Today in Michigan History

Historical Events

  • 1738-07-20 North America: French explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye reaches the western shore of Lake Michigan.
  • 1763-06-02 Pontiac's Rebellion: At what is now Mackinaw City, Michigan, Chippewas capture Fort Michilimackinac by diverting the garrison's attention with a game of lacrosse, then chasing a ball into the fort.
  • 1805-01-11 Michigan Territory organizes
  • 1812-08-16 General Hull surrenders Detroit & Michigan territory to British forces
  • 1813-01-22 Americans capture Frenchtown, Michigan Territory
  • 1837-01-26 Michigan admitted as 26th US state
  • 1846-05-04 US state Michigan ends death penalty
  • 1847-01-01 Michigan is 1st state to abolish capital punishment
  • 1847-03-01 Michigan becomes 1st English-speaking jurisdiction to abolish the death penalty (except for treason against the state)
  • 1847-11-21 Steamer "Phoenix" is lost on Lake Michigan, kills 200
  • 1854-02-22 1st meeting of Republican Party (Michigan)
  • 1855-02-12 Michigan State University was established.
  • 1860-09-07 Excursion steamer "Lady Elgin" drowns 340 in Lake Michigan
  • 1863-05-23 Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.
  • 1865-03-20 Michigan authorizes workers' cooperatives
  • 1866-12-06 Chicago water supply tunnel 3,227 m into Lake Michigan completed
  • 1867-03-15 Michigan becomes 1st state to tax property to support a university
  • 1880-07-23 1st commercial hydroelectric power planet begins, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1882-08-08 Snow falls on Lake Michigan
  • 1887-03-15 1st salaried fish & game warden (William Alden Smith in Michigan)
  • 1887-11-23 Notre Dame loses its 1st football game 8-0 to Michigan
  • 1903-06-12 The Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity is founded at the University of Michigan School of Music.
  • 1907-07-20 A train wreck on the Pere Marquette Railroad near Salem, Michigan kills thirty and injures seventy more.
  • 1908-09-16 Carriage-maker, William Durant, founds General Motors in Flint, Michigan

CommunicationModel T

1908-09-27 Henry Ford's first Ford Model T automobile leaves the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan

  • 1914-08-31 24.8 cm rainfall at Bloomingdale, Michigan (state record)
  • 1915-07-24 Excursion ship Eastland capsizes in Lake Michigan, 852 die
  • 1925-02-10 1st waterless gas storage tank put into service, Michigan City, Ind

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1926-10-24 Harry Houdini's last performance, which was at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.

Magician & Escape Artist Harry Houdini
Magician & Escape Artist
Harry Houdini
  • 1932-03-07 Riots at Ford-factory Dearborn Michigan, kills 4
  • 1934-02-09 -51°F (-46°C), Vanderbilt, Michigan (state record)
  • 1936-07-13 112°F (44°C), Mio, Michigan (state record)
  • 1940-09-28 Michigan's Tom Harmon runs 72, 86 & 94 yard touchdowns
  • 1940-11-27 6th Heisman Trophy Award: Tom Harmon, Michigan (HB)
  • 1942-10-28 Train crashes into bus, killing 16 & injuring 20 (Detroit Michigan)
  • 1945-01-25 Grand Rapids, Michigan, becomes 1st US city to fluoridate its water
  • 1953-06-08 Cluster of 6 tornadoes touches down in Flint Michigan killing 113
  • 1954-02-26 Michigan rep Ruth Thompson (R) introduces legislation to ban mailing "obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy" phonograph (rock & roll) records
  • 1954-11-02 Charles C Diggs Jr elected Michigan's 1st black congressman
  • 1956-04-03 Hudsonville-Standale Tornado: The western half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is struck by a deadly F5 tornado.
  • 1958-06-26 Mackinac Straits Bridge, Michigan dedicated
  • 1961-10-10 Otis M Smith appointed to Michigan Supreme Court
  • 1963-12-18 Muskegon, Michigan gets 3' of snow
  • 1965-01-15 Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, forms
  • 1966-08-07 Race riot in Lansing Michigan
  • 1979-03-26 Michigan State Spartans snaps Indiana State's 33-game win streak

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1982-01-24 Super Bowl XVI: SF 49ers beat Cin Bengals, 26-21 in Pontiac Michigan, MVP: Joe Montana, San Francisco, QB

NFL Quarterback Joe Montana
NFL Quarterback
Joe Montana
  • 1985-11-15 A research assistant is injured when a package from the Unabomber addressed to a University of Michigan professor explodes.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1988-07-31 Last playboy club closes in Lansing, Michigan

