Today in Michigan History

August 10, 1865

Detroit prepared to greet General U.S. Grant.

A gala reception was planned when General Grant, whose victory in Virginia over Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee had taken place earlier that year, arrived in Detroit on August 12. Ten thousand people cheered the general and packed the city—”the excitement on the streets approached closely to wildness,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Thank you Michigan History Magazine for this glimpse into our past.  See more at www.michiganhistorymagazine.com.

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A Mystery Spot Not to Miss!

Take a drive out to Benzie County’s own Gravity Hill, just a few miles southeast of Frankfort & Elberta. You can put your car in neutral on the downhill slope and your car will roll backwards uphill!  These natural gravity hills are found in hilly locations where a distant horizon is not visible as a reference which produces the optical illusion that a gentle downhill slope is, in fact, an uphill slope.

For more things to do while in Benzie County, please visit: http://www.visitbenzie.com/things-to-do-47/

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Today in Michigan History

August 7, 1904

Ralph Bunche was born in Detroit.

The son of a Detroit barber, Ralph attended UCLA and Harvard. After years of government service, Bunche helped draft the United Nations Charter. In 1950, he was the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating a ceasefire among warring nations in the Middle East.

Thank you Michigan History Magazine for this glimpse into our past.  See more at www.michiganhistorymagazine.com.

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Global Warming Salsa Ignites Michigan

Dan and Cherie Houston own a fitness consulting business, with locations in Highland/Milford and Clarkston.  Upon visiting their website, you’ll notice a theme that includes chile peppers, very appropriate for the creators of Global Warming Salsa.

Global Warming Salsa was born out of a need to find a salsa that was different and according to their website, “something that makes your mouth cry and sing at the same time.”  And before you start thinking the name is commentary on a political issue, you need to know that idea of “Global” came from them utilizing flavors from around the world.  They are using ingredients from all the popular international cuisines; Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Mexican just to name a few.

The salsa is a way for them to help their health and fitness clients add flavor to their food with minimal calories and a better overall nutritional value.  But most importantly, they are using the proceeds from the salsa to help combat childhood obesity by developing nutrition and exercise programs for schools and finish their book on childrens exercise.

For more information on award-winning Global Warming Salsa and a list of locations where you can purchase this Michigan product, visit www.globalwarmingsalsa.com.

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Today in Michigan History

August 6, 1845

The University of Michigan graduated its first class.

Moving to fulfill the requirements of the March 18, 1837, state law that called for the establishment of a state university, the University of Michigan awarded Bachelor of Arts degrees to ten students who composed its first graduating class.

Thank you Michigan History Magazine for this glimpse into our past.  See more at www.michiganhistorymagazine.com.

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The U.P. State Fair

Escanaba received the honor of being named the location for the Upper Peninsula State Fair in April, 1927.  Opening day of the first U.P. State Fair was September 17, 1928.  This late fall date was chosen so blue-ribbon winners from all surrounding county fairs could enter at the state level.

The 2009 Upper Peninsula State Fair opens Monday, August 17 @ 5:00 pm. Plan now to attend to the UP’s biggest event!

For more information on The U.P State Fair, please visit:  http://www.michigan.gov/upsf

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Today in Michigan History

August 5, 1862

John R. Williams’ son was killed.

The son of Detroit’s antebellum mayor John R. Williams, Thomas Williams was killed repulsing an attack by Confederate forces at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Thomas Williams, an 1833 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, had seen action in the Mexican War where he received two brevets for gallantry. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was a major in the Fifth U.S. Artillery.

Thank you Michigan History Magazine for this glimpse into our past.  See more at www.michiganhistorymagazine.com.

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The Lake Michigan Triangle

Everyone has heard of the Bermuda Triangle and the strange things that happen there, but did you know that Michigan has its own mysterious triangle?

The Lake Michigan Triangle is connected by Ludington and Benton Harbor in Michigan and both cities connect across the lake to Manitowoc in Wisconsin forming the triangle, according to author Linda S. Godfrey in her book Weird Michigan.

The legend begins with sunken ships, but goes beyond that to the disappearance of airplanes and people to UFO sightings.  There have been so many sightings of strange objects and ghost planes in that area that the FAA created a special lake reporting service to keep track of them all.

Almost 40 planes have disappeared over Lake Michigan; the one most may know is Northwest Flight 2501.  In June of 1950 it left New York heading to Minneapolis, it went down into Lake Michigan near Benton Harbor.  There were no survivors and divers weren’t able to locate the plane’s wreckage.

In April 1937, one of the most famous Lake Michigan Triangle legends took place.  The freighter O.M. McFarland was headed to Port Washington, Wisconsin.  Captain George Donnor decided to head to his cabin for a nap and wanted to be woken around 6pm.  When the crew went to wake him, they found his cabin empty.  The story claims the door was locked from the inside and nobody knows what happened to him.  The disappearance of Donnor happened while the freighter passed through the nexus of the Lake Michigan Triangle.

Skeptics site the massive storms the Great Lakes are known for or the lack of GPS systems as the explanations of it all.  But it sure feeds your imagination when you look out across Lake Michigan and wonder what other mysteries are hiding beneath the surface!

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