Michigan history

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.

Read more
History
11:45 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Post-Civil War commerce from Vernor's to cheese at state museum

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 fall at the Michigan Historical Center in downtown Lansing. "Conceived in Liberty" focuses on themes from President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The exhibit features artifacts from Michigan soldiers and stories of their key roles at the war’s crucial battles.

Read more
History
10:56 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Historic Turner-Dodge House repaired in time for holidays

Michael Beebe (L) and Brett Kaschinske compare original wallpaper in the boys room at the Turner-Dodge House to wallpaper made to match it.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Turner-Dodge House in north Lansing is one of the city’s most historic structures. It’s almost 160 years old, and over the years, it has hosted hundreds of events ranging from tours and music events to wedding receptions. Last January, a burst pipe caused extensive water damage at the Turner-Dodge House, and things are only now getting back to normal.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
History
12:37 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Award winning journalist tells story of Great Migration

Isabel Wilkerson
Credit http://isabelwilkerson.com/

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist will be at Wharton Center this week. On Thursday, Isabel Wilkerson will discuss her book "The Warmth of Other Suns" in a joint appearance with television journalist Soledad O’Brien. Wilkerson’s book is an epic work of non-fiction that chronicles the great migration northward of Southern African-Americans.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Sports
12:28 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Hamtramck Stadium recognized for Negro League heritage

Murals adorn the cinder block walls at Hamtramck Park.
WKAR/Scott Pohl

Longtime fans of the Detroit Tigers cling to their memories of Tiger Stadium. Many still visit the old site at Michigan and Trumbull in the Motor City to stand on that hallowed ground or run the base paths.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
History
12:01 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Civil Rights Act at 50: Michigan was a pioneer

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law 50 years ago today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended the ceremony.
Credit Flickr - U.S. Embassy New Delhi

On Friday, our nation celebrates its 238th birthday. But today, America is also observing the passage of one of the most significant laws ever crafted in its history.  On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law that forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was born in an era of violence and intolerance in America.

Read more
History
12:37 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

What happened to Northwest Flight 2501?

NWA Flight 2501 went down over Lake Michigan 64 years ago today and is still missing. This memorial service took place in 2008.
Credit flickr - msra images

On June 24th, 1950, Northwest Airlines Flight 2501 left New York City for Seattle. The state of the art DC-4 aircraft was to stop in Minneapolis for refueling, before proceeding to the west coast. Monitoring the plane in threatening weather over Lake Michigan, air controllers lost track of the flight. The aircraft was never recovered, nor were any passengers or crew. Further wreckage discovered some days later indicated a total loss.

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:53 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Symposium highlights Michigan's role in modern architecture

The Michigan State Medical Society building in East Lansing is a leading local example of modern architecture.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The history of 20th century design in Michigan isn’t just about automobiles. After World War II, Michigan was a hub for architects who broke away from the neo-classical shapes inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The era of modern architecture lasted about 30 years and produced many structures still seen today.

Read more
History
11:38 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Owosso Train Expo celebrates planes, trains and cars

Train Expo coordinator Terry Bush climbs aboard the 1225 locomotive. Hollywood modeled 'The Polar Express' on the 1225.
WKAR/Nicole Strobel

The sound of trains can be commonly heard in Owosso. This weekend, steam whistles will be added to the clickety-clack of steel wheels during the Steam Railroading Institute’s Train Expo 2014.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
2:21 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Ahead on Current State: Michigan Remembers D-Day

Michigan veteran Earl Harmon, Sr., (1921-2011) was part of the D-Day invasion.

Fri. June 6 - 9am - 90.5 WKAR | Today's Generation Honors the Greatest Generation. Current State from WKAR presents a special 30-minute audio documentary commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Read more
History
11:56 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Place-making with historic preservation

The Michigan Historic Preservation Network is involved in the restoration of the Knapp's building in Lansing.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Historic preservation stakeholders from across the state are convening in Jackson, Michigan this week for the annual Michigan Historic Preservation Network conference. The network works to recognize and conserve Michigan’s architectural culture.

Read more
History
12:58 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Tiny Detroit park home to state's original capitol

There's a small replica of the first state capitol building in the park.
Scott Pohl/WKAR


A new book by Jack Dempsey tells the story of Detroit’s historic Capitol Park. It’s the site of Michigan’s first capitol building, and the state’s first governor is buried there.

Read more
History
1:54 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

New book chronicles Lansing's First Family

The Turner-Dodge house is the only 19th century residence in the greater Lansing area open to the public.
Credit Flickr - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Take a drive through Lansing Township north of the Capitol, and you’re likely to pass by a stately Classical Revival-style mansion.  Beginning in 1855, the  Turner-Dodge House on North Street was home to several generations of one of  Lansing’s most prominent families.  Today, it’s an interpretive center with its own spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Read more
History
11:10 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Book chronicles Michigander's role in woman's suffrage

Anna Howard Shaw graduated from Albion College in 1875.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

March is Women’s History Month, and Current State’s Scott Pohl talks with the author of a new book about one Michigan woman's role in America’s suffrage movement. 

Anna Howard Shaw was born in England in 1847. Her family moved to America and she grew up in Michigan. After an isolated farm upbringing, Shaw enrolled at Albion College, which became a springboard to a life as a minister and medical school studies in Boston, and ultimately to work in the reform movements of that era.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
11:29 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Ex-German POW to share story at Statehood Day event

Ernst Floeter (left) was brought to Michigan shortly after his capture in the days following D-Day. Eric Perkins (right) invited Floeter to be part of the Michigan Historical Museum's Statehood Day events.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

On January 26th, 1837, Michigan was admitted as the 26th state to the Union. The Michigan Historical Museum is celebrating our state’s 177th birthday with its annual Michigan Statehood Day planned for tomorrow. The celebration is also centered around the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
11:07 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Grand Ledge church looks to solve time capsule mystery

Earlier this year, members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Grand Ledge opened a century-old time capsule. A package, likely containing letters and photographs, was found inside the copper box and marked for the descendants of Rev. J.E. Foote, whom the church has yet to identify.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Earlier this year, as part of its centennial celebration, members of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Grand Ledge removed a time capsule that had been placed in the cornerstone all the way back in 1912.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
10:32 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Fifty-five years later, remembering the shipwrecked SS Carl Bradley

The steamer Carl D. Bradley sank 55 years ago today.
Credit www.carlbradley.org

The sinking of the SS Carl D. Bradley claimed the lives of 33 crewmembers on Lake Michigan. The Bradley wreck doesn’t get talked about as much as the Edmund Fitzgerald does, but it is a story worth remembering.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
12:46 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Lansing leaders inducted into Michigan Women's Hall of Fame

The Michigan Women's Historical Center in Lansing houses the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.
Credit Flickr - bettybarcode

Tonight, the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in Lansing will induct six new nominees to its ranks.  Two are high-profile women from Lansing.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
12:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Beyond the Edmund Fitzgerald: Museum highlights Great Lakes natural disasters

This survival suit, part of the 'Lake Effects' exhibit at the Michigan Historical Museum, is designed for protection and flotation in frigid waters.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

At the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing, a new exhibit called “Lake Effects” examines the state’s weather history, including the state’s worst natural disasters.

Read more

Pages