Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The nation’s first African-American-owned TV station, WGPR-TV, is responsible for many firsts — using news cameras with tape rather than film, foreign language programs and being on air for 24 hours instead of signing off in the evening.
The station, Channel 62, also diverged from the local competition with its news coverage by looking for stories that other stations were not following.
Without a network affiliation, the station produced programs unique to the Detroit area, such as “The Scene,” a dance program similar to “Soul Train,” and “Porter House,” a talk show hosted by Amyre Makupson, formerly Amyre Porter.
Karen Hudson Samuels, who worked at the station as a news director and reporter, said the WGPR building also housed a radio station, and there was a lot of “cross pollination between TV and radio” as musical acts ranging from the Four Tops to James Brown and Prince paid visits.
The station was the brainchild of William V. Banks, a Detroit attorney and minister, who raised more than $2 million to launch the venture, according to a 1975 Toledo Blade article posted online.
“(In) some respects, William V. Banks was the Dan Gilbert of his era; a businessman who owned real estate and property all over Michigan, leveraging it to fulfill his dream,” according to a handout from the news conference.
The station was sold to CBS in 1994.
For the full article, see Eric D. Lawrence, "Exhibit honoring first black-owned TV station planned for Detroit Historical Museum", Detroit Free Press, January 23, 2014.
Michigan began educating the blind in 1859 at Flint's Michigan Asylum. In 1879 the legislature established the Michigan School for the Blind, which opened here on September 29, 1880, with 35 students. The next year, five students were its first graduates. At first students learned by lecture/demonstrations, but in 1884-85 the school introduced braille reading and writing. The first deaf/blind student was enrolled in 1887. By the 1950s the school boasted its largest enrollment, three hundred children in kindergarten through grade twelve. Student activities included music, drama and track. In 1960 and 1963 student wrestlers won class B state championships.
Enrollment declined in the late 1970s, owing to a combination of state budget cuts and a changing educational philosophy. By 1996, local schools mainstreamed disabled students and the Lansing campus was phased out.
Source : Michigan Historical Marker, the only Michigan Historical Marker with the text also in braille.
On September 29, 1813, British troops left Detroit, having occupied the city since August 16, 1812. American naval forces, under the command of Oliver Hazard Perry and fresh off a great victory at the Battle of Lake Erie, ferried an army commanded by future U.S. president William Henry Harrison to reoccupy Detroit and defeat a combined British and native American force led by Major General Henry Procter and Chief Tecumseh -- which they did a week later at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario.
Detroit Historical Society
"Michigan at War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1812-1815", a 31-minute documentary produced by the Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, has been posted for free access on MI Streamnet through a partnership with Wayne Regional Educational Services Agency.
War of 1812 in the Northwest, sponsored by WGTE Public Television, 57 minutes. Douglas Brinkley, David Skaggs and Randall Buchman are among the noted historians and authors featured in the program, along with Eric Hemenway, who works in the Cultural Preservation Department for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Northern Michigan. Support for War of 1812 in the Old Northwest is provided by a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by Buckeye CableSystem.
U.S. Senate candidates Terri Lynn Land and Gary Peters are exchanging charges about their finances, but the truth requires deeper digging. We fact-check claims in one of the nation's hottest races.
For the full article, see Todd Spengler, "In Senate race, financial claims are often misleading", Detroit Free Press, September 28, 2014.
On this day Michigan's halfback Tom Harmon (number 98) won the admiration of the nation in a game against the California Golden Bears in Berkeley, California. At the end of the 1939 season, Time magazine had claimed that Tom Harmon was the number 1 footballer of the year. But since Michigan and other teams from the East, South, and Midwest rarely made the trip out to the West Coast because of the time involved and the expense, the 35,401 fans in attendance wondered what the hype was all about.
Unlike Michigan's first trip to the West Coast in 1902 which took 8 days, this one took only two days thanks to the novel idea of air travel although it did take three planes to tranport the entire team. Although airsickness was an issue for many of the first time airplane passengers, it was mollified by stops in Denver and Salt Lake City, and when the trip was over, Coach Crysler and the players had to admit flying was the way to go for future long trips.
But back to Harmon who was celebrating his 21st birthday. It only took him 15 seconds to score his first touchdown --a 94 year run -- untouched by the other team -- after receiving the opening kickoff. Soon afterwards another touchdown was narrowly averted when a Michigan player dropped one of Harmon's passes on the goal line. Early in the second quarter, Harmon fielded a punt on his own 28 but fumbled it, and had to retreat 10 yards to pick it up again. Dashing for another touchedown, he was credited with a 72-yarder but probably ran twice that distance during the process. Later in the second period, Harmon scored a 3rd touchdown of 86 years on a reverse. With 6 minutes left in the first half, Michigan decided to let up on California so Harmon was allowed to sit on the bench until later in the 4th quarter. He then proceeded to score a fourth touchdown on an 8 year run and threw a 5-year pass for another. Final score : the University of Michigan 41, California 0.
Another amusing note, an inebriated California fan ran on the field and attempted to tackle Harmon on the 1 yard line during his 86 year ramble in the second quarter, since the other Golden Bears were lagging far behind. He failed, but made the photographic spread in Life Magazine the following week. Thanks to newspapers, magazines, and newsreels shown in movie theaters across the nation, Harmon's exploits became known far and wide.
Later on, Harmon recalled if he had counted all the people who said they saw him in the California game, the number would have been around 3 million, with another 20 million witnessing it in the local theaters! Needless to say, Tom Harmon would go on to win the 6th Heisman Trophy Award on November 27, 1940.
For more information about the September 28, 1940 game and a lot more, see Honor on the Line: The Fifth Down and the Spectacular 1940 College Football Season by Robert J. Scott and others (available via Amazon.com; snippets available via Google Books).
Harmon trivia: Tom Harmon, the pride of Gary, Indiana, was the leading scorer in both the 1939 and 1940 seasons and received All American honors in both years.
Harmon Update : Mark Harmon said his father talked as much about 1940’s only loss – a 7-6 defeat to Minnesota where Harmon missed the extra point – as he did about his other 33 touchdowns.
Mark Snyder, "Mark Harmon: Father, Tom Harmon, would be embarrassed but proud of Michigan honoring No. 98", Detroit Free Press, September 8, 2013.
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