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The Country of Michigan
Public-domain article on points of interest
courtesy Jon Addiss

It always helps to be aware of the background of where you park your butt, and I've been in, or partially in[1], the "Wolverine State," now for my adult life. This came my way from a local libertarian long active in the capital area (Lansing). Please enjoy some of these factoids. Let me also point out Michigan is distinct in the English-speaking world for being the first political state to abolish capital punishment:

Capital punishment has been illegal in the U.S. State of Michigan since 1846, making Michigan's death penalty history unusual in contrast to other States. Michigan was the first English-speaking government in the world to abolish totally the death penalty for ordinary crimes. The Michigan State Legislature voted to do so on May 18, 1846, and this has remained in law since. Although the death penalty was retained on the books for treason until 1963, Michigan has not executed any person since statehood (1837).

Fun Facts about Michigan

  1. Detroit is known as the car capital of the world.
  2. Alpena is the home of the world's largest cement plant.
  3. Rogers City boasts the world's largest limestone quarry.
  4. Elsie is the home of the world's largest registered Holstein dairy herd.
  5. Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and Magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore.
  6. Colon is home to the world's largest manufacturer of magic supplies.
  7. Although Michigan is often called the (Wolverine State) there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan. (However, one was spotted in 2007, so there are some.)
  8. Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations.
  9. The Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit manufactured the first air-conditioned car in 1939.
  10. Sault Ste. Marie was founded by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668. It is the third oldest remaining settlement in the United States and the oldest town between the Alleghenies and the Rockies.
  11. In 1817 the University of Michigan was established. It was founded by priests.[1] Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit, the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.
  12. The city of Novi was named from its designation as Stagecoach Stop #6 or No. VI.
  13. Michigan State University has the largest single campus student body of any Michigan university. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the state and one of the largest universities in the country. Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the nation's first land-grant university and served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.
  14. Michigan's state stone is the Petoskey Stone. It is found along the shores of Lake Michigan.
  15. The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. It spans five miles over the Straits of Mackinac, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took three years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.
  16. Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and became the 38th president of the United States. He attended the University of Michigan where he was a football star. He served on a World War II aircraft carrier and afterward represented Michigan in Congress for 24 years.
  17. The Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry.
  18. The painted turtle is Michigan's state reptile.
  19. The western shore of Michigan has many sand dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes rise 460 feet above Lake Michigan. Living among the dunes is the dwarf lake iris the official state wildflower.
  20. Vernor's Ginger Ale was created in Detroit and became the first soda pop made in the United States. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to serve in the Civil War. When he returned, four years later, the drink he had stored in an oak case had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.
  21. The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cageless, open-exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom to roam.
  22. Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office. The J. W. Westcott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while they are still underway. They have been operating for 125 years.
  23. Indian River is the home of the largest crucifix in the world. It is called the Cross in the Woods.
  24. Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska.
  25. The Ambassador Bridge was named by Joseph Bower, the person credited with making the bridge a reality, who thought the name (Detroit-Windsor International Bridge) as too long and lacked emotional appeal. Bower wanted to symbolize the visible expression of friendship of two peoples with like ideas and ideals.
  26. Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.
  27. Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights. Seul Choix Point Lighthouse in Gulliver has been guiding ships since 1895. The working light also functions as a museum, which houses early 1900's furnishings and maritime artifacts.
  28. Forty of the state's 83 counties adjoin at least one of the Great Lakes. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes.
  29. Standing anywhere in the state a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes. Michigan includes 56,954 square miles of land area; 1,194 square miles of Inland waters; and 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water area.
  30. Michigan was the first state to provide in its Constitution for the establishment of public libraries.
  31. Michigan was the first state to guarantee every child the right to tax-paid high school education. (!)
  32. Four flags have flown over Michigan: French, English, Spanish and United States.
  33. Isle Royal Park shelters one of the largest moose herds remaining in the United States.
  34. Some of the longest bulk freight carriers in the world operate on the Great Lakes. Ore carriers 1,000 feet long sail Michigan's inland seas.
  35. The Upper Michigan Copper Country is the largest commercial deposit of native copper in the world.
  36. The first auto traffic tunnel built between two nations was the mile-long Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River.
  37. The world's first international submarine railway tunnel was opened between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada in 1891.
  38. The nation's first regularly scheduled air passage service began operation between Grand Rapids and Detroit in 1926.
  39. In 1879 Detroit telephone customers were first in the nation to be assigned phone numbers to facilitate handling calls.
  40. In 1929, the Michigan State Police established the first state police radio system in the world.
  41. Grand Rapids is home to the 24-foot Leonardo Da Vinci horse, called Il Gavallo. It is the largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.

The State Motto (written in Latin) translates to: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, Look about you." Was that interesting or what?

[1] I'm colocated in the Free State and SE Michigan.

[2] The University of Michigan wasn't "founded by priests".... but, rather it was founded by the governmental leaders of the Michigan Territory, urged on by a Catholic Priest, Father Richard, and a Methodist Minister, Rev. John Monteith.

2011 April 11
Posted by The Coffee Coaster™ from public source
Michigan | Detroit | Monteith Center | Great Lakes | Univ. of Michigan

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