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

Model 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

Person-of-interestPerson 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

Person-of-interestPerson 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.

Person-of-interestPerson 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, Grand Rapids Michigan, composer (Pulitzer 1946)
  • 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, Owosso Michigan, Governor and Republican presidential candidate 1944, 1948

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, Company), 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, Grand Rapids Michigan, Lt Cmdr USN/astronaut
  • 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 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)