President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act on July 2, 1862. It established the land grant university system, which had been pioneered seven years earlier through a state land grant initiative that created Michigan State University.
Michigan State University often boasts of its status as America’s “pioneer land grant university.” In 1855, MSU was chartered under state law as an agricultural college. The deal included 14,000 acres of state owned land. Seven years later, the Morrill Act granted federally-owned land to the states to build new universities.
The act marked a major shift in American education. Up till then, colleges mainly emphasized the liberal arts. Land grant universities still taught the classics, but also included agriculture, science and engineering.
There’s a debate at the state Capitol about a natural gas drilling process known as “fracking.” Drills use a mixture of chemicals and water to extract gas from hard-to-reach pockets underground. The practice has been around for decades. Problems have been reported in other parts of the country – although never in Michigan.
But Democratic state Representative Lisa Brown says the fact that wells are now going deeper and using directional drilling raises questions.
Michigan may be officially out of the Great Recession, but its aftermath continues to affect millions of people here and across the country. Today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago kicks off its 10th annual “Money Smart Week” in mid-Michigan. It’s a public education program offering nearly two dozen financial literacy classes in the city of Lansing.
Many Americans struggle with credit problems. Using it wisely and repairing it when it gets damaged is just one focus of the week’s activities.