Jan. 22, 1981: Belgian-born novelist and essayist Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987), having lived for more than three decades in relative obscurity on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, attends a ceremony in Paris at which she becomes the first woman inducted into the prestigious Académie Française.

Yourcenar is known best as the author of the novels “Memoirs of Hadrian” and “The Abyss.” She is known for conjuring up strong male protagonists, although she spent most of her life in the company of women.

Belgian-born French author Marguerite Yourcenar photographed with journalist Michel Droit at the Elysée Palace in Paris in 1980. Associated Press

At a memorial service in 1988 in Northeast Harbor, her friend and translator Walter Kaiser, a Harvard professor, said of Yourcenar’s death the previous year, “She herself had long since achieved immortality – not merely that conferred by the Académie Française but the ultimate immortality she had guaranteed for herself by her deathless writing. For so long as men and women ask themselves what it means to be a human being in this sublunary, transient world, Marguerite Yourcenar is one of the authors to whom they shall turn for an answer.”

Jan. 22, 2018: A trio of agencies releases a report that predicts Maine’s lobster population will drop 40 percent to 62 percent over the next 30 years because of rising ocean temperatures.

The study, done by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the University of Maine and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, concludes that a decrease in the number of surviving lobster eggs and an increase in predators that eat lobsters are at the root of the trend.

The study says the ocean reached optimal temperature for lobster growth around 2010. At the end of the 30-year period, lobster harvests should be comparable to those of the early 2000s, which were less than half as large as those of the late 2010s, it says.

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at: jowen@mainetoday.com.

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