Playboy Founder & Businessman Hugh Hefner
Playboy Founder & Businessman
Hugh Hefner
  • 1990-03-03 Carole Gist (20) is the 1st African American to be crowned Miss USA in Wichita, Kansas
  • 1991-02-05 A Michigan court bars Dr Jack Kevorkian from assisting in suicides
  • 1991-12-14 57th Heisman Trophy Award: Desmond Howard, Michigan (WR)
  • 1993-02-19 Kenya Moore, 22, (Michigan), crowned 42nd Miss USA
  • 1997-07-22 The second Blue Water Bridge opens between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.
  • 1997-12-13 63rd Heisman Trophy Award: Charles Woodson, Michigan (CB)
  • 1998-06-05 A strike begins at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, that quickly spreads to five other assembly plants (the strike lasted seven weeks).
  • 1999-03-26 A jury in Michigan finds Dr. Jack Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder for administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man.
  • 2007-06-01 Jack Kevorkian is released from prison after serving eight years of his 10-25 year prison term for second-degree murder in the 1998 death of Thomas Youk, 52, of Oakland County, Michigan.
  • 2013-07-18 Detroit, Michigan, files for bankruptcy to become the largest US municipal bankruptcy at $18.5 Billion

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 189

  • 1811-10-27 Stevens Thomson Mason, first Governor of Michigan (d. 1843)
  • 1847-07-04 James Anthony Bailey, circus impresario (Barnum & Bailey), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1863-07-30 Henry Ford, American industrialist and auto maker (Ford Model T), born in Dearborn Township, Michigan (d. 1947)

Ford Motor Company Founder Henry Ford
Ford Motor Company Founder
Henry Ford
  • 1881-08-20 Edgar Albert Guest, poet/newspaperman, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1887-09-28 Avery Brundage, CEO (Intl Olympic Committee, 1952-72), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1895-05-01 Leo Sowerby, composer (Pulitzer 1946), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1896-08-22 Laurence McKinley Gould, Lacota Michigan, American Geologist and Polar Explorer who was chief scientist and second-in-command on the first expedition to the interior of Antarctica in 1929
  • 1899-02-14 John Randall Jr, Michigan, historian/philosopher (Western Man)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1899-04-27 Leo Diegel, American golfer (two-time PGA Champion), born in Detroit, Michigan

Golfer and Two-Time PGA Champion Leo Diegel
Golfer and Two-Time PGA Champion
Leo Diegel

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1902-02-04 Charles A Lindbergh, pilot (1st to fly solo across Atlantic), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1902-03-24 Thomas E. Dewey, Governor and Republican presidential candidate (1944, 1948), born in Owosso, Michigan (d. 1971)

Governor of New York Thomas Dewey
Governor of New York
Thomas Dewey

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1904-08-07 Ralph Bunche, founder/diplomat (UN) (Nobel 1950), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1971)

Diplomat and Nobel Laureate Ralph Bunche
Diplomat and Nobel Laureate
Ralph Bunche
  • 1911-02-23 G. Mennen Williams, Michigan Supreme Court Justice/(Gov-D-Mich, 1949-60), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1914-09-24 Herb Jeffries, actor (Where's Huddles), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1915-02-04 William Talman, actor (Crashout, Hamilton-Perry Mason), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1915-04-10 Harry Morgan, actor (December Bride, M*A*S*H, Dragnet), born in Detroit, Michigan

  • 1915-07-04 Jimmie Rogers, singer (Sugar Hill Time), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1920-02-23 Hall Overton, Bangor Michigan, composer (Enchanted Pear Tree)
  • 1920-04-16 John William Farr, bank robber (FBI Most Wanted List), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1920-11-12 Richard Quine, actor/director (Clay Pigeon), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1920-11-14 Johnny Desmond, singer (Your Hit Parade), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1922-01-30 Dick Martin, actor/comedian (Laugh-In, Carbon Copy), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1922-10-10 Merv Pregulman, Lansing, Michigan, NFL Line backer (Green Bay Packers), (d. 2012)
  • 1923-03-06 Ed McMahon, American TV host (Johnny Carson Show, Star Search), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1924-07-22 Margaret Whiting, American singer (Kreisler Bandstand, Strauss Family), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1924-12-06 Wally Cox, actor (Mr Peepers, Hollywood Squares), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1925-01-26 Joan Leslie, actress (High Sierra, Yankee Doodle Dandy), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2015)
  • 1925-02-02 Elaine Stritch, American actress (30 Rock, Two's Company), singer and member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2014)
  • 1925-10-21 Joyce Randolph, actress (Trixie-Honeymooners), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1925-11-27 Michael Tolan, actor (Nurses, Senator), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1926-04-05 Roger Corman, producer/director (Little Shop of Horrors), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1926-07-08 John D Dingell, (Rep-D-Michigan, 1955- )
  • 1927-02-27 Guy Mitchell [Albert George Cernik], American singer and actor (Red Garters, 3 Redheads from Seattle), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1999)
  • 1927-08-06 William David Ford, (Rep-D-Michigan, 1965- )
  • 1927-08-17 Robert Moore, actor (Marshall-Diana), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1927-09-09 Elvin Jones, Pontiac Michigan, American jazz drummer (Coltrane's A Love Supreme')
  • 1928-10-01 George Peppard, actor (Banacek, A-Team, Blue Max), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1929-04-19 Edward Crook, middleweight boxer (Olympic-gold-1960), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1929-09-16 Dale E Kildee, (Rep-D-Michigan, 1977- )

