Monthly Archives: November 2012

World War II at Northern

WWII Before Thanksgiving, I wrote about former NMU president Henry Tape, who led Northern during World War II. Though students who didn’t fight in the war were somewhat removed, in the rural Upper Peninsula, the war still leaked into every aspect of their lives.

One of the most obvious ways Northern was affected by the war is in the list of men serving that appeared for years in the student newspaper. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, The Northern News featured a list of men who had joined the Michigan National Guard Company and then the United States Army.

Throughout the war, the student newspaper became a collection of crucial war-time information, including draft information, updates on local men in the war and even war bond advertisements. Articles were published that discussed how the women at Northern were trying to help the “big defense project,” and editorials ran endorsing total commitment to the war.


“Regardless of age or sex, whether we enlist or are drafted, or remain at home; all of us are in the war for the duration. Students and teachers naturally will examine themselves to see how each one can best serve his country,” said an editorial that ran Jan. 7, 1942.

In literally every newspaper that ran during the course of the war, there is some mention of the war effort – either abroad or at home. Northern was very conscious of its alumni and friends who were serving and of the importance of support back home. It illustrates how even a small school in a relatively rural area had an impact on the global war.

Written by Lucy Hough


David Reid: An Olympic Champion

Mitchell and Reid

Reid shortly after winning his Olympic gold medal with his coach and mentor, Al Mitchell.

Established in 1987, NMU’s boxing program trained many athletes in its 21 years that went on to have great careers. One of those greats is David “American Dream” Reid. Reid had successful amateur- and pro-careers before retiring in 2001.

Probably the biggest highlight from his career is his attendance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. There, he won the gold medal in the light middleweight division of boxing.

Reid and Wong

Taken while Les Wong was NMU president and Reid was coaching.

Reid then started his pro career, where he went undefeated for 17 fights. As his career continued he seemed to falter a bit, gaining his last few wins with extremely close scores and eventually losing 2 fights that were believed to have been relatively easy fights. He retried with a 17-2 record with 7 Kos.

After retiring from his pro-career, he made his way back to NMU and was an assistant and volunteer coach for the boxing program at the USOEC until the program was suspended in 2008.

His gold medal is currently in the USOEC display case in the Superior Dome.

Researcher Spotlight: Amelia Waeghe, HS 390 Student

Many of the faces we see here at the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives belong to NMU’s very own history students. Each semester the archives floods with students enrolled in HS 390, also known as The Historian’s Laboratory. This class requires them to do an Upper Peninsula related research project involving both local traditional archives and digital archives. The students must meet with our head archivist, Marcus Robyns, to discuss a topic and a direction for their research. Once their topic has been approved, they are given a list of materials to get them started. At the end of the semester they compose a paper and present on their findings.

This semester we would like to highlight Amelia Waeghe as our exceptional HS 390

Patron Sign-In Sheet

A sample of the Patron Sign-In Sheet for the month of October, highlighting the frequency of Amelia’s visits.

researcher. Amelia’s project focuses on researching if people from different ethnic groups were more likely to be arrested in Marquette County for violating the prohibition-era liquor laws. She also looked at the deaths in the county during that time. This required spending hours upon hours in the Archives, up to her eyes in boxes of county court records and coroner’s reports. In an official tally, from September through November, Amelia came into the archives 41 times to research. Her professor, Dr. Magnaghi, stated that “the results, to date, have been a variety of well-developed papers that use the Archives to help research topics that are not the run of the mill.” Amelia’s found that no particular ethnic group was arrested more frequently than any other. She also discovered eight deaths in Marquette County during the prohibition era, only two of which were not related to alcohol. We applaud Amelia and the rest of her classmates for their hard work and exceptional research skills!

We love to see NMU students walk through our doors. The Archives is a very valuable resource that every student, whether or not they’re taking HS 390, should utilize. If you’ve never been here before, stop by and check us out in room 126 of the Learning Resource Center on NMU’s campus. We hope to see you soon!

Prepared by Savannah Mallo and Olivia Ernst.