With Gala weekend for Pelican schools, we were reminded of Pelican’s ‘4-day school weeks of the past— during the 1970s energy crisis

 Tales of the hometown, and the old school, will be in the air this weekend—as many Pelican alumni, coaches and athletes reminisce at the “Viking Gala.” 

The weekend is something of a “triple-header,” with current Pelican students celebrating Homecoming—and the football game 7 p.m. Friday night. On Saturday, the Viking Gala will be hosted at the Pelican VFW Club. The third highlight—the induction of the second group of Hall of Fame members—will be featured at the Gala. 

In the process of gathering information from the 2021 inductees, a bit of history was brought to our attention—which has largely faded, and perhaps forgotten by students and staff from the 1970s. 

Pelican has been on a four-day week schedule for about a decade, prompted by budgetary issues. 

But does anybody remember the “original” four-day school week at Pelican Rapids schools?

The energy crunch was nationwide, even global. The so-called “Arab Oil Embargo” was on, and there were lines at the gas pumps. Businesses were curtailing hours, in some cases; and life was generally altered for almost everybody.

1977 Pelican graduate Janet (Rogelstad) Lindberg and Hall of Fame inductee this weekend reminded us of the dismal days of oil shortages. The crisis was certainly not life-threatening, as the COVID pandemic has been today. But the impacts were far-reaching. 

 “For about 4 weeks…during the energy crunch, we had the original four-day school week,” noted Lindberg, who will be inducted Sept. 25 as one of the school’s earliest standout female athletes. Because of the energy shortages, school administration “turned down the heat for the weekend and saved transportation costs. We had a lot of REALLY cold practices on Mondays!” exclaimed Lindberg.