Today in Michigan History

June 24, 1962

The Tigers played the longest game in baseball history.

The twenty-two-inning game against New York lasted seven hours. Yankee Jack Reed hit a two-run homer, the only one of his 222-game career, in the top of the twenty-second inning to beat the Tigers 9-7.

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Today in Michigan History

June 23, 1963

Thousands marched for racial equality in Detroit.

The nation’s largest civil rights gathering up to that time, an estimated 125,000 people marched down Woodward Avenue to Jefferson Avenue, carrying placards and singing “We Shall Overcome.” The march ended at Cobo Hall where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. introduced his “I have a dream” speech. Two months later, King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, and delivered a similar speech that became one of the greatest moments in American civil rights history.

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Today in Michigan History

June 22, 1937

Joe Louis won his first heavyweight title.

After training vigorously for the opportunity to take on defending heavyweight champion James Braddock, Detroit’s Joe Louis stepped into the ring at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. After biding his time in the early rounds, Louis hit Braddock with what he called the DOA, “Dead On your A–,” which consisted of a left to the body and a right to the chin. The first punch knocked Braddock off balance. The second one took him off his feet. Braddock whirled and fell on his face. He later said the punch felt like “someone jammed an electric bulb in my face and busted it. I couldn’t have got up if they offered me a million dollars.” Joe Louis was the new heavyweight champion of the world.

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Today in Michigan History

June 17, 1866

Lewis Cass died in Detroit.

Born in New Hampshire and raised in Ohio, Lewis Cass arrived in the Michigan Territory to help fight the British in late summer 1812. In 1813, he was appointed territorial governor—a position he retained until 1831 when President Andrew Jackson appointed him secretary of war. In 1848, Cass served the Democratic party as its presidential candidate, but he lost to Zachary Taylor. Besides appointments as ambassador to France and secretary of state (under President James Buchanan), Cass served Michigan in the U.S. Senate until 1857 when Republicans took control of Michigan politics.

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Today in Michigan History

June 16, 1856

James Jesse Strang was assassinated.

After the murder of Mormon leader Joseph Smith in 1844 in Illinois, most Mormons followed Brigham Young west to Utah. A few Mormons accepted the leadership of James Strang, a native New Yorker, and settled in Wisconsin. Looking for a more isolated environment, Strang and his followers were attracted to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. Strang’s community grew rapidly and he crowned himself king in 1850. Strang ran his kingdom with a strong hand and a few disgruntled followers murdered him over the issue of women’s clothes. Left leaderless, the Mormons on Beaver Island were forced to flee when non-Mormons arrived on the island.

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Today in Michigan History

June 14, 1671

The Pageant of the Sault was held.

French officials, led by Simon Francois, Sieur de St. Lusson, gathered at Sault Ste. Marie “to extend God’s glory and to promote the king of France.” In a ceremony attended by Native Americans from fourteen different nations, Lusson raised a cross and claimed that most of the interior of North America, including Michigan, belonged to the French crown.

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Today in Michigan History

June 10, 1919

Michigan ratified the Nineteenth Amendment.

Michigan suffragists were delighted when the all-male Michigan legislature ratified the constitutional amendment ending a decades-long campaign to win equal rights at the polls. The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified by the necessary three-fourths of the states in August 1920. Michigan women voted for president in November 1920 for the first time.

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