturday was moving day for the Wadena Hide & Fur Company. They vacated their office and warehouse at the inter-section of Highway 10 and 71 and moved to their new buildings a half mile west of Wadena on Highway 10.

• Editorial: Humphrey on civil rights

We have a four-page letter from Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, of Minnesota, in which that bitter South-baiter seeks to justify his attitude on civil rights.

That the Minnesota Senator is still of the same mind is evidenced in this letter, when he asserts: "The day of white supremacy in the world is over. It was always immoral and is today impossible."

If irrational and intemperate demagogues of the Humphrey type again control the Democratic national convention and give voice to their intolerant views, we may expect another revolt of the Southern delegates, and probably another organization, another platform, another ticket.