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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Wikipedia page for Lansing, Mich. reads that "in the winter of 1835 and early 1836, two brothers from New York plotted the area now known as REO Town just south of downtown Lansing and named it 'Biddle City.' All of this land lay in a floodplain and was underwater during the majority of the year. Regardless, the brothers went back to New York, specifically Lansing, New York, to sell plots for the town that did not exist.”
This story may sound familiar to many, but it turns out it’s not true. David Votta, Community Engagement Librarian at the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, sat down with Current State’s Emanuele Berry to debunked the myth of Lansing’s foundation.
For the United States, the War of 1812 took a turn for the better on this date 200 years ago. American naval forces defeated the British in The Battle of Lake Erie. The victory secured the lake and ensured that Michigan and Ohio would remain the sovereign territory of the U.S.A.
Almost 100 years ago, two young girls enjoying their summer on Harsens Island scrawled a note, stuck it in a glass bottle and threw it in the St. Clair River. Early last month, Bernard Licata , President of the Harsens Island/St. Clair Flats Historical Society, was contacted about the bottle after a diver stumbled across it. Licata share this remarkable piece of history with Current State.
This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the U.S. Civil War. The MSU Museum is observing Michigan's involvement in the conflict between North and South. Roger Rosentreter, professor of history at Michigan State University, discusses the exhibit, "Michigan and the Civil War."
Stevens T. Mason is a familiar name for anyone who knows their Michigan history. Mason, also known as the state’s so-called “boy governor," squeezed a lot of accomplishments in his 32 years. At the age of only 19, Mason became the secretary of the Michigan Territory in 1831. Just three years later, he became its governor, and led the process of Michigan becoming a state.
A little known state agency is celebrating an important milestone today. The Michigan Historical Commission is holding its 100th anniversary meeting in Lansing. The commission is the group responsible for the more than 1,700 green and gold historic markers scattered across the state. It’s also heavily involved in the ongoing sesquicentennial of Michigan’s role in the Civil War. The chair of the Michigan Historical Commision, Jack Dempsey, spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore about the importance of preserving Michigan’s history.
Today on Current State: Spartan women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant; author Winona LaDuke on Native American struggles with the U.S. military; the unsolved murder that changed Michigan politics; opera star Renee Fleming; and Neighbors in Action features Lansing's Box 23.
Before the assassination of State Senator Warren Hooper in 1945, corruption in Michigan politics was the norm, not the exception. While it remains unsolved, the Hooper hit, which was widely believed to be the work of Detroit’s infamous Purple Gang, ushered in a crackdown on corruption and altered the political climate in Lansing for good.
Bill Whitbeck, a Michigan Court of Appeals judge and the author of the 2010 novel “To Account for Murder,” which is based on Hooper’s death, recounts the story.