History

History
11:20 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Lansing-born journalist recalls 60’s storms, Romney and Vietnam

If you were in Michigan in the 1960’s, your memories probably include the Palm Sunday tornadoes, Governor and Presidential candidate George Romney and the Vietnam War. A Lansing-born journalist with roots in that memorable decade has written a memoir that includes those three and more.

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History
11:37 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Historic Ulysses S. Grant house in Detroit to move across city

The former home of Ulysses S. Grant in Detroit is slated to be moved across the city later this year.
Jack Dempsey, Michigan Historical Commission

Ulysses S. Grant lived in Detroit for a while before the Civil War. This summer, the old structure he called home may be moved to a different part of Detroit.

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Community
11:40 am
Tue May 26, 2015

MSU’s Living History Project: 96-year-old Rudy Aittama

Rudy Aittama
Credit Courtesy MSU Living History Project

For the past year, students in MSU's School of Journalism have documented the life experiences of seniors in our state as part of the multimedia initiative "The Living History Project: Stories Told by Michigan's Oldest Old." Oldest old refers to individuals who are 85 years old or older. It's also the fastest growing age group in the United States.

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History
11:35 am
Tue May 26, 2015

MSU Museum turns construction work into steam tunnel exhibit

The steam tunnel work currently underway in front of the MSU Museum
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

The parking lot in front of the MSU Museum has disappeared. In its place, there are steam shovels, enormous piles of dirt and a deep, deep hole. Workers are in the midst of an ongoing project to maintain the university’s extensive steam tunnel system.

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Community
12:38 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

MSU’s Living History Project: 85-year-old Domingo Berlanga of Flint

Domingo Berlanga
Credit Courtesy MSU Living History Project

For the past year, students in MSU's School of Journalism have documented the life experiences of seniors in our state as part of the multimedia initiative "The Living History Project: Stories Told by Michigan's Oldest Old." Oldest old refers to individuals who are 85 years old or older. It's also the fastest growing age group in the U.S. In our third installment of the four part series, we hear from 85-year-old Flint resident Domingo Berlanga.

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History
12:00 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

State to rebuild historic Fort Holmes on Mackinac Island

Fort Holmes was reconstructed by the WPA in the 1930s, but has deteriorated in recent years.
courtesy Phil Porter, Mackinac Island Historic Parks

School is winding down, the temperatures are rising, and that means it’s time to start planning those summer vacations. At the top of the list for a lot of people is Mackinac Island. The 3.8 square mile island in between the two peninsulas has been a beloved vacation spot for generations of Michiganders. This summer, history  buffs will have a special treat on the island as the Mackinac Island Historic Parks rebuilds the historic Fort Holmes.

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History
1:05 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Iconic Ionia County bridge to be rebuilt

Whites Bridge was burned down by an arsonist in 2013. Money has now been raised to rebuild it.
Credit Courtesy Whites Bridge Historical Society

A historic Michigan landmark in Ionia County is set for restoration soon. For close to 150 years, Whites Bridge near the small town of Smyrna in Ionia County served both a practical and picturesque function. Practical as a way for travelers in the area to cross the Flat River, and more recently as a scenic area popular with shutterbugs and young people getting their engagement photos taken. Two years ago, someone burned it down. But bridge lovers have raised enough money now for a complete rebuild.

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History
11:53 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Kalamazoo boasts unique collection of Frank Lloyd Wright homes

Frank Lloyd Wright
Credit Flickr - Shinya Suzuki

“Usonian” is an architectural term attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright, describing some of his affordable family home designs beginning in the 1930s. Usonian homes were typically small, single story dwellings without a garage or much storage. But they were as thoughtfully designed as Wright’s commissions for far wealthier clients. A group of young professionals in Kalamazoo County was among the first to embrace Wright’s innovative idea.

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Community
12:09 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

MSU’s Living History Project: Katherine Sattler, 90

Katherine Sattler
Credit Credit Courtesy MSU Living History Project

For the past year, students in MSU's School of Journalism have documented the life experiences of seniors in our state as part of the multimedia initiative "The Living History Project: Stories Told by Michigan's Oldest Old." Oldest old refers to individuals who are 85 years old or older. It's also the fastest growing age group in the US. In our second installment of this four-part documentary series, we hear from 90-year-old Holocaust survivor and Detroit area resident Katherine Sattler.

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Community
11:51 am
Tue May 5, 2015

MSU’s Living History Project: Helen Glass, 98, of Lansing

Helen Glass
Credit Courtesy MSU Living History Project

For the past year, students in MSU's School of Journalism have documented the life experiences of seniors in our state as part of the multimedia initiative "The Living History Project: Stories Told by Michigan's Oldest Old." Oldest old refers to individuals who are 85 years old or older. It's also the fastest growing age group in the U-S.

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History
11:13 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Century old postcards document life at Michigan Agricultural College

Steven Terry of Williamston is the first ever deltiologist, or collector of picture postcards, to appear on Current State. His collection numbers around a thousand. A specialty is postcards featuring images of the MSU, or more correctly, the Michigan Agricultural College campus from about a century ago.

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History
11:33 am
Fri April 24, 2015

New book looks at golden age of boat building in Michigan

We think of Michigan as the center of the auto industry, but there have been times in our history when production of recreational boats was a thriving industry as well. In fact, many of the best known boat names like Chris-Craft originated here.

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History
11:36 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lansing residents remember historic 1975 flood

This Lansing intersection was under water during the 1975 flood.
Credit Norris Ingells / Courtesy Lansing State Journal

This week we’re looking back on an event that’s become part of the folklore of mid-Michigan. Forty years ago, a late winter storm followed by locally heavy rains produced one of the worst floods in Lansing history. Current State’s Kevin Lavery speaks with some local residents who remember well the Flood of 1975.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Former Gov. Engler remembers “workhorse” Sen. Robert Griffin

After his time in the U.S. Senate, Robert Griffin was a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court from 1987 to 1994. His portrait by artist Joseph Maniscalco hangs in the Michigan Hall of Justice.
Credit courtesy Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

Former U.S. Sen. Robert Griffin of Michigan was laid to rest yesterday in Traverse City. Griffin died late last week at the age of 91. After serving in World War II, the Detroit native began practicing law in Traverse City. The Republican eventually served in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 22 years until he was narrowly defeated for re-election to the Senate by Democrat Carl Levin in 1978.

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History
12:06 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Historian explains Michigan’s reaction to Lincoln assassination

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated while sitting in this chair at Ford's Theatre. It's now on display at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.
Credit Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures / Flickr

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.

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History
10:58 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Remembering Michigan’s 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak

Credit Flickr - Rachel McBee

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Giant mural to capture Lansing’s early REO heritage

Artist Tony Hendrick works on a quarter panel of what will be a 58-foot mural celebrating the history of Oldsmobile in Lansing.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

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.

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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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