Happy 178th Birthday to you, Michigan!

Michigan Sign at State Line 1958

Michigan Sign at State Line 1958, photo by Seeking Michigan

Today is Statehood Day, Michigan’s 178th birthday. For Michigan’s 175th birthday in 2012 I put together some fun facts about Michigan. They’re still true and still fun!

  • 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 apic 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!

View the photo background big and see more in their Tourism slideshow.

More of Michigan’s birthday on Michigan in Pictures.

 

January 26th is Michigan’s Birthday!

Leaping in a Winter Wonderland

Leaping in a Winter Wonderland, photo by karstenphoto

Today is Michigan’s 176th birthday. For the 175th birthday last year we compiled some fun facts that you can check out. Here’s hoping that you get a chance to get out and celebrate what Michigan has to offer this weekend!

If you’re staying warm inside, consider reading about Michigan’s statehood and associated documents at Seeking Michigan.

Check Steven’s photo out big as Michigan and see this and more winter fun in his winter slideshow.

#Mich175 = Happy 175th Birthday Michigan!!

Sugar Cookies - Michigan

Sugar Cookies – Michigan, photo by betsyweber

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’”

~Constitution of Michigan of 1835

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!

More fun facts from the State of Michigan.

Check this out background bigilicious and in Betsy’s Cookies slideshow.

PS: I made a little Michigan Birthday cover photo for Facebook that you are free to grab.

Happy 175th Birthday Michigan!!

Happy Birthday Michigan!

Fireworks over the Capitol

Fireworks over the Capitol, photo by City Saunter.

January 26, 2011 is Michigan’s 174th Birthday. You can learn about Michigan’s rough & rocky road to Statehood on Absolute Michigan.

Check this out bigger in Ariniko’s Lansing slideshow and here’s hoping you find something about Michigan to celebrate today!!

PS: Also check out her City Saunter project to walk every street in Lansing!

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.