Michigan history

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Merze 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 speak with  Sonya Bernard Hollins, one of today’s leading experts on the life of Merze Tate.


Flickr - Shinya Suzuki

It’s the peak of home buying and selling season, and we’ll look back on historic Michigan homes that were to take a leap foward. Current State takes us to Western Michigan’s Usonian community.

Civil War artifacts photo
Courtesy photo / MSU Museum

WKAR-TV presents an overview of Ken Burns' iconic "Civil War" series tomorrow night. Current State brings you stories of Michigan in the Civil War.


The credit given to Henry Ford for inventing the automobile and the assembly line is somewhat exaggerated, according to the author of a new book called “Drive! Henry Ford, George Selden and the Race to invent the Auto Age.” We talk with Lawrence Goldstone about his book.


Courtesy Roger LeLievre

An Ann Arbor writer remembers sailing the Great Lakes as a porter on a Ford Motor Company ship. Current State's Peter Whorf speaks with Roger LeLeivre about his Summer of 1973, sailing the Great Lakes as a cargo ship porter.

Nokomis Learning Center photo
Courtesy photo / Nokomis Learning Center

Current State's Peter Whorf takes us on a tour of the Nokomis learning Center in Meridian Township.


Bonnie Clark photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

For six decades, Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital ran a nursing school near its main campus on Michigan Avenue. For the past 95 years, the alumni of that school have held a reunion. Tomorrow, that legacy comes to an end. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with a retired registered nurse from the Sparrow Nursing School Class of 1960.


“Ink Trails” chronicled the lives and writings of more than a dozen Michigan authors. It was a Michigan Notable Book for 2013. Now, a new edition has been published. Scott Pohl talks with Dave and Jack Dempsey about “Ink Trails II.”


Willow Run map image
Courtesy image / American Center for Mobility

On March 28, 1941, a small army of construction workers began clearing a five-square mile patch of land near Ypsilanti. The Willow Run bomber plant was the largest aircraft manufacturing facility ever built. Now, 75 years later, Willow Run’s proud legacy of innovation continues.


Bill Ballenger photo
WKAR

Today's primary elections in Michigan are closed, with Republicans voting for Republicans and Democrats voting for Democrats. It hasn't always been that way. We talk with Bill Ballenger of The Ballenger Report about Michigan's role in the presidential nominating process over the years.


Governor Fred Warner
Courtesy / Farmington Community Library Heritage Collection

This year’s presidential primary has turned out to be pretty interesting, but the origin story of Michigan’s state level primaries could give the hoopla of 2016 a run for its money. We learn more about Michigan’s first state primary from Maria Taylor, Assistant Editor of Michigan History Magazine.


Little Rock Nine student on life at MSU and beyond

Mar 1, 2016
Ernest Green and Mark Bashore photo
April Van Buren / WKAR

We have part two of Current State's conversation with civil rights activist Ernest Green today.


Little Rock Nine student’s journey from Arkansas to EL

Feb 24, 2016
Ernest Green and Mark Bashore photo
April Van Buren / WKAR

In September of 1957, Ernest Green and eight other African American students stood outside the all white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, their entrance blocked by a line of Arkansas National Guard Soldiers. The Little Rock Nine became symbols of the fight to integrate public schools in America. We talk to Ernest Green about what it was like to be a part of such a historic moment ahead of his lecture in East Lansing on Thursday.

Winter Comes to Michigan photo
Courtesy photo / Michigan Department of Transportation

A 1930’s era newsreel that nostalgically captures the work that went into keeping the state’s main roads free of snow more than seventy years ago has been rediscovered in a basement in the Upper Peninsula town of Newberry. We learn more about how popular it’s become from MDOT spokesman Dan Weingarten.


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