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The turbulent triumphant life of the Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin is one of the greatest American artists of all time. Her singing career covered six decades and reached millions of Americans. Nicknamed the Queen of Soul, she earned just about every award a singer-songwriter can win, and on January 21, 1987, she became the first female vocalist to be inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of

The turbulent triumphant life of the Queen of Soul2021-01-14T16:55:32-05:00

Did the Civil War have a little drummer boy from Michigan?

Winters are not usually known for great battles, as historically, armies used the time to rest and regroup. That is not to say the cold and snowy weather hasn’t had a drastic effect on warfare. Who can deny the importance of Washington crossing the Delaware on December 25, 1776, when the ragged Continental Army defeated highly trained

Did the Civil War have a little drummer boy from Michigan?2020-12-30T20:16:26-05:00

Building railroads to build Michigan

The chugging and mournful sound of a train’s bellow can elicit feelings of contentment in your soul. Even today, when a train is used mainly to haul freight or for scenic, vintage rides, it is a hauntingly beautiful sight to behold. It has also created many a ferroequinologist (train enthusiast). The railroads have been integral in Michigan’s

Building railroads to build Michigan2020-10-01T18:11:39-04:00

The ‘Boy Governor’ who made Michigan a state

Stevens Mason wasn’t born in Michigan. He didn’t die in Michigan either, yet he is very well-known for being a true Michiganian, and his influence on our state is undeniable. Also known as the Boy Governor, Stevens was instrumental in Michigan gaining statehood. The month of September has quite a few important dates in our state, and

The ‘Boy Governor’ who made Michigan a state2020-09-02T17:51:12-04:00

Taking a glimpse into the past at Detroit’s Historic Fort Wayne

The year was 1841, and the United States faced another possible threat from Great Britain, the same nation from whom it had won freedom only 65 years ago, and who tried again to retake it 28 years prior. In August of this year, Congress appropriated hundreds of dollars to build a chain of forts from the East

Taking a glimpse into the past at Detroit’s Historic Fort Wayne2020-08-01T15:19:57-04:00

Legendary Dorothy Zehnder inducted into Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame

Once you meet Dorothy Zehnder, it’s hard to forget her. She may be a tad diminutive in stature, but she’s definitely not short on kindness, charm or energy. In fact, the 98-year young matriarch of the Zehnder family still works full time six days a week! She is the co-founder and co-owner of the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn,

Legendary Dorothy Zehnder inducted into Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame2020-07-27T00:07:30-04:00

Examining the legacy of Selfridge Air Base

America’s Number One Hornet’s Nest. Home of Generals. Home of the MiG Killers. These are all nicknames for a historic military base in Michigan. The Selfridge Air National Guard Base, formerly known as Selfridge Field, has been an important training ground for our troops since World War I. Today, it hosts many of our nation’s military units,

Examining the legacy of Selfridge Air Base2020-07-02T11:13:42-04:00

The storied past of the Soo Locks and Michigan’s oldest city

Sault Ste. Marie is a beautiful city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, located on the St. Mary’s River, and home to Lake Superior State University. It’s also not far from the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the picturesque sights of Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks. However, it is most famous for its Locks, which are an amazing feat

The storied past of the Soo Locks and Michigan’s oldest city2020-06-05T09:13:23-04:00

The life and times of Detroit’s beloved Belle Isle

Belle Isle is known to many in Michigan, especially those on the east side of the state, as a haven from the crowds of the big city. Located in the middle of the Detroit River, between the city of Detroit and Windsor, Canada, it is a 982-acre island park consisting of one main island and several surrounding

The life and times of Detroit’s beloved Belle Isle2020-05-06T15:00:59-04:00

Cuban treatment prompts Michigan men to fight in Spanish-American War

The Spanish American War is likely the least-known war in American history, and it’s no surprise, considering the fact that it didn’t even last a year. Needless to say, it did happen, starting in April of 1898 and Michigan led the way in many aspects of the war. In the 1890s, Cuba was under the rule of

Cuban treatment prompts Michigan men to fight in Spanish-American War2020-04-17T14:43:05-04:00

Pioneering aviator Michigan’s Harriet Quimby breaks barriers

All lives are molded, more or less, by our first teachings. True courtesy, sympathy, and sincerity are the most powerful factors for good in either home or public life.~Harriet Quimby March is Women’s History Month, so while researching a topic for this month, I began looking at notable women from the Mitten State. There are many illustrious

Pioneering aviator Michigan’s Harriet Quimby breaks barriers2020-04-17T14:44:27-04:00

125 reasons to visit Mackinac in 2020

While there’s hardly ever a reason not to visit Mackinac Island and the beautiful area that surrounds it, 2020 presents a particularly magical opportunity. Mackinac State Historic Parks is turning 125 this year and, as such, its team has created 125 days of events throughout the 2020 season, spread across its family of sites and parks. Many

