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Michigan : State History Dates

Michigan is rich in history. We take a look at twenty important dates that occurred in the state's history.



May 17, 1673 - Seven adventurers, including Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, embark from the St. Ignace mission. The journey would lead them on an exploration of what is now known as the Mississippi River.

July 24, 1701 - Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded a new settlement which was called Fort Pontchartrain. This later became the city of Detroit.

May 7, 1763 - Chief Pontiac and other warriors of the Ottawa tribe, attempt to overtake the British soldiers in Detroit. When the plan fails, Pontiac puts Detroit under siege. The siege would last until October.

July 13, 1787 - Michigan was part of the Northwest Territory that was outlined in the Ordinance of 1787.

January 11, 1805 - Congress passes the measure creating the Michigan Territory.

March 1, 1805 - William Hull is appointed as governor of Michigan. He would be in office eight years.

June 11, 1805 - The historic fire that almost destroyed Detroit started in John Harvey's barn.

July 6, 1834 - The renowned Stevens Mason, at 22, becomes the acting governor after the death of George Porter. In October 1835, Mason would become Michigan's first elected governor and would serve until 1840.

January 26, 1837 - Michigan officially becomes the 26th state of the U.S.

March 9, 1847 - A bill was passed in Michigan's Legislature to relocate the state capital from Detroit to Lansing.

June 22, 1855 - The canal at Sault Sainte Marie is opened that allows ships with their cargos to sail uninterrupted between Lake Huron and Lake Superior.

March 6, 1896 - Detroit native Charles King becomes the first person in Michigan to drive an automobile fueled entirely by gas.

June 16, 1903 - One of the world's largest automakers was incorporated today. The Ford Motor Company was founded by Henry Ford.

September 16, 1908 - The world's largest automaker was founded. General Motors was founded by William Durant.

August 20, 1920 - WWJ (now 950 AM) was the first radio station in the United States to make a commerical broadcast.

August 26, 1935 - The United Automobile Workers is officially chartered by the American Federation of Labor.

December 30, 1936 - A worker's strike occurs at the General Motors Corporation in Flint, Michigan. The strike would last until February 11, 1937, when GM agreed to recognize the United Auto Worker's Union.

January 12, 1959 - Barry Gordy's Tamla Records is incorporated in Detroit, Michigan. Tamla Records would be a precursor to the legendary sound of Motown Records which would be founded a year later on April 14, 1960.

May 8, 1959 - The world's first Little Caesar's restaurant opens in Garden City, Michigan. This was the starting point to one of the largest pizza franchises in the world.

August 9, 1974 - Grand Rapids native Gerald Ford becomes the 38th President of the United States.


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