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1929-11-28 Berry Gordy, record company owner (Motown), born in Detroit, Michigan

Record Company Owner Berry Gordy
Record Company Owner
Berry Gordy
  • 1930-02-10 Robert Wagner, actor (It Takes a Thief, Hart to Hart), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1930-07-01 Margaret A Brewer, American soldier, in Durand Michigan, first female General officer in US Marine Corps. (d. 2013)
  • 1931-09-06 Sander M Levin, (Rep-D-Michigan, 1983- )
  • 1931-12-28 Martin Milner, American actor (Route 66", "Adam 12"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2015)
  • 1932-01-04 Richard Stahl, actor (Howard-It's a Living), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1932-01-22 Piper Laurie, [Rosetta Jacobs], actress (Twin Peaks), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1932-02-07 Alfred M Worden, Jackson Michigan, Colonel USAF/astronaut (Apollo 15)
  • 1932-03-21 Joseph Silverstein, violinist (Denver Symphony Orch), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1932-03-29 William Charette, Ludington, Michigan, United States Navy Hospital Corpsman and Medal of Honour recipient, (d. 2012)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1932-04-27 Casey Kasem, radio personality (American Top 40), born in Detroit, Michigan

Disc jockey and actor Casey Kasem
Disc jockey and actor
Casey Kasem
  • 1932-07-06 Della Reese, singer/actress (Della Reese Show, Royal Family), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1932-12-07 Ellen Burstyn, actress (Exorcist, Alice Doesn't Live Here), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1933-08-25 Tom Skerritt, actor (Ryan's Four, Alien, Big Bad Mama), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1933-11-28 Joe Knollenberg, (Rep-R-Michigan)
  • 1934-06-09 Jackie Wilson, singer (Lonely Teardrops, Night), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1934-06-28 Carl M Levin, (Sen-D Michigan, 1979- )
  • 1934-11-05 Nick Smith, (Rep-R-Michigan)
  • 1935-01-22 Seymour Cassel, actor (Faces, Plain Clothes, Valentino), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1935-02-15 Roger B Chaffee, Lt Cmdr USN/astronaut, born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1935-02-16 Sonny Bono, vocalist (Sonny & Cher)/(Rep-R-Ca, 1995-98), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1935-12-26 Abdul "Duke" Fakir, rock vocalist (Four Tops), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1936-01-27 Samuel Ting, Ann Arbor, Michigan, American physicist, Nobel Laureate

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Samuel Ting
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Samuel Ting
  • 1936-11-18 Hank Ballard, rocker (The Twist (pre Chubby Checker), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1937-03-06 Ivan Boesky, stockbroker inside trading, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1937-03-25 Tom Monaghan, Ann Arbor Michigan, founder of Dominos pizza

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1939-04-07 Francis Ford Coppola, director (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now), born in Detroit, Michigan

  • 1939-04-13 Barbara-Rose Collins, (Rep-D-Michigan)
  • 1939-09-01 Lily Tomlin, comedienne/actress (9 to 5, Laugh-in, All of Me), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1939-09-13 Richard Kiel, American actor (So Fine, Jaws-Moonraker, Skidoo), born in Detroit, Michigan, (d. 2014)
  • 1940-07-19 Dennis Cole, actor (Felony Squad, Brackens's World), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1940-10-16 Dave DeBusschere, NBA foward (NY Knick)/last ABA commissioner, born in Detroit, Michigan

