December 25, 2012
October 30, 2012
More Halloween photos on Michigan in Pictures.
September 3, 2012
Right now thousands of people are participating in the Mackinac Bridge Walk, an Michigan tradition that began on Labor Day of 1958 and has continued every year since then. While just 68 people made that first walk, it now averages over 50,000 people. You can tune in for some shots from the Mackinac Bridge Cam and see one from this morning on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook.
If you’d like a little Labor Day reading, I heartily recommend How Labor Won Its Day from the Detroit News Rearview Mirror.
Much (much) more about the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!
May 12, 2012
“A startled or surprised look from one of you when I spoke sharply rebuked me more than any words could have done, and the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.”
~Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, 1868
Lynn posted this quotation with her photo a few years back. A great sentiment, and a very happy Mother’s Day to all you Michigan moms.
April 27, 2012
Highland Park Junior High School students plant trees, 1930, courtesy Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University
We plant trees not for ourselves, but for future generations.”
The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance explains that the first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872. It was the brainchild of pioneer & journalist J. Sterling Morton to help restore plains that had been cleared for building materials, fuel and farming. Nebraskans planted over 1 million trees on that first Arbor Day, and Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska in 1885. Morton’s birthday of April 22 was selected as its observance and the holiday soon spread to other states.
Today, the most common date of state observance for Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, and several U.S. presidents have proclaimed a national Arbor Day on that Friday.
J. Sterling Morton’s love for trees came from his life in Michigan. Morton’s family lived in Detroit and he attended public school in Monroe, then later Albion College (Class of 1850) and the University of Michigan (Class of 1854). Morton missed the array of vibrant green trees he grew up with in Michigan and continued to plant them throughout his life.
…In 1885, the Michigan Legislature resolved “that the Governor is hereby requested to call the attention of the people of the state to the importance of planting trees for ornament and by naming a day upon which the work shall be given special attention to be known as Arbor Day.”
Until 1965, the Upper and Lower Peninsula had separate Arbor Days in the spring because of the difference in weather conditions for tree planting. Governor George Romney proclaimed an Arbor Week for the last week in April 1966. In his proclamation, Governor Romney broke with the traditional one day, “Because of the increased interest in and the importance of the statewide ‘Keep Michigan Beautiful’ program, one or two days do not afford enough time and opportunity for a full and proper observance of Arbor Day.”
“It is well that we bring attention to our trees and the need to continue to plant them about our homes, our places of business, our industries, our schools, our highways, and throughout the landscape so that their majesty will reflect our appreciation of the grandeur of nature and further the culture and economy of our state.”
Each year the Governor and Michigan Legislature proclaim the last week in April as Arbor Week and Arbor Day as the last Friday of that week.
The photo above is from a great article about reforestation efforts in Michigan from Seeking Michigan.
April 21, 2012
- On the topic of history, here’s a great feature about Earth Day at Albion College that includes a segment on “Trash Wednesday” introduced by none other than Walter Cronkite.
- The Michigan Green Living Festival in Rochester takes place April 22-24, 2012 and is is one of the largest green/wellness events on the planet, bringing together tens of thousands of people eager to learn about healthy living and seeking earth-friendly products, services and programs. (Facebook)
- The state of Michigan has a list of Earth Day events by region. Also here’s the winners of the Michigan K-5 Earth Day poster contest.
- The Flint Journal has 7 easy tips to make a difference for the environment including buying local, organic produce and planting native Michigan plants. Speaking of ways to make a difference, here’s some tips for saving green by going green in Northern Michigan. mLive also has an Earth Day poll.
- From Scientific American here’s news that Michigan Tech grads will be wearing caps & gowns made from recycled plastic water bottles. (it takes 27 bottles for one gown)
- There’s some Earth Day features on Absolute Michigan.
- Here’s a slideshow of Earth Day photos from the Absolute Michigan pool and also all Michigan Earth Day photos.
March 17, 2012
May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Detroit had their parade last weekend but there are events on tap today and tomorrow in Bay City, Clare, Flint, Kalamazoo, Grand Ledge, Saugatuck, Traverse City and Muskegon.
