For the past four years, American have been captivated by events remembering the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Two years ago, the nation saw one of the largest gatherings in memory of the Battle of Gettysburg. Now we’ve come to the dramatic climax of the war: 150 years since the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
Fifty years ago today, people in six midwest states including Michigan were still in shock from a massive tornado outbreak April 11th and 12th. The 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak was the third deadliest on record in the U. S., and it helped to usher in the modern system of watches and warnings to inform people about severe weather.
Forty years ago, Lansing said goodbye to a proud piece of its civic identity. In May 1975, the Diamond REO truck factory on Washington Avenue closed its doors, ending seven decades of Oldsmobile production in Lansing. Today, just one of those original buildings remains, and it will soon be adorned with a work of art celebrating the Oldsmobile era. It’s a mural, and when it’s finished, it will measure 56 feet long by 28 feet high.
This year, Kiwanis International celebrates its 100th birthday. Kiwanis was founded in 1915 in Detroit, and became an international organization with the creation of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario the following year.
For decades, first time visitors to the Natural Resources building on the MSU campus have been startled by the guard keeping watch by the north doors. Standing nine feet tall and weighing 300 pounds, a huge polar bear stands frozen in time, in a menacing pose. Polar bears have been on the Endangered Species list since 2008, and though long dead, the MSU bear is once again in danger. The bear was killed in Barrow, Alaska in 1957. It’s showing some wear and needs to be repaired soon.
Michigan’s Soo Locks opened on time yesterday as the mighty one thousand foot Edward H. Gott sailed through at 11:25 a.m. Ann Arbor’s Roger LeLievre is very familiar vessels like the Gott. LeLievre spent his childhood near the Soo and grew up watching immense freighters sail the lakes and locks. At age 17, he spent a summer working aboard the Ernest R. Breech.
The Michigan Meridian, which marks the state's original north-south survey line, was drawn in 1815. It's the baseline from which many political subdivisions in the state were drawn. In Meridian Township, named for the Michigan Meridian, a 14-foot metal sculpture called 'Meridius Prime' commemorates this bit of geographic history.
For many of us in the Lansing area, U-S Highway 127 is our gateway “Up North” to the more idyllic Michigan to which we all dream of escaping. But decades before the highway was built, surveyors drew an imaginary north-south line that would become the basis of countless maps of the state. It’s called the Michigan Meridian, and 2015 marks its 200th anniversary. The Michigan Meridian runs right through Meridian Township.
When you think of the great women of history, your mind probably goes to people like Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks. These are women who’ve done brave, trailblazing things as adults. But what about the role that girls have played in our history? A new book is looking at Michigan girls who accomplished incredible things before they turned twenty.
In tandem with Women’s History Month, a new exhibit in Lansing celebrates a unique group of military veterans. Founded in 1947, Post 535 in Lansing is the last all-female American Legion post in the state of Michigan. It was founded by female World War Two veterans, but it also includes women who’ve served in more recent conflicts.
The cubicle gets a pretty bad rap. The boxy workspace has become almost synonymous with isolation and corporate drudgery. But that’s not what its creator Robert Probst intended when he launched his innovative “Action Office” design in 1964.
Nearly 21 years ago, an airplane carrying Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down, killing all on board. The crash ignited a four-year-old Rwandan civil war into what would become the Rwandan Genocide, a mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority.
Influenza, measles, ebola. Infectious disease is ever present in our headlines and in our lives. Epidemics and pandemics are linked with Man’s ability to travel. Cholera’s road from India to the Great Lakes is the subject of the recent Michigan History Magazine article, "When Cholera Came to Detroit".
There are thousands of shipwrecks on the bottom of the five Great Lakes, but one ship in particular has always captured the attention of history buffs. And no, it’s not the Edmund Fitzgerald. It’s Le Griffon, a boat known as the “holy grail” of Great Lakes shipwrecks.
Blanchard, Michigan native Merze Tate remains among our state’s most distinguished citizens. By any measure, she was a trail blazer not only in Michigan but across the U.S. and internationally. Tate was the first African-American graduate of Western Michigan Teachers College and the first African-American woman to attend the University of Oxford.
We may be headed into the deep, dark winter, but Michiganders are well-known for thriving in the snow. Our state has made an industry of winter activities. The sport of snowboarding itself was born in Muskegon. Native son Sherman Poppen got it all started during Christmas of 1965.
Ninety-six years ago today, the guns fell silent across Europe, marking the armistice that ended the First World War. Veterans Day has been officially observed as a federal holiday in the United States since 1954. Here in mid-Michigan, local veterans are having their stories preserved for the future.
On this Election Day, we have a political story that has nothing to do with influencing your vote. Instead, it’s a look back at our history. The city of Jackson claims a unique place in American politics. Jackson hosted what historians say was the very first convention of the brand new Republican Party 160 years ago.
A special exhibit that focuses on the end of the U.S. Civil War and post-war Michigan opened this month at the Michigan Historical Center in downtown Lansing. The “Conceived in Liberty” exhibit focuses on themes from President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The display features artifacts from Michigan soldiers and stories of their key roles at Gettysburg, Vicksburg and other historic battles.
The Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is coming up later this week. Four of the Hall’s eight contemporary inductees have local ties, including Two Men and a Truck founder Mary Ellen Sheets and long-time educator Barbara Roberts Mason. Current State’s Scott Pohl talked with the other two local contemporary inductees.
The trees are starting to look very stark in Michigan these days as autumn digs in. Many “snowbirds” are thinking about escaping to more pleasant climates, including a team of young engineers from rural Stockbridge in Ingham County. Stockbridge High School has a robotics team which for the past three years has traveled to the tropical island of Palau to use their machines to search for lost history.
A special exhibit that focuses on the end of the U.S. Civil War and post-war Michigan opened this month at the Michigan Historical Center in downtown Lansing. The "Conceived in Liberty" exhibit focuses on themes from President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
This is an important time of year for the legal profession. Both the U-S and Michigan Supreme Courts begin hearing oral arguments this week. The American judicial system traces its roots back to English common law. And now, an iconic symbol of our legal heritage has come to Ann Arbor for public display.
If you were asked to name someone from Michigan who’s “made a difference,” who would you name? Novelist Elmore Leonard perhaps? Businessman Mike Ilitch? How about Dr. Jack Kevorkian? Bill Haney focuses on Michigan “difference makers” in his latest book.
Labor Day weekend is upon us. And with that, one last tourist-filled weekend at Mackinac Island before the hotel owners, fudge shops, and temporary workers begin battening down the hatches for another long winter. For many a Michigander, Labor Day Mackinac Bridge walk, in its 57th year, marks the unofficial end of summer.
One hundred sixty years ago, the U.S. government agreed to land rights with Michigan's Ojibwe people after discussions in Washington D.C. The Ojibwe delegation was led by 93-year-old Chief Buffalo, who traveled with the group from Lake Superior to negotiations in the nations capitol.
We often presents stories of Michigan history, and this is one of our state's oldest. Before the existence of life on our planet, geologic forces were working to form the stuff of our world, the very earth beneath our feet. It's the passion of Lake Gitchee Gumee Museum of Agate and History director Karen Brzys.
Lansing resident Matthew Wilcox is a graduate student in Library Science at Wayne State University, with an emphasis on video and audio preservation. His practicum work has led to a number of projects at the MSU Archives.