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American flags usually dominate Westport’s Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in warm weather months —except today when the Stars and Stripes are joined by United Nations member states for jUNe Day. Today is the 50th anniversary of the world-comes-to-Westport celebration of the United Nations.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

50th Annual jUNe Day: ‘Peace Begins in Our Hearts’

By James Lomuscio

Westport today marked its 50th jUNe Day, a world-comes-to Westport event celebrating the United Nations and providing a day of rest, relaxation, and a touch of hometown America for U.N. member families.

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U.N. official Carole Wainaina (l) hands the Oneness-Home Peace Run torch to runner Natabara Rolloson at today’s jUNe Day 50th anniversary celebration. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

As many of the 193 U.N. member flags colorfully billowed under cloudy skies on Westport’s Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge — named after the late Westporter who organized the first jUNe Day in 1965 — a welcoming ceremony was held in the nearby Saugatuck Elementary School cafeteria.

There, scores of U.N. delegates, staff and their families, many arriving on an early morning train from Grand Central Terminal, gathered for a breakfast and anniversary ceremony before the annual day of cultural and recreational events throughout town.

Activities included trips to downtown, Compo Beach, Longshore Club Park, and Earthplace as well as a soccer match, Westport vs. U.N.

Honored Guest

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Among honored guests at today’s 50th anniversary jUNe Day ceremony at Saugatuck Elementary School was William Steinkraus, 89, brother of jUNe Day founder Ruth Steinkraus Cohen. An accomplished equestrian, Steinkraus won a gold medal in individual jumping at the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City. He obtained two silver medals in Team Jumping, first in 1960 and again in 1972. Steinkraus also won a bronze medal in Team Jumping at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Librarians Honor Bleiweis in San Francisco

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Maxine Bleiweis, retiring director of the Westport Library, was honored in today with the prestigious national Charlie Robinson Award at the American Library Association annual convention in San Francisco.. Several library staff members were also there. The Charlie Robinson Award honors a public library director who, over a period of seven years, has been a risk taker, an innovator and/or a change agent in a public library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Saturday,  June 27, 2015


10 a.m. – Saugatuck Elementary School – 170 Riverside Ave. – 50h annual jUNe Day kickoff
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes” (last day)
Noon – 5 p.m. – Rolnick Observatory – 182 Bayberry Lane – Westport Astronomical Society Amateur Radio Club Field Day
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Town Hall – Westport Community Theatre: “Nine”
3 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “And a Nightingale Sang” (last day)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Westport Rotary Club Passes the Gavel

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Outgoing Westport Rotary Club president Steve Lewine passes the gavel to incoming president Jane Sherman tonight at the club’s annual passing the gavel lobster bake at the clubhouse at the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach. She will preside over the club for the 2015-2016 one-year term. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com