Ground zero for the Irish in Michigan is Corktown. Wikipedia notes that it is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood explaining:
The roots of Corktown lie in the Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s. The Irish immigrated to the United States in droves, and by the middle of the 19th century, they were the largest ethnic group settling in Detroit. Many of these newcomers settled on the west side of the city; they were primarily from County Cork, and thus the neighborhood came to be known as Corktown. By the early 1850′s, half of the population of the 8th Ward (which contained Corktown) were of Irish descent
The Irish in Michigan from Seeking Michigan has some information about Corktown but adds that:
Irish immigrants to Michigan certainly did not limit themselves to settling in the urban hub of Detroit, with many of them making their way up north. In the 1830s, Irish immigrants settled in fishing camps on Mackinac and Beaver Islands. Today, a large portion of Beaver Island’s year-round residents are of Irish descent. Wexford, Clare, Emmet and Antrim counties in the northern Lower Peninsula are all named after counties in Ireland. Irish immigrants were also instrumental to the copper mining boom in the Upper Peninsula. Nearly one-third of the area’s foreign-born population was from Ireland in 1870, though the Irish population would decline by 1920. Many small Irish communities could also be found scattered throughout the Lower Peninsula in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Wherever you are and whoever your ancestors were, here’s hoping you have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day holiday!
February 29, 2012
By my calculations, Leap Day only comes once every 1461 days.
How are you going to make it special?
Megan Elizabeth took this at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where she appears to be a frequent visitor. Check this out bigger and in her impressive [hello, 365]. slideshow featuring a photo a day of her leaping all over the place. Very cool, very creative, very appropriate!
February 14, 2012
January 26, 2012
We, the PEOPLE of the territory of Michigan … mutually agree to form ourselves
into a free and independent state, by the style and title of “The State of Michigan’”
While Michigan’s Constitution was written in 1835, it took until January 26, 1837 for President Andrew Jackson to sign the bill making Michigan the nation’s 26th state (more about that right here but the short answer is, blame it on Ohio). That makes today the 175th birthday of the Great Lakes State. We’ve been making a fuss of it and giving things away on Absolute Michigan all week, and joining a whole lot of people in touting the good things about our great state at #Mich175 on Twitter.
Here’s some fun facts about Michigan:
- Michigan is derived from the Indian word Michigama, meaning great or large lake. (more about Michigan’s name on Michigan in Pictures)
- French explorers Étienne Brulé & Grenoble are the first recorded Europeans to set foot in Michigan (you never know though). In 1668 Fathers Jacques Marquette and Claude Dablon established the first mission at Sault Ste. Marie, and in 1701, French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain in Detroit.
- The Michigan Territory was created, with Detroit designated as the seat of government and William Hull appointed as our first governor.
- Michigan became the 26th state on the 26th of January, 1837. Is 26 our lucky number? FYI, our first State governor was Stevens T. Mason, the 25 year old Boy Governor (the youngest state governor in American history).
- Michigan’s nickname is “the Wolverine State”. It is generally believed to have been coined during the 1835 Toledo War between Michigan and Ohio, when our southern rivals gave us the name due to the wolverine’s reputation for sheer orneriness!
- The Great Seal of Michigan was designed by Lewis Cass and was patterned after the seal of the Hudson Bay Fur Company. It depicts an elk on the left and a moose on the right supporting a shield that reads Tuebor (“I will protect”).The interior of the shield shows a figure on the shore with the sun rising over a lake. His right hand is raised, symbolizing peace, but he holds a rifle in his left hand, showing readiness to defend the state and nation.Below the shield is the inscription of our state motto Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” (I just learned that Michigan has an Office of the Great Seal – how cool would it be to say you worked there??)
- The original State Capitol of Michigan was Detroit, and it moved to Lansing in 1847 to help develop the western side of the state and due to the need to develop the western portions of the state and for easy defense from British troops. Here’s a pic of Michigan’s original Capitol Building and an 1890s view of the current Michigan capitol.
- Michigan is the 10th largest state by area if you count the water … and who wouldn’t count the water??
- Speaking of water, we have 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, good for second to only Alaska in coastline!
PS: I made a little Michigan Birthday cover photo for Facebook that you are free to grab.