Happy Fourth of July everyone!
A belated happy 100th birthday to the Michigan State police, who are 100 years and a day old today:
Since April 19, 1917, the Michigan State Police has proudly served the citizens of Michigan. From a cavalry of 300 men to a full-service police agency of more than 2,900 members, the Michigan State Police has proven itself as a world-class leader in law enforcement.
The Michigan Department of State Police began as a temporary, wartime emergency force for the purpose of domestic security during World War I. On April 19, 1917, Governor Albert Sleeper created the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force, (also known as the Michigan State Constabulary). With Colonel Roy C. Vandercook as the first commanding officer, this new force consisted of five Troops of mounted, dismounted and motorized units, totaling 300 men. On March 26, 1919, Public Act 26 reorganized the Constabulary as the permanent, peace-time Michigan State Police.
Michigan adopted a new Constitution in 1963, authorizing up to 20 departments. Public Act 380 of 1965 reorganized the Michigan Department of State Police as one of these departments. The Director holds the rank of Colonel and is appointed by the Governor.
Today, the Michigan State Police consists of a modern-day force of law enforcement professionals, using the latest up-to-date training and technology to protect the citizens of Michigan. What was once a cavalry of 300 men now has evolved into one of the leading police agencies of the United States.
More #TBT (Throwback Thursdays) on Michigan in Pictures.
Well, we’ve finally reached the future … or at least the future according to Back to the Future II because October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day! You can watch this video for a look at some of the predictions for 2015 that Back to the Future got right and also watch “Back to the Future New Years” – a music video that my friend Ben of The Rock Stop music school in Traverse City created in honor of this momentous year.
I should also add that while the iconic DeLorean was manufactured in Ireland, John DeLorean – an engineer who was youngest person to become a General Motors exec – founded the DeLorean Motor Company in Detroit on October 24, 1975.
More cars on Michigan in Pictures.
The 2015 North American International Auto Show starts this Saturday (Jan 17) and runs through next Sunday (Jan 25). Held at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, it remains the premier show for car enthusiasts. For a sneak peek, have a look at CNN’s highlights which appear to be split between “muscular” and “efficient” (unsurprising spoiler: muscular wins 70/30).
If you do attend, consider going on their photo day (Jan 20) for early access. In any case, if you are packing a camera you might want to enter their 2015 Photo Contest which offers five different prizes of $200 each.
More about NAIAS/Detroit Auto Show on Michigan in Pictures.
Don Harrison operates UpNorth Memories and shares many of the historical post card photos I feature on Michigan in Pictures. Yesterday in honor of photographer Phil Balyeat’s 99th birthday he posted an incredible collection of photos Phil had taken over the years from the Traverse City area including this one.
More about the Dunesmobiles at Leelanau.com!
In Old Webster’s Junkyard Chuck writes (in part):
I visited this “junkyard” some 25 years ago having read about it in the Detroit Free Press. Mr Webster had been buying junk cars for years primarily for storage. He would put one type of item in each car: toasters in one, tires in another, generators in still another. When I first saw this curious wonderland of castoffs Mr. Webster had accumulated hundreds of cars. They were jammed chock-a-block through acres of woods behind his General Store, each car with its assigned treasure. Mr Webster would repair many of these small parts or appliances for resale, but clearly at some point this process got out of hand. There were more items than a small army of workers could fix in ten years of non-stop labor.
For my part, I could only hope to document a very small part of Mr Webster’s amazing collection. Those pictures from years ago I’m afraid I have misplaced, but the visual experience of the hours I spent with Mr. Webster was still fresh to me, and I still had a yellowed copy of the original newspaper article that urged me to return.
Now 25 or so years later, the woods was slowly being cleared of the junk and the wonderland was only a shadow. It’s this shadow that I tried to capture in this series of photos.
You can click through to his website for more, and though he asks you to register, I think it’s worth it.
As everyone is no doubt aware, today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Henry Ford in Dearborn has a feature entitled JFK Remembered: The X-100 that begins:
The car, code named X-100, started life as a stock Lincoln convertible at Ford Motor Company’s Wixom, Michigan, assembly plant. Hess & Eisenhardt, of Cincinnati, Ohio, stretched the car by 3½ feet and added steps for Secret Service agents, a siren, flashing lights and other accessories. Removable clear plastic roof panels protected the president from inclement weather while maintaining his visibility. The car was not armored, and the roof panels were not bulletproof. The modified limo cost nearly $200,000 (the equivalent of $1.5 million today), but Ford leased it to the White House for a nominal $500 a year.
It was a perfect marriage between car and passenger. The Lincoln’s clean, modern lines broke away from the showy chrome and tail fins of the pervious decade, and they seemed to mirror the young president’s turn toward a “New Frontier.” Kennedy used the limo many times during his thousand days in office, and it became tied to him in the public consciousness even before the tragedy in Dallas.
You can read much more about the X-100, which served Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter before being retired in 1977 and see a lot of photos at The Henry Ford.