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In 1900 about 625 students attended the State Agricultural College, commonly known as M.A.C. The schools was the precursor to Michigan State University. Making a new commitment to serious intercollegiate athletic competition, the college purchased land here, along the Red Cedar River, for an athletic field. Intramural sports had been a part of M.A.C. life since its founding in 1855; however contests with other institutions did not begin until 1884. On April 18, 1902, the M.A.C. Aggies baseball team met the University of Michigan Wolverines in the first baseball game held on this site. The new venue had baseball and football fields, circular and straight tracks, and, later, lights and a grandstand. In 1923 footbal moved south to a new stadium, but baseball remained at College Field.
College Field opened in 1902 as the primary sports venue for "the Aggies" of the State Agricultural College. Some sports relocated, but baseball remained here and was later joined by softball and soccer. In 1925 the School became the Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, prompting the change in the team name from Aggies to Spartans. Two men stand out in the history of College Field and Aggie/Spartan sports. Lyman Frimodig (1891-1972) played baseball and football here, earning a record-setting ten letters in three sports. He spent over forty years with the athletic department, serving for a time as the athletic director. John Kobs (1898-1968) coached Spartan baseball for nearly forty years and captured the Big Ten title in 1954. In 1969 the baseball field was named in his honor.
According to Jack Seibold's Spartan Sports Encyclopedia: A History of the Michigan State Men's Athletic Program (Champaign, IL : SportsPublishing, c2003.), although the MAC team played in brand new green-and-gray uniforms for the occasion, the visiting Michigan Wolverines were not impressed, easily winning 20-2.
Joseph Labadie (1850-1933) was a Detroit writer and poet, and was involved with nearly every left wing and labor-related issue of the late 1800s.
Jo Labadie was born on April 18, 1850, in Paw Paw, Michigan, to Anthony and Euphrosyne Labadie, both descendants of seventeenth century French immigrants of the Labadie family who had settled on both sides of the Detroit River. His boyhood was a frontier existence among Pottawatomi tribes in southern Michigan, where his father served as interpreter between Jesuit missionaries and Indians. His only formal schooling was a few months in a parochial school.
Later in life he settled in Detroit, becoming a writer, a poet and an active supporter of the Socialist Labor Party. He was key in bringing a new national labor union into Detroit: The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor, which was founded by garment workers in 1869 in Pennsylvania.
In October 1878 Charles Litchman, “grand scribe” of the Knights of Labor, traveled to the emerging labor center of Detroit and selected Labadie to form the first cell of the union in Michigan. The group preferred to keep its identity obscured, for its mission to organize all laborers into a secret federation was arousing intense hostility from business leaders. Handsome, dapper, friendly, and always ready with a speech, Labadie was an ideal choice for the Knights, whose ideals of brotherhood and justice were at one with Labadie’s values.
In 1888, Labadie organized the Michigan Federation of Labor, became its first president, and forged an alliance with Samuel Gompers. At age fifty he began writing verse and publishing artistic hand-crafted booklets. In 1908, the city postal inspector banned his mail because it bore stickers with anarchist quotations. A month later the Detroit water board, where he was working as a clerk, dismissed him for expressing anarchist sentiments. In both cases, the officials were forced to back down in the face of massive public protest for the person well known in Detroit as its "Gentle Anarchist".
In about 1910, when he was 60 years old, Labadie began to prepare for the preservation of the vast collection of pamphlets, newspapers, and correspondence which he had accumulated in the attic of his home. The collection was eagerly sought by the University of Wisconsin, one of the paramount repositories of materials relating to labor and socialist history in the United States, but Labadie spurned their offer of $500 for the collection. The libraries of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Michigan State University also made attempts to acquire the collection.
Labadie sought instead to keep the material as near to his hometown of Detroit as possible and contacted the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor about their potential acquisition of the material. While the University of Michigan was slow to show interest in the collection, an investigator was eventually dispatched. The report returned on Labadie's collection was negative, dismissed as a great mass of "stuff." Labadie remained persistent, however, and he eventually convinced nine Detroit residents, including several businessmen, to donate $100 each for the purchase of the collection, which was then donated to the university with requisite pomp.
In 1912 twenty crates of material were moved from Labadie's attic to Ann Arbor, forming the foundation of renowned Labadie Collection of radical literature. Labadie spent his later years soliciting donations to the collection from friends and acquaintances, donating hundreds more items himself to the library in 1926. The collection thus preserved is today regarded as among the finest accumulations of 19th Century radical ephemera in the United States.
Bill Loomis, "Parades, rallies and picnics popular from the 19th century as unions sought support, pushed for workers’ rights", Detroit News, September 1, 2013.
Eleanor H. Scanlan, "The Jo Labadie Collection," Labor History, vol. 6, no. 3 (Fall 1965).
All-American Anarchist: Joseph A. Labadie and the Labor Movement / Carlotta R. Anderson. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1998
Jo Labadie and His Gift to Michigan : A Legacy for the Masses, University of Michigan Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library Special Collections.
