10 years ago — April 9, 2005

(As reported in the Bangor Daily News)

BANGOR —As hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and hundreds of world leaders erupted into applause in Vatican City after the funeral of Pope John Paul II, approximately 25 people prayed quietly inside the warmly lit chapel in St. Joseph Hospital on Broadway.

The local worshippers sat scattered in the chapel pews as doctors and nurses bustled through the hospital hallways sipping cups of coffee. The worshipers began reciting prayers reserved for the dead.

The Felician sisters led the prayer service, four dressed in black habits and one dressed in white, sitting before a draped communion table.

BANGOR — What is it about Bangor that makes it an attractive place to live? Why are people relocating to the Queen City? Is it the safe streets lined with interesting shops, or is it the vibrant arts and cultural scene? Is it the education system or the telecommunications infrastructure structure? Four years, Bangor has been building a service center that ranks with far bigger players than itself. And it’s working. Whatever the combination of factors, Bangor is experiencing an influx of newcomers from all over the world. These new residents bring with them a vibrant cultural diversity, varied skills, contributing to the creative economy.

Bangor Mayor Frank Farrington defines the creative economy simply as a sector that “brings in people and businesses that value quality of life, and can work toward achieving it. It’s a good investment for the region.”

25 years ago — April 9, 1990

BANGOR — Despite the increasing numbers of women who have joined the white-collar workforce in the past three decades, Margaret R. Erhardt is one of just a handful of female stockbrokers in Maine. The relationships of investors and stockbrokers are traditional in the extreme, and the business remains dominated by men.

“When I first started, that’s when it really showed up,” Ehrhardt said. “That’s when I experienced that a few of the men don’t want to do business with women … Starting out, you need persistence and the hard work of keeping at it.”

Erhardt learned about persistence when she grew up on a farm in the Midwest during the 1950s and early 1960s. Long hours working with stubborn Wisconsin dairy cows gave her the stamina she needed to succeed later in life.

BANGOR — Roof work on the Fifth Street Middle School additions project will be completed over the next two weeks, at which time work will begin on the basement floors and non-masonry walls. The new addition is expected to be completed before school starts next fall with some interior renovations continuing until December..

50 years ago — April 9, 1965

BANGOR — “The laws of Mississippi are liquid when applied to white people, when applied to Negroes, they are frozen like ice,” according to Dr. B.E. Murph, dentist of Laurel, Mississippi, and president of the Laurel Branch of the NAACP.

Dr. Murph spoke to the Bangor Area Branch of the NAACP, at the Bangor Theological Seminary and at the University of Maine.

He described to his audiences the conditions of segregation prevalent in his state, calling special attention to a complicated form containing 21 questions which must be completed by anyone applying for registration as a voter. It includes a requirement to copy a section from the state constitution, selected by the registrar, and to interpret it in one’s own words. According to Dr. Murph, the FBI has found strong evidence that the requirements to which Negroes are subjected are much more stringent than those applied to whites. Although there are approximately 5,000 Negroes of voting age in Laurel, only 600 have successfully registered, Dr. Murph said

ORONO — The town of Orono has automated its street sweeping operations, apparently at a savings of 400 percent.

The town’s annual spring brush up was done this year by a Falmouth contractor using a truck-powered mechanical sweeper.

In previous years Orono’s highway crew did the same job. Last year the street cleanup cost $2,500. Using the machine, expenses for the operation were cut to around $500, according to Town Manager Merle F. Goff.

The job usually took town crews about a month to finish and pulled them off other functions. By machine, the same task now takes about four days and is done much better, Goff said.

100 years ago — April 9, 1915

BREWER — The question which aroused the citizens so much at the meeting of the city council last Thursday evening and which was anticipated to be open to more discussion  was settled so quickly that the large number present this Thursday evening had hardly time to even think about it. A communication was made to Hon. Charles J. Hutchings by the Texas Oil Co. withdrawing its petition to locate in the city, thus removing any further responsibility from the council in the matter.

BANGOR — Friday is the anniversary of very big event — the surrender of Gen. Robert E Lee, which virtually ended the Civil War. No citywide observance of this anniversary is announced for Bangor, as for some other places, but there will be well attended gatherings in the headquarters of the Grand Army posts, and many a stirring episode will be recalled, no doubt.

Telegraph service in 1865 was somewhat different from that of 1915. Although the surrender was in the afternoon of Sunday, April 9, the seared and yellow files of the old Whig [and Courier newspaper] reveal only a few sketchy bulletins on the morning of Monday, April 10. What the Whig lacked in news, however, it made up in a generous display of Eagles and American flags, with the words Glory To God! appearing prominently in headlines. Its readers had to wait until Tuesday morning before being told what happened — and there was a celebration never equaled hereabouts in sheer dramatic intensity.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday the thunder of cannon and the ringing of bells aroused the people of Bangor in common with those of all the chief cities of the Republic to hear the joyous announcement from the morning dispatches that the Lieutenant General of the Confederacy, with the chief army of the rebels, had at last surrendered to the gallant Grant and Sheridan.

Compiled by Ardeana Hamlin