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On Jan. 24, 1938, the Upper Peninsula was hit by a colossal winter storm. How deep were the snow drifts? Look at the telephone pole on the left!
Two people died in Ironwood after 32 inches of snow fell as a result of 30 hours of snow and gale-force winds. Students and workers were trapped at their schools and places of employment because of snowdrifts towering as high as 18 feet tall. Students in Ironwood slept on exercise mats in the gym for four days since buses could not operate in drifting snow.
A fire broke out at the Opera House and Masonic Temple in Marquette and traffic ceased in the city for three days.
Michigan Every Day
Marquette’s Opera House & the 1938 Fire and Blizzard posted in My Marquette by Tyler R. Tichelaar.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, circus sideshows were popular forms of entertainment. Carnival barkers lured audiences into darkened tents with stories of tattooed men, sword swallowers, and human skeletons. Spectators thrilled to the daring deeds of strongmen, fire breathers, and glass eaters. And, of course, no sideshow was complete without a bearded lady. One of the era's most popular bearded ladies hailed from Michigan and is, in fact, buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in the northern Michigan community of Leetsville. That woman is Grace Gilbert.
Gilbert was born in Ohio in 1876, the youngest of Giles and Arosina Gilbert's four children. Within minutes of her birth, Gilbert's parents knew that something was different about their new addition. At an age when most babies have smooth, clear skin, the infant's body was covered with fine, silky hair that only became thicker as she aged. By the time Gilbert was 18 months old, a newspaper article was reporting that the hair on her head was a foot long, and that she had three- to four-inch-long whiskers on her face. The phenomenon, according to the reporter, was "the greatest living curiosity we have ever seen."
As Gilbert reached adulthood, she realized that career opportunities (and, in all likelihood, marriage prospects) were limited for a woman with a full beard, so when she was 18, she began appearing in sideshows. In 1901, the same year that Gilbert moved with her family to Kalkaska County, she signed on with Ringling Brothers Circus, one of the nation's largest big tops. She was a sought-after attraction, as her beard, at 18 inches, was significantly longer than those of other bearded ladies at the time. In 1903, Gilbert left Ringling and joined its competitor, the Barnum & Bailey Circus. She stayed with Barnum until 1905, then signed on with a few other circuses, which afforded her the opportunity to tour England and France.
According to people who lived in the Kalkaska area at the same time that Gilbert did, the bearded lady was forced to wear a veil around town so that her appearance wouldn't startle pregnant women who might be walking along the street with her.
For the rest of the story, see Tonya Blust, Michigan's Bearded Lady, Grace Gilbert, Michigan 101 Blog, February 12, 2014.
As RTW Takes Effect, Union Membership Falls Sharply
The percentage of Michigan workers belonging to a union dipped more significantly in 2014, the first full year the state's right-to-work laws were in effect, than in previous years, new data released today from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.
Flood Talks Education On Health Exchange
The Department of Insurance and Financial Services is primarily responsible for overseeing the state's financial institutions, but Director Ann Flood is most proud of the work her department has done in educating residents about the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, she told Gongwer News Service in a recent interview.
Heyns Launches Training Academies To Fill Corrections Officer Shortage
Facing a need to hire 1,000 new corrections officers this year to compensate for a wave of retirements, Corrections Director Dan Heyns is bringing back state-run academies to train new officers. The department moved away from the state-run academies in favor of having prospective new officers pay for classes at community colleges. But that mechanism was not producing enough graduates to fill the hole left by an average of 70 corrections officers retiring monthly.
Gamrat ‘Confused' About Not Being Appointed To Health Policy
Rep. Cindy Gamrat posted on Facebook Friday that she is "disappointed" and "confused" about not being appointed to the House Health Policy Committee, noting she is a registered nurse.
Nakagiri Did Not Vote In Governor's Race
Wes Nakagiri, the tea party activist who unsuccessfully tried to unseat Lt. Governor Brian Calley as the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, said Friday that he did not vote in the 2014 governor's race.
FEC Dumps Dem Complaint Against Land
The Federal Election Commission has closed with no action the Michigan Democratic Party's complaint against unsuccessful 2014 Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Land that accused her and various political action committees of illegal coordination.
Flanagan Backing Road Funding Plan
Given the funds that could also come to schools from the plan to increase the general sales tax and remove it from motor fuels, Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan said he supported the road funding proposal and urged other school leaders to join him.
Snyder Civil Rights Visit Could Be Historic
Governor Rick Snyder is planning Monday to attend the Civil Rights Commission's meeting, potentially making him only the second sitting governor to make that trek. Mr. Snyder announced Friday that he would be attending the meeting to outline his priorities for the coming year. An issue likely to be discussed is changes to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to provide protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. In fact, he could be the first governor to have made such a visit, a survey of Department of Civil Rights and Executive Office officials, as well as some former administration officials, showed. There appeared some possibility that former Governor George Romney, during whose tenure the commission was created, could have attended an early meeting after appointing members. But no subsequent governors appear to have attended a meeting.
Community Health Confirms First Measles Case For 2015
State officials are still trying to track the source of the state's first measles case of the year, but say it could be related to the outbreak at Disneyland.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #54, Report 16, January 23, 2015. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library. For assistance in accessing the database, stop by the MSU Library Reference Desk.
The effort's success is unlikely, but more and more Republican lawmakers appear to be publicly jumping on board the push to repeal the so-called "pension tax."
So many Republicans have take that position that if the matter were put up for a vote and people followed their past public statements, the repeal would definitely have the votes it needed to get through the House.
In total, according to the MIRS count, at least 18 House Republicans have taken public stances or legislative action against the 2011 removal of the income tax exemptions. Along with them, last session, House Democrats, who made a repeal of the “pension tax” a focus of their campaigns, said their entire caucus was for a repeal.
With all that said, however, Gov. Rick Snyder has repeatedly spoken out for the removal of exemptions from state law, and GOP leadership has shown little interest in going back on a change that Republicans have taken major criticism for on the campaign trail.
For the full article, see "More Republicans Calling For Unlikely 'Pension Tax' Repeal", Inside MIRS Today, January 23, 2015.
Other topics covered include:
MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
A freshman Republican lawmaker plans to introduce a bill next week calling for all high school students to pass a civics exam similar to the one immigrants must take to become citizens.
peterlucido.jpgRep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby TownshipCourtesy of House GOP
Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, plans to introduce a bill next week that would direct the State Board of Education to include passing a civics test in the requirements for high school graduation.
The proposal would require students to get at least 60 percent of the questions correct in order to graduate — the same requirement for immigrants taking a citizenship test.
For the full article, see Kyle Feldscher, "New lawmaker wants Michigan high schoolers to pass same civics exam immigrants take", MLive, January 23, 2015.
For a related article, see Fritz Klug, "Do you know Michigan as well as an immigrant knows the US? Take a Mitten 'civics' quiz", MLive, January 23, 2015.
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