WASHINGTON – Commander Peary of Arctic exploration fame sent this telegram to President Roosevelt today: “Ten thousand dollar check just received from Zenas Crane, Dalton Mass.” President Roosevelt replied as follows: “I heartily congratulate you on the magnificent gift of Mr. Crane. It would be a misfortune from a national standpoint if there should be any failure to equip your expedition.”

50 years ago, 1958

SALT LAKE CITY – Judge Willis Ritter doesn’t dig these Elvis Presley sideburns. When a 17-year-old juvenile appeared before him for sentencing on a misdemeanor charge, Judge Ritter ordered him taken to the Salt Lake County jail for a hair cut and shave, explaining that he wouldn’t pass sentence until the youth appeared with a presentable hair cut.

25 years ago, 1983

• Many of New England’s 2 million Franco-American residents are preparing for Rendez-vous 83, a regional congress of French-Canadian immigrants to be held over the Memorial Day weekend in Manchester N.H. The event holds special significance for many of the people of Lewiston and Auburn.

“This area has one of the heaviest concentrations of Franco-Americans in New England,” explained Paul M. Pare, formerly of Lewiston and one of the events organizers. “Outside of Louisiana, it has one of the largest in the country.” In 1970, he said, 60 percent of Lewiston residents listed French as their mother tongue.

“In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, French Canadians are the largest ethnic group,” he said. The focus of Rendez-vous ’83 will be merging Franco-American cultural activities into the communities where Franco-Americans live. It will encourage participants to take leadership roles in promoting this assimilation.

• AUGUSTA – The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Monday rejected a plan to hike the minimum wage in Maine by 15 cents an hour, despite appeals from several Democrats that the working poor are overdue for a modest raise.

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