Superiorland Yesterdays

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

30 years ago

SAND RIVER — Today is the actual date of Juhannus, also called Midsummer’s Day, one of Finland’s oldest celebrations. It is a time Finns celebrate with bonfires, song, and dance. Locally, people of Finnish descent have picked up the tradition, a revival that seems to grow stronger each year. “Juhannus is at the time of year when there is the most light in Finland,” Darley Kemppainen explained. “During pagan times, people believed by lighting the kokko (bonfire) they could prevail on the gods to yield and preserve the light.” During the Christian era, Juhannus became a festival of St. John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testement prophets, “the true exemplar of light,” said Kemppainen. Juhannus is also a celebration of the coming of summer, when the days begin to shorten. Retired Rev. Karlo Keljo offered a brief sermon–in Finnish–to those gathered at the celebration. After the program, the participants moved to the dining table laden with a potluck meal.

60 years ago

MARQUETTE — A light shower occurred early this morning and more showers were expected throughout the day, ending the three-week dry spell in this area. Up to this morning, only .57 of an inch of rain fell in Marquette, about one-quarter of the normal figure. For the year, precipitation is over five inches below average. Meteorologist Robert Urmanic said a low pressure system moving slowly eastward from the Dakotas with a warm front ahead of it, was causing the showers. Yesterday, for the third straight day, the mean temperature was below normal, However, the high was 73 and it was expected to be in the low 70s again today and tomorrow. Readings elsewhere in the Upper Peninsula were generally cooler. The long-range forecast, covering the period through next Monday night, calls for temperatures averaging near or slightly below the normal 72-80 maximum and 49-57 minimum, with extremes listed being inland figures. Rainfall will be around one-quarter of an inch, with showers forecast for the weekend.