100 YEARS AGO: Thousands of people gathered at the Menominee High School campus last night and while the band played and flags waved the last of German and German books in the school were destroyed by fire. As the great black column of smoke arose from the tarred pile of books people shouted and sang and made merry in the destruction of this source of German propaganda. The great crowd formed a hollow square about the huge bonfire and before the torch was applied many people came forward and placed their offering of German books on the fire as testimony that there should be no more printed German in possession of loyal Americans. 

Led by J. J. O'Hara of the American club, the entire crowd of people present with raised right hands took a pledge never to buy, sell, accept, receive or possess anything of whatsoever kind of German manufacture. Attorney J. J. O'Hara delivered the address over the funeral bier of text books of German origin taken from private libraries. He stated that as testimonial to the loyalty of the citizens of Menominee and as a rebuke to the kaiser, who had intended through the widespread use of German, to dominate American soil with "kultur," and the language of Germany, to make all the world German. The books were burned that they might be returned to the devil from whence they came and that they might be interned in the archives of hell.

50 YEARS AGO: A Senate Judiciary subcommittee approved today the bill urged by President Johnson to ban mail order sales of shotguns and rifles. The bill was approved with only one change, an amendment tightening proposed restrictions on the sale of destructive devices like anti-tank guns, bazookas and mortars. The subcommittee voted 9 - 0 to report the bill to a full Judiciary Committee, after rejecting 6 - 3 a substitute bill that was called up by Sen. Roman L. Hruska, R-Neb. 

Chairman Thomas J. Dodd, D-Conn., and other subcommittee members predicted that the full committee will approve the administration bill Wednesday without waiting for hearings to be completed on more far-reaching registration and licensing bills. President Johnson has until Wednesday midnight to sign, veto or ignore the omnibus crime control bill and its gun control section now on his desk. If he takes no action on the measure, rushed through Senate and House within two days of the June 5 pistol attack on Kennedy, it will become law. Johnson has criticized the gun control provision, which bans only the mail order sale of pistols, as too weak and has urged quick action on the bill before Dodd's subcommittee. 

25 YEARS AGO: This "Winthrop" cartoon by Cavalli, published in the Eagle-Star 25 years ago, depicts childhood memories from the time period.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Wisconsin's economy relies too heavily on the paper industry and other declining sectors, raising concerns that the state lacks the innovation and technology to be competitive in the 21st century, according to a study released Tuesday. Three of the state's five largest sectors have to do with paper and printing, which doesn't bode well as the nation shifts toward digital media, the study found. It also said Wisconsin's main industries aren't as globally minded as are manufacturers elsewhere, another competitive disadvantage, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The study was commissioned by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state's main job-creation agency. WEDC paid $285,000 to Ohio-based MPI Group Inc., a group known for its research expertise regarding the industrial Midwest, to conduct the study. MPI researchers categorized the state's companies by industrial sector and ranked them based on their contribution to the state's economy. They found a heavy reliance on manufacturing and a complete lack of sectors focused on high-growth areas such as information technology, biotechnology or the life sciences.

Of the state's 37 largest industries, 36 are in manufacturing. The largest category is "electrical equipment manufacturing," which includes Rockwell Automation Inc., Generac Power Systems Inc. and other companies that make industrial controls. Wisconsin's reliance on the declining ink-on-paper economy could be worrisome, as that sector has been struggling for years. A decade ago paper-making was the state's biggest economic driver, but in recent years Wisconsin mills have been shutting down at the rate of more than one per year. Meanwhile other states are diversifying into faster-growing technology sectors. "Merely because you are big and comprise a significant share of the state (gross domestic product) doesn't necessarily mean you aren't vulnerable," said Lee Swindall, WEDC's vice president of business and industry development. He compared northern Wisconsin's paper-based economy to the Michigan's auto sector, which has undergone a dramatic downsizing.

"We are well behind the curve," Swindall said. "Targeting export markets just has not been a key priority. That behavior, in our judgment, is going to have to change, but it will have to change at a much faster pace." The 611-page study also identified an under-educated workforce compared to the national average. Almost 34 percent of Wisconsin adults 25 years or older have just a high school education, compared to the national average of 28.4 percent. Wisconsin has below-average rankings in growth, wages, innovation and patent counts. Within the past year the state has fallen to No. 44 in the creation of private-sector jobs in the latest 12-month period, and the state's wages have fallen twice as fast as the national average.