Michigan history

WKAR and Michigan State University entered the era of radio broadcasting on August 18, 1922! Join us as we celebrate 95 years making a difference in your capital region. 

 

Every day during the month of August, we'll bring you a piece of history from 1922 until now.

 

Eugene Wanger photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

Michigan is the only state that includes a prohibition on the death penalty in its constitution. Eugene Wanger was a young Republican delegate to the constitutional convention in the early 1960’s, and he drafted the capital punishment clause approved by state voters in 1963.


Lansing Labor Holiday photo
Courtesy photo / Ralph W. Lewis Collection, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

The city of Lansing is commemorating an important event in labor history this weekend. On June 7th, 1937, businesses and factories in the city were shut down by what has come to be known as the Lansing Labor Holiday.

Francine Hughes, the Dansville woman who killed her abusive ex-husband 40 years ago in what came to be known as the “Burning Bed” case, has passed away.

Arjen Greydanus photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

UPDATE: The former Francine Hughes has died in Alabama at the age of 69. See related story.

Forty years ago Thursday, Francine Hughes of Dansville entered the Ingham County Jail and confessed to setting her house on fire with her sleeping ex-husband inside. James “Mickey” Hughes had long abused the mother of three. Asleep in bed when the fire started, he died of smoke inhalation.


wmich.edu

Throughout Michigan's history, the state's African American population is often portrayed as an urban population... but that depiction overlooks a part of Michigan’s history.

 


 

MICHIGAN.GOV

Sandra Clark is director of the Michigan Historical Society.  She met in 2016 to speak with Peter Whorf about the Michigan 102nd Regiment. Their conversation is part of WKAR's Black History Month series.


msu.edu

WKAR marks Black History Month 2017 with a series of new and archival interviews with Michigan history makers. The story collection starts on the campus of MSU in a conversation with past University President Clifton R. Wharton and WKAR's Mark Bashore.

 


Handgun in case
Courtesy / SSL Firearms

A Michigan company is auctioning  a handgun once owned by gangster Al Capone. Current State’s Kevin Lavery has the story.


Henry Ford baseball photo
Courtesy photo / Lelands.com

A baseball signed by Henry Ford was discovered in a New Jersey couple’s attic. Along with Ford’s signature were signatures of some other Ford engineers and racing great Ralph DePalma. We speak with Josh Evans, the founder of Lelands.com, which is auctioning the ball on Friday.


Twelve Twenty-Five book cover image
MSU Press

Current State talks with author Kevin P. Keefe about his book on the Pere Marquette 1225 locomotive in Owosso.


Teacher, students reclaim abandoned MI cemetery

Oct 21, 2016
Cemetery class photo
Darrin Silvester

We talk with a high school teacher whose classes have been exploring an abandoned cemetery for more than a decade.


This week, the Motown Museum in Detroit announced a $50-million dollar expansion project. We talk with the museum’s Chairwoman and CEO, Robin Terry, about their exciting plans.


Caitlyn Dial photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

This week, the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame will induct a new class of honorees. We’ll talk with the Hall’s Caitlyn Dial about the class of 2016.


Dr. Robert L. Green and Dr. Martin Luther King photo
Courtesy photo / Dr. Robert L. Green

Dr. Robert L. Green was a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists. We talk with distinguished alumnus and professor emeritus at MSU about civil rights then and today.


Pages