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Looking Back: 1963 - Ex-Minnesota governor speaks in Worthington


One year ago

Thousands of people were expected to flock to Worthington for King Turkey Day festivities Friday and Saturday, and many of the events were to be located for the first time at the Nobles County Fairgrounds. Events like the Turkey Day 10K, the featured speaker, the Great Gobbler Gallop and the King Turkey Day parade were still to take place, as was traditional, in downtown Worthington.

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Worthington High School seniors Whitney Coriolan and Gordy Moore were crowned Homecoming Queen and King, respectively, during the 2012 WHS coronation ceremony.

Members of Luverne Hotel Partners joined representatives of GrandStay Hospitality in breaking ground on a new GrandStay Inn & Suites along U.S. 75 in Luverne. The new hotel was expected to open by late April 2013.

Roxy Gantes was “arrested” Friday afternoon as part of the King Turkey Day “Arrest-a-guest” program. Gantes hailed from North Hampton, Mass., but was in the process of moving to Orange County, Calif.

Five years ago

Luverne hosted a Historic Homes Tour, featuring four “antique” houses in the community.

King’s Wok restaurant relocated to the former Michael’s Restaurant building in Worthington. The Chinese buffet had been operated by Zai Chen and his wife, Yong Li, for 10 years on Oxford Street.

The Worthington Area Foundation, established in 1991, had since funded $40,000 in grants and grown to a total of $75,000. This year, WAF was planning to distribute about $3,000 in grants to non-profit organizations.

Incumbent U.S. Representative Tim Walz and his challenger, Brian Davis, were to serve as co-speakers at the annual King Turkey Day event. It was believed to be the first time rivals for the same political office would share the King Turkey Day podium.

The mother and son team of Keri Larson and Scott Simpson located the 2008 King Turkey Day medallion.

10 years ago

Centennial Park, Worthington, was the site of the 14th annual Southwest Street Rodders Turkey Day Car Show.

Roxanne Hayenga relocated her business, Textile Treasures, to 203 10th St. in downtown Worthington. She had founded the business 13 years earlier.

Doug Wasmund was named the Parade Marshal for the King Turkey Day parade, while Darlene Macklin was elected Honorary Turkey.

St. Paul Police Chief William “Bill” Finney was named as featured speaker for King Turkey Day.

Jackson law enforcement officers were tracking down car thieves who had stolen eight cars since July 27 —more cars being stolen in four weeks than in the previous 22 years, Police Chief Andre Schofield said.

The father/son team of Robert and Adam Munkel located the King Turkey Day medallion and won $100 in Chamber bucks.

25 years ago

Randall Johnsen was the new Worthington High School band director.

The Randy and Bonnie Junker family of Worthington raised $1,680 over the Labor Day weekend as hosts of the Worthington pledge center for the annual telethon for muscular dystrophy.

The 1988 Miss Worthington Scholarship Pageant candidates were Amy Hartog, Andrea Kluever, Kristin Olson, Kay Pigman and Margo Townswick. Townswick, 18, ultimately received the local crown, while Olson, 18, was the first runner-up.

Jim Brown of Urbandale, Iowa, won the 1988 Labor Day Classic at Worthington Country Club, shooting a 69 over the final 18 holes.

Swift Independent Packing Co. was committed to expanding its Worthington plant and adding a second shift, company officials announced.

Worthington’s West Elementary School received an Elementary School of Excellence Award for 1988-89 from the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association.

50 years ago

A number of complaints about children playing in the street had been received by city police recently, Capt. Merle Rotschafer said. “This situation crops up from time to time, but right now it’s at a peak with complaints coming from all neighborhoods of the city,” he said. Most complaints, however, came from residents along South Shore Drive and Nobles Street, both of which are heavily traveled. “The police cannot act as babysitters and cannot arrest 2-year-olds,” he pointed out. “This is a parental problem — they alone are responsible for training their children not to play in the streets.”

Enrollment in Worthington public schools reached the 3,210 mark by the weekend, according to a report by Superintendent S.L. Held. In addition, 413 students were attending parochial schools — 360 at St. Mary’s and 53 at Worthington Christian — bringing the total to 3,623 students in the city. The senior high had 727 students (grades 10-12), and the junior high had 681 students (7-9).

Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman stressed the need for a “rural renaissance” and called on his Worthington audience for ideas on how to best achieve that before a crowd of more than 1,600 that filled and overflowed Memorial Auditorium. It was (the former Minnesota governor) Freeman’s first return visit to Worthington since he was appointed secretary of agriculture.

75 years ago

Entering its third year, Worthington Junior College bids fair to set a record for all such schools in this part of the northwest in enrollment, with prospects exceedingly bright for 55 additional students over its 1937-38 total. The bulk of the registration was expected to be completed Tuesday, with about 50 students being registered by Monday evening. Communities represented in the registration thus far were Mapleton, Ostrander, Hancock, Paullina, Iowa, Dover, Windom, Luverne, Jackson and Trimont, as well as those from Worthington and nearby villages. Many students graduated from the local high school a number of years ago and were taking up college work here.

Governor Elmer A. Benson, on his first swing around the circle of the fall campaign in southwestern Minnesota, addressed the voters of Worthington and vicinity from the steps of the Nobles County Courthouse at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Also heard from the same improvised rostrum was Congressman Paul J. Kvale of the Seventh district, who accompanied the governor on his tour.

Deluged by 4.41 inches of rain, the Worthington community Thursday dredged itself out of a morass of debris and mud swirled up by the churning flood waters, which flooded basements, isolated houses, weakened railroad lines and surged to a depth of three feet in the local grade school building. The rainstorm centered on Worthington and piled up a September rainfall total of 6.50 inches. The torrents of water developing flood proportions found the storm sewer system utterly inadequate to care for the unprecedented demand.