Happy Birthday, Michigan!

The Capitol of Michigan

The Capitol of Michigan, photo by Ravi Vora.

Today (January 26, 2009) is Michigan’s 172nd birthday. I have to say she doesn’t look a day over 150 – must be all that fresh water!

The Michigan Historical Museum explains the somewhat lengthy process that Michigan took to becoming the 26th State of the Union:

Following the Compromise of 1820 it was the practice to admit a free state and a slave state at the same time. However, when both Arkansas and Michigan were ready for statehood, Michigan was involved in a dispute with Ohio over the Toledo Strip. President Jackson signed a bill on June 15, 1836, that admitted Arkansas but required the people of Michigan to settle the dispute before Michigan would be granted statehood. Michigan would need to consent to a compromise measure drawn up by Congress. The compromise gave the Toledo Strip to Ohio and the western two-third (2/3) of the present Upper Peninsula to Michigan.

A convention to consider the compromise took place in Ann Arbor on September 26, 1836, after delegates were elected. They deliberated for four days; then they rejected the compromise. On December 14 a second “Convention of Assent” was assembled, which—two days later—passed a resolution that accepted the compromise. After this news reached Washington, a bill was introduced to admit Michigan to the Union. Congress passed the bill, and President Jackson signed it on January 26, 1837.

Toledo for the Western U.P.? No offense to Toledo, but I think we made out all right in that one. More about Michigan’s path to statehood from Wikipedia.

Ravi says to check this out larger and cooler.

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