History

History
11:20 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Kiwanis centennial and its MSU Connection

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.

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Environment
12:06 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

MSU raising money to restore iconic polar bear

Darin McCullough and Dr. Scott Winterstein are working to restore this polar bear at the entrance to MSU's Natural Resources building.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

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.

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History
11:21 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Shipping out for the summer: life on a Great Lakes freighter

Roger LeLievre on the deck of the Ernest R. Breech.
Credit Courtesy Roger LeLievre

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.

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History
12:05 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

The Michigan Meridian mapped the Mitten 200 years ago

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.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

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.

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History
11:42 am
Mon March 23, 2015

“Great Girls” of history inspire Michigan author

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.

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History
11:52 am
Fri March 20, 2015

NUWARINE exhibit celebrates women in uniform

The name NUWARINE represents the military branches in which women have served: NU (U.S. Army Nurses); WAR (WAVES, WACs and SPARs); and INE (Marines).
Credit Courtesy - Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame

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.

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Business
12:40 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

The cubicle wasn’t designed to make you miserable

Credit Flickr - Katy Warner

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.

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History
11:27 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Rwandan genocide survivor brings story to Fowler

Immaculee Ilibagiza
Credit http://www.immaculee.com/

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.

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History
12:11 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Michigan's Merze Tate was civil rights champion, education pioneer

Sonya Bernard Hollins is writing a biography on pioneering African American scholar Merze Tate.
Credit http://www.michiganhistorylectures.com/

Merze Tate is a Blanchard, Michigan native and one of our state’s most distinguished citizens.

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History
12:34 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

"Kaleidoscope" marks 50th anniversary of Malcolm X assassination

Credit Flickr - Cheikh.Ra Films

Tomorrow marks 50 years since African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated at New York City’s Audubon Ball Room.

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History
11:25 am
Thu February 5, 2015

When cholera struck Detroit

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".

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History
11:24 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Archeologists doubt validity of Le Griffon shipwreck find

State of Michigan Archeologist Dean Anderson (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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History
11:35 am
Wed January 7, 2015

New book chronicles visual history of downtown Ann Arbor

Credit http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/

The Arcadia Publishing series of books about cities and towns around Michigan now has a book devoted to the city many in East Lansing think of as its top rival.

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History
11:06 am
Tue January 6, 2015

MI historian explores life of pioneering African-American scholar

Sonya Bernard Hollins
Credit http://www.michiganhistorylectures.com/

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.

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History
11:14 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Snowboarding's Michigan roots

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.

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History
12:52 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Michigan vet reflects on life-altering service in Vietnam

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, when Americans remember and thank those who have served their country in the armed forces.
Credit Flickr - DonkeyHotey

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.

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History
10:59 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Jackson's claim to GOP history

This 1910 photo marks the spot in Jackson, Michigan where some 1,500 people met on July 6, 1854 for the first formal convention of the Republican Party.
Credit Flickr / Wystan

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.

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History
11:29 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Exhibit highlights Michigan's Civil War era Company K

Visitors can see a copy of the Gettysburg Address in Abraham Lincoln's hand at the Michigan Historical Center
Credit Flickr - Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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.

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History
10:57 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Hall of Fame inductees discuss women who influenced them

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.

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Education
10:53 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Stockbridge students assist in search for lost Pacific aircraft

(L-R) Jeremy Spink, Brandon Ostrander, Tyler Heeney and Philip McCleer of the Stockbridge High School robotics team.
Credit WKAR-Kevin Lavery

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.

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History
11:51 am
Thu October 23, 2014

New exhibit highlights Michigan's role in the Civil War

One item in the 'Conceived in Liberty' exhibit is a copy of the Gettysburg Address, in Abraham Lincoln's hand.
Credit Flickr - Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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.

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History
10:37 am
Mon October 6, 2014

UM Magna Carta display celebrates 800 years of legal history

An image of the Magna Carta
Credit Flickr - James Joel

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.

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History
12:40 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

New book explores historic Michigan luminaries

Credit billhaneybooks.com

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.

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History
11:40 am
Thu August 28, 2014

New book recalls people, stories that shaped Mackinac Island over the last half century

Credit Arbitus Press

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.

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History
11:06 am
Wed August 27, 2014

A Michigan Ojibwe chief's historic journey

Konnie Lemay's story about Chief Buffalo appears in Lake Superior magazine.

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.

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History
11:54 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Lake Superior agates remnants of Michigan's prehistory

Lake Superior agates in a display case.
Credit Flickr - Ryan Somma

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.

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History
12:15 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Archivist explores MSU's multimedia trove

Wilcox has digitized Stevie Wonder's 1989 commencement speech at MSU.
Credit Flickr - Nan Palmero

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.

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History
3:16 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

The death-defying feats of Stratosphere Man

Makowski's story on Selden appears in Michigan History magazine.
Credit Courtesy - Historical Society of Michigan

Lansing-born Arzeno Selden may not be a household name today, but for several decades in the early 20th century the death-defying aerialist thrilled thousands at state fairs and traveling circuses.

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History
11:36 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Future of Detroit's Fort Wayne tied to new international bridge

A layout of Detroit's Fort Wayne.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

    

Current State’s Scott Pohl has been meeting historian Jack Dempsey at historic sites around Detroit this summer, and he’s back with another installment today. This time around, they stopped by Fort Wayne in Detroit.

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History
5:20 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Original state fairgrounds site of diverse Michigan history

The original state fairgrounds in Detroit later became home to the legendary 24th Michigan Infantry.

A couple of months ago, Current State’s Scott Pohl visited the president of the Michigan Historical Commission Jack Dempsey in Detroit’s Capitol Park to discuss his book on the park’s historical significance. We liked the result so much that we’ve sent Scott back to Detroit, where Dempsey showed him a few more historical spots.

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