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)
  • 1880-07-24 1st commercial hydroelectric power plant in the world begins generating electricity in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 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
  • 1992-04-13 Crystal Pepsi begins test marketing in Sacramento, Providence, Denver, Dallas, and Grand Rapids
  • 1996-04-30 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Grand Rapids MI on WKLQ 94.5 FM

Famous Birthdays

  • 1887-03-04 Violet MacMillan, American Broadway theatre actress (The Magic Cloak), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 1953)
  • 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, American organist and composer (Pulitzer Prize for Music, 1946), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 1968)
  • 1896-10-30 Rex Cherryman, American actor (Camille, The Sunshine Trail, In for Thirty Days), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 1928)
  • 1899-02-14 John Herman Randall Jr., American philosopher (Western Man), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 1980)
  • 1902-01-12 Ray Teal, American actor (Judgment at Nuremberg, Bonanza), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 1976)
  • 1925-04-04 Elizabeth Wilson, American screen and stage actress (Doc, East Side/West Side), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 2015)
  • 1925-06-30 Will Gay Bottje, American composer, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 2018)

Richard DeVosRichard DeVos (1926-2018)

1926-03-04 American businessman who co-founded Amway, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • 1934-12-30 Del Shannon [Charles Westover], American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter ("Runaway"), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 1990)
  • 1935-02-15 Roger B Chaffee, Lt Cmdr USN/astronaut, born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1936-02-29 Jack R Lousma, American USMC Colonel, naval aviator, and NASA astronaut (Skylab 3; STS-3), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1940-04-20 George Andrie, American football defensive end (Super Bowl 1971; First Team All Pro 1969; 5 x Pro Bowl; Dallas Cowboys), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 2018)
  • 1945-09-25 Reynold Henry Weidenaar, American video artist and composer, born in East Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1946-07-22 Paul Schrader, American film director (Blue Collar) and screenwriter (Taxi Driver), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1948-04-19 Rick Miller, American baseball player, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1950-02-11 Clarence Ellis, American football safety, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1951-02-02 Kim Zimmer, actress (Guiding Light, Doctors, One Life to Live), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1954-08-15 Mary Jo Salter, American poet and co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1955-03-15 Etterlene "Bunny" DeBarge, American rock and soul singer-songwrtier (DeBarge - "Time Will Reveal"), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1958-08-06 Randy DeBarge, American pop-rock singer, and bassist (Debarge - "Rhythm Of The Night"), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1959-06-19 Mark DeBarge, American rock vocalist (DeBarge - Who's Johnny), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1961-06-04 (Eldra) "El" Debarge, American pop-rock keyboardist, and singer-songwriter (Debarge - "Rhythm of the Night"), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1961-10-10 Brian Lee Diemer, American steeplechase athlete (Olympic bronze 1984), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1962-08-22 James Debarge, American rock vocalist and keyboardist (Debarge - "Rhythm Of The Night"), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1963-06-27 Johnny Benson Jr., American NASCAR driver, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1964-03-03 Lisa Ann Poggi, American actress (Candyman; Loving), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1966-02-04 Barry Klein, rower (Olympics 1996), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1966-04-29 John Vander Wal, American NLB outfielder (Colorado Rockies), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1968-02-27 Loy Vaught, American NBA forward (LA Clippers), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1968-04-24 Stacy Haiduk, American actress (Superboy - "Lana Lang"), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1969-06-30 Ken Gernander, American NHL center (NY Rangers), born in Coleraine, Minnesota
  • 1972-10-15 Matt Keeslar, American actor 9The Last Days of Disco), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1973-05-28 Todd Sweeris, table tennis player (Olympics 1996), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1974-08-02 Paul Grasmanis, American defensive tackle (Chicago Bears), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Floyd Mayweather, Jr.Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (45 years old)

1977-02-24 American boxer (5 x weight division world champion; record 26 consecutive wins in world title fights (10 by KO; undefeated record 50-0), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • 1979-01-29 Christina Koch, American NASA astronaut (Soyuz MS-12), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1981-09-02 Katie Teft, gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1983-02-12 Carlton Brewster, NFL player, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1992-02-11 Taylor Lautner, American actor, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Famous Weddings

Wedding of Interest

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