Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at email@example.com.
Happy birthday, Michigan! The Michigan Historical Center in Lansing is celebrating the day on Saturday, January 24th this year so that more people might attend. Admission to the Michigan Historical Museum for Statehood Day is free, courtesy of the Michigan History Foundation. Activities include playing with toys that children would have enjoyed in 1837; turning wool into yarn; learning about quilt making; exploring Native American life; and snacking on a Michigan birthday cookie. In the Archives of Michigan on the second floor, visitors can view statehood documents, including Michigan's first constitution. An exhibit "Conceived in Liberty" examines Michigan's role at the end of the Civil War and the two decades following.
Can't attend? Throw your own birthday party for Michigan, celebrating the fact that we became the 26th state on Jan. 26, 1837. Every great party needs a theme and you can never go wrong with dinosaurs. So focus your party around a mastodon theme. For those who have been living in the ice age, the mastodon is our state fossil. Mastodons, which were basically elephants on steroids, roamed Earth until they went extinct about 10,000 years ago. More than 250 mastodon fossils have been found in Michigan. So if you want the mother of all scavenger hunts, take your friends and relatives on a mastodon fossil hunt. Hint: Start in Saline, where mastodons used to hang out.
It's always fun to do some arts and crafts at a birthday party, so get the kids together and try to come up with a new state seal and flag.
Our official state flag looks like two cartoon characters -- an elk and a moose -- are standing on a teeter-totter, holding a shield that says, "Tuebor," which means -- "Fire Millen!" -- in Latin. No, just kidding. It actually means, "I will protect."
Show off your knowledge
If you want to be the life of your Michigan birthday party, it's important to know some obscure Michigan facts.
If someone happens to ask you, "Hey, man, do you know our state soil?"
You should not say, "Ketchup and mustard on a bowling shirt."
Rather, you should say, "Why, of course. It's Kalkaska soil series, according to Act 302 of 1990."
And if they ask, "Why the heck do we have a state soil?"
You should say, "I have no idea. Pass me another coney dog and shut up. It's your turn to bowl."
Serve up some local flavor
If you are going to have food at your Michigan birthday party, you will look like a real smarty-pants by serving dry black beans, blueberries and pickling cucumbers because Michigan ranks first nationally in the production of all three. You get immediate induction into the Michigan Food Hall of Fame if you include mints, cherries and a pasty. Bring along some Pepto-Bismol because, frankly, it sounds pretty nasty to serve all of that together.
Honor the native people
It is important to remember that Michigan's first residents were the Ojibwa, Ottawa and Potawatomi American Indians.
So if your friend says, "How do you want to celebrate Michigan's birthday?"
You can say, "Let's hit the casino. I mean, um, let's go to the casino so that we can honor those who came before us. The first Michiganders. The dudes who gave us Thanksgiving football and the casinos."
Take in sights -- or your pop cans
The state motto is: Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice.
According to a rumor, this is what somebody mumbled during the first Michigan-Michigan State basketball game, while stuffing his face with a hotdog. He was trying to say, "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."
So today, on this special occasion, go out and look about you:
So happy birthday, Michigan. Blow out the candles. Open the presents. And revel in everything that makes this state unique.
Source: Jeff Seidel,"Break out the berries and coney dogs, Michigan turns a year older today", Detroit Free Press, January 26, 2008. Back then Matt Millen was President and CEO of the Detroit Lions from 2001 until week 4 of the 2008 NFL season. His eight-year tenure as head of the franchise led to the worst eight-year record in the history of the modern NFL (31-84, a .270 winning percentage), and resulted in his termination on September 24, 2008. That explains the Fire Millen comment in the article.
For more information, visit http://nighttraintodetroit.com/2010/01/26/172-years-of-michigan-statehood/
Dan Austin, Celebrate Michigan's 178th birthday with this quiz, Detroit Free Press, January 26, 2015.
He did two tours in Iraq, but it wasn’t until he came home that Sen. David Knezek lost a buddy from his unit.
The man committed suicide.
The transition home is too hard for some veterans, Knezek said, and we’re not doing enough to help.
As one of only two Iraq veterans in the Michigan legislature, Knezek hopes to change that by making it easier for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to get well-trained service dogs and all the protections that go along with them.
For the full article, see Louise Knott Ahern, "Iraq veterans in legislature want to protect PTSD dogs", Lansing State Journal, January 25, 2015.
A year after the GED exam underwent a massive overhaul — one that made it far more difficult but more in line with what's expected of today's high school grads — there has been a steep decline in people taking and passing the test.
Preliminary numbers from the GED Testing Service estimate that 90,000 people nationwide earned the General Educational Development diploma — a high school equivalency credential — in 2014. That's down from 540,535 in 2013 and 401,388 in 2012.
Similar declines are happening in Michigan, where the number passing in 2014 was 1,472 for people in the general population, down from 13,651 in 2013 and 10,290 in 2012.
For the full article, see Lori Higgins, "GED overhaul: Tougher test, less success", Detroit Free Press, January 25 2015.
For a related article, see "Note Changes Coming to GED Credentialing in Michigan", Michigan Newswire, January 25, 2015.
Hate crimes reported to local law enforcement in Michigan ticked up in 2013 — the most recent data available — but have remained relatively flat during the last several years. There were 400 hate crimes reported in the state in 2013 — a 7% increase over 2012, but far below 2007 numbers.
Visit this website to see how many hate crimes have been reported in your community.
For the full article, see Kristi Tanner, "Search the hate crimes in your Michigan community", Detroit Free Press, January 25, 2015.
M. Scott Bowen recently revealed that the Internet lottery, which was started last Thanksgiving, is raking in about $2 million a week over the last two to three weeks but he put the number in perspective. It’s about 1% of total lottery sales with 86,000 current players. Turns out about $25.9 million has been wagered with $22.2 million in winnings.
Cited website : Michigan Lottery
For the full article, see Tim Skubick, "Michigan Lottery's quiet roll-out of online gaming", MLive, January 25, 2015.
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