Tag Archives: UP

Collection Spotlight: The Northern College News/ The North Wind

If someone were to come into the archives and ask me what I would recommend for them to look at, I would immediately tell them to read the Northern newspapers from  past years. The Archives has all of the newspaper editions starting from 1919 all the way to the present in either microfilm reels or as physical copies.

Reading the newspapers can be a more personal way to learn about the past. To me, when I read a newspaper from a different time, it is as if I just picked up the newspaper from this morning, and what I am reading about is happening right now. It’s a unique opportunity to read the opinions of young people — specifically Northern’s students — during the different major events in the past like World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, or the AIDS epidemic. While it is easy to pretend I am learning about the events for the first time while reading the articles it is also cool to analyze and compare the past to the present.

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One example in comparing the past to the present is looking at humor. I took a picture of a joke section from a newspaper from 1919, and I can admit that none of the jokes made any sense to me, but it was cool to think that in 100 years from now some student archivist will be reading about the different memes and jokes we make currently. I hope you all have a great week!

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Feel free to come in and visit the Archives for you research needs or for a quiet place to study (M,W,F: 10am-5pm, T,Th: 10am-7pm). (This post was written by Kyleigh Sapp). 

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Person Spotlight: Norman “Boots” Kakuk

Norman “Boots” Kukuk grew up here in Marquette, Michigan. Growing up, he always had a penchant for sports, especially hockey. In his four years at Northern State Teachers College, Boots earned three varsity letters for football and track and field, while continuing to play hockey for the Marquette Sentinels and maintaining his grades. He held the record for pole vault until 1939 and also earned a gold track shoe for javelin in 1940. In 1939, Boots was recommended to try out for the United States Olympic Hockey Team, but the start of World War II the following year put an end to those hopes. Interestingly, family lore claims that Adolf Hitler actually invited Boots to play hockey against the German team, but Boots’ father destroyed the letter the day he got it.

Upon graduation from Northern State Teachers College, Marquette public schools employed Boots as an Industrial Arts teacher and as a track and football coach. In 1941, Boots considered trying out for the Chicago Blackhawks or the Cleveland Barons Professional Hockey Clubs but was drafted into the army. He entered the U.S. Navy’s flight program on November 24, 1941. Boots was awarded the Navy-Marine Corps Heroism Medal in August of 1944. He also earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and six Air Medals during his time in the Navy.

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After the War, Boots returned to Marquette and became the Director of Recreation for the City of Marquette. He accomplished a great many things during his time as director, such as installing the first artificial ice plant in the Palestra, the indoor community ice rink. In addition, Boots managed all of the city’s recreational programs, such as sporting events and festivals. Despite all this work, Boots still found the time to play hockey with the Marquette Sentinels for several more years before finally retiring his jersey.

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Sand being laid down on the floor in the making of the ice rink in the Palestra.

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Getting ready for the Annual Ice Carnival.

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Hockey Team on ice rink, year unknown.

If you’d like to learn more about Norman “Boots” Kakuk or our other collections, come on in to the Archives, give us a call (906-227-1225) or send us an email (archives@nmu.edu) and we’ll be happy to help you!

(This post was written by Grace Menter)

Day in the Life Spotlight: The Film Projector Cont.

Continuing with our past blog post’s theme of a Day in the Life Spotlight, I’d like to build on the continuing saga of the Film Reel Projector.

It was a cold week in October. I was given the task of training our new digitization assistant on setting up the Film Reel Projector, like so many digitization student workers before me. I had a feeling I’d met this “Reel Projector” before… But upon seeing it, without mental preparation, I became lost in the procedural nuances (cords swept deep under desks; parts put away, out of sight). This Projector setup procedure had been cracked before, but our initial figuring out of how to set it up was a real brainteaser! Like Kyleigh said two weeks ago, it took at least 45 minutes.

Here’s a haiku about the experience-

Projector’s Corner

Wires tangle up in my head

Can’t connect nada

We got it to run, but we still didn’t get it to connect to our computer and record through that. So we were back figuring it out again Friday the week after and finally we figured it out.

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Discovered new cord

Hmm is this the place for thing?

Victory, at LAST

So all’s well. Now, we have a new task at hand. One which we will enthusiastically take up for the sake of future Digitization student workers. Justice will be served to Projector (AKA we’ll be writing up more detailed instructions).

(This post was written by Lydia Henning)