100 Years Ago: 1923

Governor Baxter issued a proclamation addressed to the people of Maine designating Friday, Aug 10, 1923 as a day of mourning in this State.

“A God-fearing, upright man, chosen leader of a great Nation has gone from us and the people mourn,” says Governor Baxter in his proclamation. “Warren G. Harding sacrificed his life in the unselfish service of his country,” continues the proclamation. “It is wonderful beyond measure to have been president of these United States, and nothing is finer and nobler than like our late chief executive to have been animated by a desire to devote one’s God-given talent in promoting the highest welfare of 110 million people.”

“The State of Maine is grief stricken, and its people desire to pay respectful tribute to the memory of the nation’s departed President. I order all public buildings closed, and all public business and public works suspended thruout the day, and I urge people further of all places of business and amusement thruout the day and evening, to follow the example set by the State. I request that all clergymen of the State hold appropriate services at noon standard time, and that public transportation companies beginning at that hour halt the movement of their trains and vessels for a period of five minutes.”

“Our government is of the people and I ask every citizen and resident. of the State during the five minute period herein prescribed to pause and offer a prayer to God that this nation may be worthy to continue to receive his blessing and that the man whom the Almighty has placed in charge of our affairs may be endowed with strength and wisdom to righteously lead in the present crisis of the world.”

50 Years Ago: 1973


A crane was employed Saturday to move the large “camera” of the Lewiston Sun-Journal photo-engraving division from the third floor to the ground floor of the building. A week ago, etching machines were brought down to newly prepared rooms on the ground floor and the heavy iron camera bed, one of the pieces of the heart of the photo-engraving process, was one of the last parts to come down. When the camera was installed it was taken in through the same third-story window from which it made its exit. The move had to be made on the weekend in the few hours available between editions.

25 Years Ago: 1998

(Sun Journal photo) Upon her arrival at the Portland International Jetport Friday, Marie Armstrong, facing camera, hugs one of the relatives that until recently she never knew she had. Joanne Gagne of York, Pa., had never met them face to face and she was nervous, scared they might not even be there. Ron, Marjorie and Joanne were not only there, they greeted her with open arms, a few tears and a big bouquet of roses. They’ve been looking forward to that moment and there was no holding back.

Marie Armstrong’s flight from Las Vegas to Portland took most of the day Friday, but her home to Lewiston spans a much greater time and distance. You might say it has been the journey of a lifetime. Armstrong came to Maine to meet for the first time a half-brother, two half-sisters and other relatives she never knew she had until recently.

“The first time I met my mother (in 1979), I wanted to grab her and say ‘I love you, Mom.'” Marie Armstrong, resident of Boulder City, Nev., was given up for adoption shortly after birth and never saw or was seen by her father, Armand “Bullet” Ouellette.

“My mother and my father were married for about a month,” she said Sunday evening. The marriage lasted just long enough to conceive a baby, who was given up for adoption after her mother and father separated.


Thus started a lifetime marked by painful moments, both in adoption and, later, in marriage.

A bittersweet reunion 19 years ago with her biological mother was painful, too.  “She pulled away and suggested we tell people I was her niece, but I insisted on telling people I was her daughter.”

And so the smiling faces greeting her at the Portland airport Friday night were a welcome sight in many ways. She had talked on the phone with her half-brother, Ron Ouellette of Prospect Avenue, and half-sister Marjorie Ouellette of Rosedale Street.

The material used in Looking Back is produced exactly as it originally appeared although misspellings and errors may be corrected.

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