In the fall of 1836 the Kent Company purchased, for about $4,000, the office material of the Niagara Falls Journal, and shipped it from Buffalo on the steamer Don Quixote. The boat was wrecked off Thunder Bay Island, and the press and material were transferred to a sailing vessel, that reached Grand Haven late in the season.
When it was landed, George W. Pattison purchased the printing outfit for $4,100. During the winter he had it brought up the river on the ice by dog teams - six dogs to a sled. The sled, carrying the press broke through the ice some miles below the Rapids, and went to the bottom of the river, but the press was fished out and brought to town.
Nearly all the prominent citizens of the village were at the newspaper office to see the first issue of the Times come off the Washington hand press on April 18, 1837. Printed every Saturday morning, a prepaid annual subscription for the four-page, tabloid-size newspaper cost $2.50. Louis Campau subscribed for 500 copies for a year, paying $1,000 cash in advance, and the Kent Company also took 500 subscriptions.
The first copy was printed on silk-satin, and given to Campau. Others were printed on cloth and distributed for preservation as souvenirs. To get news from Detroit required from four to six days. Politically, a non-partisan newspaper, both Whigs and Democrats were given opportunity to air their views in its columns, which they did, most eagerly.
Grand River Times entry from Grand Rapids Historical Commission.
House Budget Contains HICA Fix, Road Plan Funding
The reported House budget bill for the state's various departments for the 2014-15 fiscal year fills the Health Insurance Claims Assessment hole and provides General Fund monies for a road funding plan introduced by House Speaker Jase Bolger two weeks ago.
House Panel OKs Education Omnibus Bill; GOP Criticizes Dems For Amendments
The bill funding the state's K-12 public schools, community colleges and universities was reported by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday after rejecting amendments offered by House Democrats on the committee to stop using the School Aid Fund for community colleges and universities.
Bills Double Fees For Heavy Trucks, Fines For Illegal Weights
As part of efforts to raise more money for roads, truckers wishing to haul loads with weights above the state's 164,000-pound limit would see the fee to do so double, although still remain seemingly small. The move is part of House Speaker Jase Bolger's (R-Marshall) plan to raise $450 million annually for roads without raising taxes.
$350M Lump Sum For Grand Bargain Possible, Snyder Says
Governor Rick Snyder said putting $350 million towards the resolution of the Detroit bankruptcy in a lump sum is a possibility, and there are some persons who think doing so might make it easier to win approval of the proposal with the Legislature.
House Panel Moves Waste Standards Over Environmental Objections
A package of bills revising how certain types of waste materials are treated moved nearly unanimously from the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday despite objections from the environmental community.
Second Request Gains Snyder Emergency Declaration For Marquette County
A second attempt from Marquette County for a state of emergency declaration to address damage to water and sewer pipes from the extremely cold winter has succeeded after Governor Rick Snyder denied the initial request. The county has been under a local state of emergency since February 21.
Snyder Files Petitions For Re-Election
Carrying a box of petitions from his native Calhoun County, Governor Rick Snyder formally filed Thursday to run for re-election, and said the volunteer effort to gather more than 26,000 signatures was a "wonderful message to say let's keep the reinvention of Michigan going."
Snyder Declares Disaster In Newaygo, Osceola Counties After Floods
Severe flooding that hit the Muskegon River basin after rainfall totals of up to 6 inches in 48 hours has prompted Governor Rick Snyder to declare a state of disaster in Newaygo and Osceola counties.
Michigan Health Endowment Fund Receives First Payment From Blue Cross
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund has received its first check to the tune of $100 million from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as part of a law converting Blue Cross to a nonprofit mutual in 2013 requiring it to be abide by the state's Insurance Code.
MSHDA Floats $78M In Bonds
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority issued nearly $78 million in rental housing bonds on Thursday.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #53, Report 74, April 17, 2014. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library.
Smarter Balanced, the testing tool that was scheduled to begin assessing students across the state next spring, would be delayed a year under a Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget approved by the House Appropriations Committee this afternoon.
The language, which the committee inserted in an education omnibus budget bill today, would require school districts to continue using the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) during the 2014-2015 school year.
That's despite the fact that the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has been working to transition schools to Smarter Balanced test for the next school year. And that's also despite that fact that earlier this year, State Superintendent Mike Flangan labeled getting funding for Smarter Balanced his No. 1 priority.
For the full article, see "House Looks To Delay Smarter Balanced Assessments A Year", Inside MIRS Today, April 17, 2014
Other topics covered include:
• House Looks To Delay Smarter Balanced Assessments A Year
• Detroit $350M Proposal To Start In House
• AFSCME: Retirees Need Guaranteed State Funds To Approve Bankruptcy Plan
• House Budget Plan: $137M More For Roads, Patch HICA Hole
• Gov's Residence Could Get Maintenance Money Under Bill
• House Transportation Begins Airing Out Bolger Road Plan
• Bankruptcy Judge Orders Mediation On Metro Area Water Authority
• Snyder Declares State Of Emergency For Marquette Co.
• Knocking Doors For Roads?
• House D's Go 0 For 48 On Budget Amendments
• Snyder Turns In Signatures For Re-Election Campaign
• MSF Approves Grant For Company Snyder Networked With In China
Full access to MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
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