NBA Forward and MLB Player Dave DeBusschere
NBA Forward and MLB Player
Dave DeBusschere
  • 1941-02-05 Barrett Strong, vocalist (Money, That's What I Want), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1941-04-05 Michael Moriarty, actor (Bang the Drum Slowly, Q, Stuff), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1941-06-16 Lamont Dozier, songwriter (Dozier-Holland-Dozier), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1941-07-18 Martha Reeves, singer (& Vandellas-Dancing in St), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1942-07-09 Paul B Henry, (Rep-R-Michigan, 1985- )
  • 1942-09-19 Freda Payne, American singer and actress, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1942-10-05 Richard Street, Rhythm and Blues musician (The Temptations), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1942-11-16 Donna McKechnie, Pontiac Michigan, actress/dancer (Company)
  • 1943-03-27 M Robert Carr, (Rep-D-Michigan, 1975-81, 83- )
  • 1943-04-05 Max Gail, American actor (Barney Miller, Whiz Kids, DC Cab), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1943-05-13 Mary Wells, singer (My Guy), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1943-06-30 Florence Ballard, rocker (Supremes), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1943-07-18 Calvin Peete, PGA golfer (1979 Greater Milwaukee Open), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1943-07-20 Dennis Yost, vocalist (The Classics IV), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2008)
  • 1943-07-27 Stu Gilliam, actor/comedian (Roll Out, Harris & Company), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1943-08-02 Max Wright, actor (Buffalo Bill, Alf, Misfits of Science), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1943-09-02 Rosalind Ashford, rock vocalist (Martha Reeve & Vandellas), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1944-03-06 Mary Wilson, vocalist (Supremes-Where Did Our Love Go), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1944-03-26 Diana Ross, [Earle], (Supremes, Lady Sings Blues, Mahogany), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1944-07-12 Denise Nicholas, actress (Room 222, Baby I'm Back), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1944-08-24 Gregory Bruce Jarvis, astronaut (STS 25), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1944-09-16 Betty Kelly, rocker (Martha Reeves & Vandellas), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1945-01-29 Donna Marie Caponi Young, LPGA golfer (US Open 1969, 70), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1945-01-29 Tom Selleck, actor (Lance-Rockford Files, Magnum PI), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1945-01-29 Donna Caponi, LPGA Golfer and four-time Major winner, born in Detroit, Michigan

LPGA Golfer Donna Caponi
LPGA Golfer
Donna Caponi
  • 1946-06-28 Gilda Radner, actress (SNL, Haunted Honeymoon), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1946-12-14 Joyce Vincent Wilson, singer (Tony Orlando & Dawn), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1947-07-11 Jeff Hanna, country singer (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), born in Detroit, Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1948-02-04 Alice Cooper, [Vincent Furnier], rocker (School's Out), born in Detroit, Michigan

Rocker Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

1888-04-11 Industrialist Henry Ford (24) weds Clara Jane Bryant (22) in Greenfield Township, Michigan

Ford Motor Company Founder Henry Ford
Ford Motor Company Founder
Henry Ford
  • 1930-08-02 Laurence McKinley Gould (33), American Geologist and Polar Explorer weds Margaret ("Peg") Rice in Ann Arbor, Michigan

HeartWedding of Interest

1937-01-27 Musician Nat King Cole (17) weds dancer Nadine Robinson in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Musician Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole

HeartWedding of Interest

1958-01-14 Human rights activist Malcolm X marries fellow activist Betty Shabazz in Lansing, Michigan

African American Activist Malcolm X
African American Activist
Malcolm X
  • 1995-07-22 "True Lies" actor Tom Arnold (36) weds Julie Champnella (25) in Dearborn, Michigan
  • 1996-05-18 "As the World Turns" actor Shawn Christian (30) weds personal trainer Deborah Quinn in Gun Lake, Michigan
  • 2004-07-03 The Bachelor actor Bob Guiney (33) weds "All My Children" soap opera actress Rebecca Budig (31) in Long Lake, Michigan
  • 2011-09-10 Actress Amy Smart (36) weds TV personality and model Carter Oosterhouse (35) in Traverse City, Michigan
  • 2014-06-07 Good Morning America's meteorologist Ginger Zee (33) weds NBC news correspondent Benjamin Aaron at beachfront ceremony in Petoskey, Michigan

Famous Deaths

  • 1846-04-04 Solomon Sibley, American senator from Michigan Territory (b. 1769)
  • 1876-11-07 Albertus C van Raalte, Dutch/US vicar (Michigan), dies at 65
  • 1955-09-19 John D. Dingell, Sr., U.S. Congressman from Michigan (b. 1894)