Veterans Day Salute

November 10, 2014

Veterans Day

Veterans Day, photo by SashaW

Sasha captured this special moment during a Veterans Day event at Davenport University in Grand Rapids. View it background big and see more in her slideshow.

Founders of Feigenson Bros. Bottling Works  Faygo

Founders of Feigenson Bros. Bottling Works, photo by Faygo A-1 History

Tomorrow (November 4th) is the 107th birthday of Detroit-based Faygo. The Encyclopedia Of Detroit entry for Faygo Pop at the Detroit Historical Society says:

In 1907, Russian immigrant brothers and bakers, Ben and Perry Feigenson, began playing around with the idea of creating soft drinks based on their frosting flavors. They bottled their soda – which they called “pop” because of the sound it made when the lid was removed – in fruit punch, strawberry and grape flavors at a factory on Pingree Street. They sold their soda pop from their horse-drawn wagon the day after it was made.

Soon, the brothers developed the Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works, but they changed the name to Faygo in 1921 because “Feigenson” was too long to fit on the labels. They moved their growing bottle works to Gratiot Avenue in 1935, which is still used today to create Faygo pop.

The brothers ran Faygo until the mid-1940s, when they gave the company to their sons. Faygo was sold only in Detroit and Michigan until the late 1950s because it had a limited shelf life. At that time, company-hired chemists determined that impurities in the water prevented the pop from staying carbonated. The company then developed a water filtering system that stretched the shelf life to more than a year.

Faygo became popular outside of Michigan in the late 1960s when the company began advertising during televised Detroit Tigers games. Today, Faygo, which comes in over 30 flavors, is sold in many states east of the Mississippi River.

In 1987, the Feigenson family sold the Faygo company to National Beverage Company which is based in Florida. National Beverage, which also owns Shasta, kept the Detroit bottling works and the company’s employees. Many have worked for Faygo for over 30 years.

Today, the most popular Faygo flavor remains one of the earliest the Feigenson brothers developed: Redpop.

Click through for a couple fun items in their collection and also check out Faygo’s history page for a nice timeline.

The Faygo A-1 History page on Facebook shared this photo - view it photo bigger and see many more Faygo photos at Faygo A-1 History.

Odawa Indian Boy

Odawa Indian Boy, photo by Sharon

Michigan Indian Day was established as the 4th Friday in September by the State of Michigan in 1974.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians & Kenny Pheasant, Director of their Anishinaabemowin Program created a cool site to help people learn Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Anishinaabe nation. The history page begins:

In the beginning, Gizhemanidoo created the universe as we know it today. He created Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth and Father Sky. And on the earth he created all things, living and nonliving. He created life in the earth, on the earth, in the sky and in the water. He created the plants, rivers, four-legged and winged creatures, and the swimmers. After this was done, he created one of the greatest mysteries of all – the four seasons – to bring harmony and balance to all.

After all creation was complete, he created man. After he created the first Anishinaabe, he came to him in a dream and instructed him that he was to name all things in the language that he gave him, Anishinaabemowin. So the first man went about on his journey and named all things he saw – all the animals, insects, birds and fish – however long this took. Afterward, he spoke to the Creator Gizhemanidoo in his dream and said, “I have finished what you have told me to do.” Then the Creator Gizhemanidoo spoke back to him and said, “Yes, you have indeed done so, and now it is time for me to give you your name. Your name shall be Nanabozho, and whenever your people meet and greet one another, they will say a part of your name. That is why whenever the Anishinaabe people greet one another, they say the word Bozhoo.

Our creation story tells us that we originally migrated to the Great Lakes region from the East Coast. There are many settlements of our original homes that still exist to this day, like Manitoulin Island, the Island of the Great Spirit.

We have always been a nation, and we knew one another as the Anishinaabek. It was not until the French and European settlers arrived on this part of the continent that we became known as the tribes now called Ojibwe, Odawa and Bodwe’aadamiinh.

Read on for more.

Sharon took this at the 2014 Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow in Harbor Springs. View it bigger and see more in her slideshow.

More portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

 

 

Farewell Robin Williams

August 12, 2014

Robin Williams

Robin Williams, photo by Gene Schilling

“Comedy is acting out optimism.”
~Robin Williams

Like many who have enjoyed the zany & genuine wit of Robin Williams, I was saddened to hear that he lost his lifelong battle with depression.

View Gene’s photo bigger, see more from this show in his Robin Williams @ The Sound Board, Detroit, MI (assignment for MotorCityBlog.net) slideshow and check out musicimagesbygene.com for some great concert photography.

PS: I found this quote in a Huffington Post article with some really great shots of Williams.

Apocalyptic Spring

March 21, 2014

Apocalyptic Spring.

Apocalyptic Spring., photo by jonathan_brandt

View Jonathan’s photo bigger, see more in his Panoramas slideshow and check it out giant-sized on Gigapan where (if you go full screen) you can zoom in for an incredible amount of detail.

Sweetheart Splash

February 11, 2014

Rockford Sweetheart Splash 2014

Rockford Sweetheart Splash 2014, photo by DJ Wolfman

I solemnly swear that I will never get tired of looking at polar bear plunge photos. They are Michigan’s Mardi Gras which I think is awesome.

DJ Wolfman captured some great fun at Rockford’s Sweetheart Splash. Check this photo out bigger and see more in his Rockford Sweetheart Splash slideshow.

John Swainson and Martin Luther King

John Swainson and Martin Luther King, photo courtesy Archives of Michigan

Today’s post is by Bob Garrett of Seeking Michigan and the Archives of Michigan…

A Dream Begins in Detroit

In the above photo, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appears with John Swainson, Michigan governor of 1961-1962. The photo is undated but was most likely taken on Sunday, June 23, 1963. On that date, Dr. King and former governor Swainson both participated in the Detroit “Walk to Freedom.”

The Detroit Walk to Freedom

Dr. King was then in the midst of a tour (begun that spring) from California to New York. His Detroit stop proved the tour’s biggest success. Police estimated the Freedom Walk crowd at 125,000. The day after the event, The Detroit Free Press labeled it “the largest civil rights demonstration in the nation’s history.” The walk began at Woodward and Adelaide and continued down Woodward to Cobo Hall. It lasted about an hour and a half, as marchers carried signs and sang songs (Songs included “We Shall Overcome” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”).

The Detroit Council for Human Rights organized the Walk. The Council’s director, Benjamin McFall, and its Chairman, Rev. Clarence L. Franklin, marched in a line with King and Swainson. That line also included Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh, United Auto Workers President Walter P. Reuther and State Auditor General Billie S. Farnum. (Then-current governor George Romney, a Mormon who avoided public appearances on Sundays, did not directly participate. He did, however, proclaim the day “Freedom March Day in Michigan.”)

Speech at Cobo Hall (“I Have a Dream…”)

At the walk’s conclusion, King gave a speech at Cobo Hall. According to the contemporary Detroit Free Press report, approximately twenty-five thousand people sat in attendance, with African Americans comprising about ninety-five percent of that total. They listened as King spoke of non-violence and an end to racial segregation. The June 24, 1963 Free Press report notes that King “ended his speech by telling of a dream.” According to the Free Press, King described his dream of whites and blacks “walking together hand in hand, free at last.”

In his book King: A Biography, David Levering Lewis states that King repeated the phrase “I have a dream” several times during that Cobo Hall speech. Lewis notes that when King addressed a crowd in Washington, D.C. two months later, he “kept the refrain from the Detroit speech: I have a dream.” (See Lewis’ King: A Biography, second edition, Urbana: University of Illinois, 1978, pg. 227).

Conclusion

King’s Washington speech of August 28, 1963 became famous as his “I have a dream speech.” It was a defining moment in the American civil rights movement. In one sense, however, the seeds of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream were planted in Michigan – in Detroit’s Cobo Hall.

Editor’s Note: You can click to read the full text of Dr. King’s speech in Detroit and see a photo from the walk on Michigan in Pictures. Interestingly enough, Gov. Swainson had a harder road than many to participate in the walk – he lost both his legs in a land mine explosion in Alsace-Lorraine in WW II and had to learn to walk again on artificial legs. More on the Wikipedia entry for Governor John Burley Swainson.

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