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The Polar Express Comes to Michigan

While growing up in Grand Rapids, Chris Van Allsburg remembers hearing train whistles and taking train rides with his father. These childhood sights and sounds became part of the inspiration for Van Allsburg's well-known children's book, The…
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Ford's Model T

This article was published in Michigan History Magazine in 2005 and shared by the Archives of Michigan. This Tuesday, July 30th, is the 150th birthday of Michigan's most influential figure, Henry Ford. The photo with the article seems to have…
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The S.S. Badger Car Ferry and the Steamer 43 Song

S.S. Badger - Ludington Mi. by R.J.E. As a kid, I used to ride the Badger frequently back & forth to Wisconsin to see my dad. It might have cost $20, and on just about every trip there 6 or 8 people were taking a round trip,playing…
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Michigan's Rich African American Past

For years, February has been recognized as Black History Month. In nearly 250 years of living in Michigan, African Americans have made many important-and often overlooked–contributions to our state's past. One of the earliest records…
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Michigan History: Hollywood's First African-American Cowboy

Herbert Jeffries has acted, sung, even ridden--his way to the top of the entertaining world. In the 1930s, when white singing cowboys like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers carved out names for themselves, Jeffries decided there should be black…
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Michigan History: Rediscovering Our Covered Bridges

The July/August 2009 issue of Michigan History tells the stories of Michigan's three remaining covered bridges. Back in the days when couples rode in a horse and carriage, covered bridges were known as “kissing bridges.” The walls…
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Michigan History: Michigan’s Head Start on Going Green

Michigan citizens backed “green” laws and lawmakers before the term was even popular. Ours is one of ten states that require a deposit on bottles and cans. In the 1950s and 1960s, pop and beer bottles and cans were not returnable.…
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Michigan History: Beauty and the Bow

Born in England in 1938, Ann Marston immigrated to the United States with her parents in 1949. Already an accomplished archer—and British national champion--Ann soon dominated the field of American archery. Throughout the 1950s, she won…
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Motoring through Michigan's snow

Snow Plow by Seeking Michigan As the wind howls through the state this morning, I thought it might be a good time to shovel out a few stories - you can see a photo a snowplow in Bessemer from the Archives of Michigan over on Michigan in…
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Michigan History: Five Decades with Bob Seger (Pssst, music always makes a great gift)

If there is a single word to describe the musical career of Bob Seger it is “durable.” For almost fifty years, Seger has been writing, playing and singing rock ‘n roll tunes-everything from hard-driving rock to tender ballads. Born…
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Michigan History: Where the Model T Began

6 seater Model T - b&w by LindaB. Jerald Mitchell calls the Ford Motor Company's Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit "a fulcrum point of human history [where] the balance of history shifted." It was at this factory in Detroit that Henry…
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Michigan History: A wok down memory lane with La Choy

As America began its experiment with Prohibition in the early 1920s, some Michiganians concocted illegal spirits in their bathtubs. However, at least one Detroiter reportedly used his bathtub to grow bean sprouts. From such modest beginnings…