Superior Yesterdays

EDITOR’S NOTE: Superiorland Yesterdays is prepared by the reference staff at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

30 years ago

NEGAUNEE — Gary Peterson’s an electrician, but that didn’t stop him from joining the fifty O.K. Auto, Inc. employees who have been protesting the lack of a labor contract since October. Karen DeRoche and Julie Dunstan, whose husbands are miners and were on strike against Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc. for four months last fall, also showed for an early morning rally in Negaunee and the mass picketing that followed. In all, about 65 labor unionists gathered at E.H. Ronn Union Hall in Negaunee, then picked up picket signs to carry to the rally. The Saturday pickets and the rally urged shoppers to boycott the O.K. Auto stores in Ishpeming and Marquette. “In the case of O.K. Auto, we need to take the strength we have in the union, and help to get good contracts,” said Dave Foster, District 33 representative for the United Steelworkers of America. Marquette County Labor Council President Jack LaSalle also urged support for O.K. Auto employees who have been holding informational pickets since October when their contracts ran out. They haven’t walked off the job because they fear they’ll be permanently replaced, according to Gary Annala, negotiator for the employees.

60 years ago

MARQUETTE — James McGlynn Jr. of Neidhart Avenue doesn’t think license plates come much older than one he recently acquired – made for an automobile in 1910. The license, which bears the seal of the State of Michigan and the number 3806, is made of porcelain over a steel plate, and is quite heavy. There is no county designation on the plate. Consequently, there’s no way of knowing where it was issued. McGlynn obtained the license plate from his father-in-law, the late Larry Luoma of Marquette. He learned at the Marquette County Historical Society that 1910 is believed to be the first year plates were made by the state for display outside the car. Kenyon Boyer, Marquette, managing director of the historical society, said records show that in 1908 and 1909, the state issued metal tags, and car owners could make their own plates, for outside display, from materials of their own choice. The metal plates were made to be attached to the dashboard of the car.


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