Michigan is a beautiful state, just ask anyone who lives here. But besides the Pure Michigan ads you probably have seen on billboards and heard on the radio – do you really know much about the state? There are countless wonders throughout the state to explore but the Mitten state is more than just the “high five” of the country – there is a lot of history and neat things the state has brought to the table.
First College in the United States
The University of Michigan was established in Detroit in 1817 as the first to be established by any of the states. It was originally called Cathelepistemian and was located in Detroit. In 1821 the name was changed and the University moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.
Former President Gerald R. Ford attended the University of Michigan and was a member of their football team.
Home of Presidents
You read that right – President Ford was from the Mitten State! Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. was an American politician who served as the 38th president of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977. Before his accession to the presidency, Ford served as the 40th vice president of the United States from December 1973 to August 1974.
Michigan is called the wolverine state but for a time there were no wolverines living in the state. Recently though there have been sightings of the animal, first in 2004, which is about 200 years after the species was last seen in the state. How the animal which is a member of the weasel family returned, remains a mystery to this day. The wolverine was on the state of Michigan’s most endangered species list until the late 1990s.
The Mighty Mac
Many people may not realize that the Mackinac Bridge that connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan is five miles long. The bridge is suspended over the Straits of Mackinac which is where the Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. The bridge took three years to complete and opened on November 1, 1957. Every Labor Day two of the lanes of the bridge are closed to vehicle traffic and opened to walkers for the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk.
Battle Creek, MI is know as the cereal capital of the world because of the Kellogg Company. You can actually visit and tour the factories and learn more about how cereal played a very weird role in all of our history!