Michigan has played an incredible role in the survival of our nation and in the progression of the world. It was a last stop on the Underground Railroad, and nearly 90,000 Michiganders fought for the Union Army. Henry Ford’s assembly line and generous wages changed the way goods are produced. Detroit put the world on wheels and became the Arsenal of Democracy during World War II. Hitsville USA created the soundtrack of the 60s and 70s and factory workers fought for rights that nearly every American worker enjoys today.

Michigan’s Economic History

18th Century

It’s hard to believe that something that happened over ten thousand years ago, could have a significant affect on the economy today, but that is absolutely true in the case of what is now known

19th Century

The 19th century was marked by transportation advancements in and around the Great Lakes, and an unprecedented increase in population. At the start of the century there were less than 5,000 documented residents in the

20th Century

The 1900s was an era of remarkable change. It saw the world at war, mankind landing on the moon, and the creation of the Internet. Events like those forever changed the world, and certainly impacted

21st Century

In many ways the 21st century in Michigan has been driven by a need to recover, revitalize, and reinvent. At the start of the millennium the state was plagued with many challenges brought on by

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Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events
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At least 125 people die in northern Lapeer County fire in 1881

Ferris State University opens as Big Rapids Industrial School

The SS Iosco sinks in Lake Superior killing 26 crew members

The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Revolutionary War

Ford Motor Company unveils the Edsel

Forest fires rip through Michigan’s thumb area

Michigan Supreme Court upholds gender equal pay ruling

The tradition of a Labor Day walk across Mackinac Bridge starts in 1959

President Gerald Ford pardons his predecessor Richard M. Nixon 

Detroit Lions move their games to Briggs Stadium

The first B-24 Liberator Bomber is assembled at Willow Run

Wright Brothers demonstrate airplane at West Michigan State Fair

Michigan’s first expressway was opens in 1942

Father Gabriel Richard dies from cholera

Tiger pitcher Denny McLain becomes a 30-game winner

The first classes are held at what will become Michigan Tech

Steamer SS Hudson sinks in Lake Superior off Eagle River

Grand Trunk Western Railroad moves carferry operations to Muskegon

Pope John Paul II visits the Detroit area

Melville R. Bissell of Grand Rapids patents the first carpet sweeper

Detroit speedboat racer Gar Wood breaks water speed record

Detroit’s Fox Theatre opens with a gala in 1928

American Legion sponsors parade that lasts 8 hours

Michigan native, Tom Selleck, wins Emmy for Magnum P.I.

Detroit Tigers clinch the American League pennant

The NHL grants franchise to the Detroit Red Wings

Freighter SS Ohio collides with schooner Ironton in Lake Huron

Lumber freighter captain saves entire crew with daring maneuver

Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life is released by Motown

Make Room for Daddy starring Michigan native, Danny Thomas, premieres

Hank Greenberg hits grand slam in 9th inning to clinch the pennant

First production of Ford Model T Ford is completed

Cornerstone is laid for current capitol building in Lansing

Somewhere in Time, set on Mackinac Island, is released

Dick Tracy make his first appearance in the Detroit Daily Mirror

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