Grand Rapids in History

Michigan: Ann Arbor - Detroit - Flint, MI

Historical Events

  • 1876-09-19 1st carpet sweeper patented (Melville Bissell of Grand Rapids, Mich)
  • 1880-07-23 1st commercial hydroelectric power planet begins, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1900-07-08 1st night baseball, league game (Zanesville at Grand Rapids)
  • 1945-01-25 Grand Rapids, Michigan, becomes 1st US city to fluoridate its water
  • 1949-08-15 WOTV TV channel 8 in Grand Rapids, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1962-11-01 WZZM TV channel 13 in Grand Rapids, MI (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1972-12-17 WGVC (now WUCX) TV channel 35 in Grand Rapids, MI (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1996-04-30 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Grand Rapids MI on WKLQ 94.5 FM

Famous Birthdays

  • 1887-09-14 Stanley Ketchel [The Michigan Assassin], Polish-American heavyweight boxing champion (1908-10), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 1910)
  • 1895-05-01 Leo Sowerby, composer (Pulitzer 1946), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1902-01-12 Ray Teal, actor (Sheriff Roy Coffee-Bonanza), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1925-04-04 Elizabeth Wilson, actor (Doc, East Side/West Side), born in Grand Rapids Michigan

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1926-03-04 Richard DeVos, American billionaire, co-founder of Amway, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Co-founder of Amway Richard DeVos
Co-founder of Amway
Richard DeVos
  • 1935-02-15 Roger B Chaffee, Lt Cmdr USN/astronaut, born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1936-01-14 John Paul Cain, Sweetwater TX, PGA golfer (1989 Greater Grand Rapids)
  • 1936-02-29 Jack R Lousma, Col USMC/astronaut (Skylab 3, STS-3), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1946-07-22 Paul Schrader, director (Blue Collar) and writer (Taxi Driver), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1951-02-02 Kim Zimmer, actress (Guiding Light, Doctors, One Life to Live), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1955-03-10 Bunny DeBarge, rocker (Debarge), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1958-08-06 Randy DeBarge, rock vocalist/bassist (Debarge), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1959-06-19 Mark DeBarge, rock vocalist (DeBarge-Who's Johnny), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1961-06-04 El Debarge, rocker (Debarge-All this Love), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1961-10-10 Brian Lee Diemer, steeplechase (Olymp-bronze-1984), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1962-08-22 James Debarge, rock vocalist/keyboardist (Debarge), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1964-03-03 Lisa Ann Poggi, actress (Jolie-Loving), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1965-01-03 Mark Dewey, pitcher (SF Giants), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1966-02-04 Barry Klein, rower (Olympics-1996), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1966-04-29 John VanderWal, outfielder (Colorado Rockies), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1969-06-30 Ken Gernander, Grand Rapids, NHL center (NY Rangers)
  • 1973-05-28 Todd Sweeris, table tennis player (Olympics-96), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1975-08-12 Robyn Hancock, Grand Rapids Ohio, Miss America-Ohio (1997)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1977-02-24 Floyd Mayweather, featherweight boxer (Oly-br-96), born in Grand Rapids Michigan

  • 1981-09-02 Katie Teft, gymnast (Olympics-96), born in Grand Rapids Michigan

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

1948-10-15 38th US President Gerald Ford (35) weds department store fashion consultant Elizabeth (Betty) Bloomer Warren (30) at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, Ford

38th US President Gerald Ford
38th US President
Gerald Ford
US First Lady Betty Ford
US First Lady
Betty Ford