Michigan State University

December 7, 1945 : Sugar Island Offered As Home To United Nations

Jon Harrison
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On December 7, 1945, former Michigan Governor Chase S. Osborn volunteered Sugar Island, on the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula, as the home of the United Nations. Unfortunately another island - Manhattan - was selected.

An alternative version holds that on this day, members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation sent a cable to London suggesting that Sugar Island, in the St. Mary’s River off the coast of the Upper Peninsula, be selected as the home of the new United Nations. Rather than choosing the Yooper site, the honor instead was given to New York City.

Today, 49-square-mile Sugar Island is home to 652 people. The island is largely undeveloped, and both the Bay Mills Indian Community and Sault Tribe of the Ojibwa Indians claim interests on the island. The southern tip of the island is also home to the University of Michigan’s 3,200-acre Chase Osborn Preserve.

Sugar Island, off the cost of the Upper Peninsula near Sault Ste. Marie.

Sugar Island, off the cost of the Upper Peninsula near Sault Ste. Marie.

Sources :

Michigan Every Day

#MIHistory – Dec. 7: Home of the United Nations?, the Official Blog of the Michigan House Democrats.

Charlene Mires, "Sault Ste. Marie as the Capital of the World? Stellanova Osborn and the Pursuit of the United Nations, 1945", Michigan Historical Review, Vol. 35, No. 1 (SPRING 2009), pp. 61-82

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