125 reasons to visit Mackinac in 20202020-03-04T13:35:35-05:00

The founding of Holland, Michigan

Beaches. Lighthouses. Tulip Time. Dutch Village and Windmill Island. Hope College. The birth of WWJD Bracelets. City of Churches. The Felt House. Civic Theatre. An awesome Civil War muster in the fall at Van Raalte Park. Most Michiganders know the city that includes all of these things--Holland. Located on the shores of Lake Macatawa and just minutes

The founding of Holland, Michigan2020-03-04T13:42:16-05:00

Southern Michigan and the War of 1812

As alluded to in last month’s article regarding Mackinac Island, the War of 1812 has more than a few conundrums like being named after one year, and lasting for more than two. The primary reason for the war, impressment of American sailors, ceased to be an issue before the war officially began. Remarkably, the biggest battle occurred

Southern Michigan and the War of 18122020-01-15T15:25:53-05:00

Mackinac in the War of 1812

Since the Treaty of Ghent was signed in December of 1814, I decided to write about what happened in Michigan during the war. When I started my research, I learned there was a lot more to report than I had anticipated, so this month, I will just focus on the Mackinac area during the war of 1812.

Mackinac in the War of 18122020-01-15T13:01:06-05:00

Michigan women brave the Civil War

The American Civil War was a conflict that affected most American citizens. More than 620,000 soldiers lost their lives to wounds and disease. Unfortunately, civilians were not exempt from dying either. It was a defining moment in American history and Michigan played a significant role as 90,000 Michigan men served in the Union forces. That was about

Michigan women brave the Civil War2020-03-04T15:12:54-05:00

Fire ravages Michigan, not just Chicago, in 1871

For most historians, October 8, 1871, will stick out as the day of the Great Chicago Fire. The blaze in the Windy City killed approximately 300 people, destroyed 3.3 square miles of the city, and left over 100,000 residents homeless. Many people believe the Michigan connection to the Chicago fire is limited to the fact that lumber

Fire ravages Michigan, not just Chicago, in 18712020-03-04T15:06:51-05:00

Meet Detroit’s second founder: Father Gabriel Richard

Religion. Morality. Knowledge. These are precepts to which Fr. Gabriel Richard lived throughout his entire life. He is a man not often read about in the Michigan history books, which is quite a shame, as he did much to help the early settlers in Michigan. Father Gabriel is also known by some as the second founder of Detroit. If

Meet Detroit’s second founder: Father Gabriel Richard2020-03-04T15:07:30-05:00

Michigan’s first mysterious ship disappearance

Shipwrecks have been a danger to sailors, merchants and explorers since biblical times. Ships sailing on the Great Lakes are no exception. Over 6,000 have sunk to the bottom of the five lakes costing 30,000 people their lives. The Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in 1971 may be the most famous; however, one of the first recorded shipwrecks in

Michigan’s first mysterious ship disappearance2020-03-04T15:08:20-05:00

Labor movement has deep roots in Michigan

These days for most people, Labor Day means a last long look at summer. Jazz fills the air in Detroit and thousands of people take a stunningly beautiful stroll across the Mackinac Bridge. Boats leave their docks with swimmers aboard and skiers behind. Barbecues and picnics can be found in backyards and parks around the state. People

Labor movement has deep roots in Michigan2020-03-04T15:08:54-05:00

Walking through 300 years of history at The Henry Ford

July is the month that we, as a nation, celebrate our birthday and our history. Though Independence Day is usually known for family, cookouts and fireworks, we must always remember the history behind the holiday. One Michigan man, Henry Ford, was often thinking and learning about our nation’s past and he collected many items to help preserve

Walking through 300 years of history at The Henry Ford2020-03-04T14:57:32-05:00

The most unbelievable true story of Pontiac’s Rebellion

Every Memorial Day Weekend, a group of individuals dressed as American Indians from the upper part of Michigan gather in front of Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City to play baggataway, which is an early version of lacrosse. The game is carefully scripted. Many spectators gather, some of whom are dressed as American Indian women and children.The reenactors

The most unbelievable true story of Pontiac’s Rebellion2020-03-04T14:58:28-05:00

Michigan: first in and first out of Prohibition

The month of May marks the anniversary of Michigan Prohibition, which began on May 1, 1917. “But wait," say those of you who know your Constitutional History. “Prohibition was the 18th Amendment and that took effect on January 17, 1920.” Well, my friends, the state of Michigan, which is now home to Beer City USA, passed a prohibition

Michigan: first in and first out of Prohibition2020-03-04T14:59:20-05:00
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