Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at email@example.com.
On Oct. 19, 1903, voters in Kalamazoo voted by an 8-to-1 margin to support construction of the Western State Normal School, later known as Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo was selected as the site because of its central location in southwest Michigan.
It also won the college because its residents agreed to raise $120,000 in a bond sale to pay for 20 acres of land, improvements, roads and building construction.
Michigan Every Day
Ursula Zerilli, "East Campus: Finances trump history in Western Michigan University's decision to raze historic buildings", MLive, December 16, 2012.
Earlier this week, Politico blew open a major “October Surprise” scandal involving Land. The timing is so curious that we can probably assume panicked Peters partisans were fearing a huge comeback and planted the story with Politico.com reporter John Bresnahan.
“Terri Lynn Land held state meetings at family business,” screamed the headline. In details that must have demoralized the Land campaign, Bresnahan lays out the Republican’s secret sordid past as Michigan Secretary of State. During her second four-year term, records show she held a startling 47 staff meetings at the headquarters of her family’s business.
“While Land does not appear to have violated any Michigan laws or ethics rules with these meetings, it does raise questions about how Land blurred the line between her official duties and her family business,” says Bresnahan, laying out the obvious and troubling issues that apparently never concerned Ms. Land.
For the full article, see Ken Braun, "Scandalous wealthy people work environment inflicted on Terri Lynn Land staffers", MLive, October 18, 2014.
Detroit is known for cars and music. Natural resources? Not so much. Yet each day, 30 or so miners descend nearly 1,200 ft. beneath the city to extract salt from remnants of ancient seas that extend below much of the Great Lakes — and form one of North America's robust salt reserves.
For more information, see:
Steven Gray, Detroit's Salt Mine : What Lies Beneath, Time, July 12, 2010.
Underground Economy : The Big Salt Mine in Detroit photo essay.
The Giant Salt City 1200ft Beneath Detroit from Environmental Graffita. Note works best with Mozilla Firefox.
Detroit's Salt Mine from Atlas Obscura
Daniel Duggan, "Detroit's underground rock salt mine sold", Crain's Detroit Business, October 18, 2010.
Holly, Michigan was honored on this day in 1978 by being the location for the release of one of the U.S. Postal Service’s two official 1978 Christmas stamps.
It featured a child on a hobby horse against the backdrop of a Christmas tree, set against a red background with the word “Christmas” at the bottom.
The Oakland County community was so named in 1861 for the holly that grew in the area and for Mt. Holly, N.J., where an 1835 settler had come from, according to the book “Michigan Place Names” by Walter Romig.
More About Christmas Stamps
The United States Post Office Department issued its first Christmas stamp in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 1, 1962. Customers had requested such a stamp for years, Postmaster General J. Edward Day said during the stamp dedication ceremony, adding that the stamp would be the first in a series of Christmas stamps.
Stamps that conveyed a holiday spirit had proved popular during the holidays in previous years, such as the 1958 Forest Conservation stamp showing a deer in a clearing in the woods and the 1960 stamp showing a stylized green tree resembling a fir, commemorating the 5th World Forest Congress.
Anticipating a huge demand for the new Christmas stamp, the Department ordered 350 million printed – the largest number produced for a special stamp until that time. The green and red four-cent stamps featured a wreath, two candles, and the words “Christmas 1962”. The initial supply sold out quickly, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began working around the clock to print more. By the end 1962 one billion of the stamps had been printed and distributed.
The decision to print a Christmas stamp encountered some controversy, especially from groups concerned about maintaining the separation of church and state, although legal actions to bar the stamps were not successful.
The Postal Service recognized other special holidays when it issued its first Hanukkah stamp in 1996, followed in 1997 by its first Kwanzaa stamp, and in 2001 by the Eid stamp.
In the list of U.S. Christmas holiday stamps that follows, the numbers in parentheses indicate postage on non-denominated stamps. Information is taken from The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps, postal philatelic press releases, the National Gallery of Art website at www.nga.gov, Scott 1999 Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps, and Scott Stamp Monthly.
Zlati Meyer, "This week in Michigan history: Christmas stamp goes on sale in Holly", Detroit Free Press, October 13, 2013.
Christmas Holiday Stamps by the U.S. Postal Service.
On this day Willie Thrower, a pioneer for African Americans in the sport of football, became the first African American to quarterback in a professional game in the modern era.
As a college player, Thrower was a groundbreaker as well, becoming the first African American to play quarterback in the Big Ten Conference, and helping Michigan State University win the 1952 national championship. Although Thrower rarely started, he frequently had a key role in the game. One that he remembers well was as a senior in 1952 – his biggest thrill in college football. He came off the bench in a close and crucial game against Notre Dame with the Spartans holding a narrow 7-3 lead. Thrower threw for one touchdown and directed the team to another to spark a 21-3 win for his team. That victory was critical to the national championship won by Michigan State that fall and MSU ending up voted #1 in both the AP and Coaches' polls at the end of the season.
With such an impressive college football career, it should have been easy for Thrower to go professional. Professional football, however, at this time was still fairly segregated with little opportunity for African American players. The few black players who were in the professional leagues largely held defensive positions. Although he was not drafted, he did receive a contract from the Chicago Bears as a backup quarterback to George Blanda.
Thrower made history on October 18, 1953 when he relieved George Blanda during a game against the San Francisco 49ers, becoming the first African American quarterback to play at this level. During that fateful game he completed three out of eight passes for a total of 27 yards. (It would be another 15 years before the next African-American took the field as a professional quarterback.)
Source : Biography Willie Thrower Bio
For another article, see Robert B. Van Atta, "Willie Thrower : The First Black QB in the NFL", The Coffin Corner: Vol. 8, No. 3 (1986).
Katie Koerner and Ben Phlegar, Willie Thrower: Breaking Barriers, Michigan State University Official Athletic Site, February 24, 2010.
Mitts Becomes Thrower for da Bears, Homecoming Headlines.
Also check out a YouTube tribute.
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