Michigan history

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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."

University of Michigan Press

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.

Don Faber, author of the book “The Boy Governor:  Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics,”  explains Michigan's early beginnings.

Michigan Historical Commission celebrates centennial

May 8, 2013

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.

Michigan commemorates the War of 1812

Mar 11, 2013

Then still just a frontier territory, Michigan was the site of many important battles during the War of 1812. 

The Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission meets today to discuss commemorations of historic events from the war.  

Susan Clark, director of the Michigan History Museum, recounts local turning points in the war and tells us what events are planned.

Current State #33 | February 27, 2013

Feb 27, 2013
Courtesy of the Capital Area District Library


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. 

Jackson Citizen Patriot file photo

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.

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