Portal:Michigan

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The Michigan Portal

Location of Michigan within the United States

Michigan (/ˈmɪʃɪɡən/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. Its name originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning “large water” or “large lake”. With a population of just under 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation’s most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula is often noted as being shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula (often called “the U.P.”) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km) channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas. The state has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair. Michigan also has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds.

The area was first occupied by a succession of Native American tribes over thousands of years. Inhabited by Natives, Métis, and French explorers in the 17th century, it was claimed as part of New France colony. After France’s defeat in the French and Indian War in 1762, the region came under British rule. Britain ceded this territory to the newly independent United States after Britain’s defeat in the American Revolutionary War. The area was part of the larger Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Michigan Territory was formed in 1805, but some of the northern border with Canada was not agreed upon until after the War of 1812. Michigan was admitted into the Union in 1837 as the 26th state, a free one. It soon became an important center of industry and trade in the Great Lakes region and a popular immigrant destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Although Michigan developed a diverse economy, it is widely known as the center of the U.S. automotive industry, which developed as a major economic force in the early 20th century. It is home to the country’s three major automobile companies (whose headquarters are all within the Detroit metropolitan area). While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is important for tourism thanks to its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center of manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, services, and high-tech industry.

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Sparty at a baseball game between Michigan State and the Lansing Lugnuts in 2007.

Sparty is the mascot of Michigan State University. Sparty is usually depicted as a muscular male Spartan warrior/athlete dressed in stylized Greek costume. After changing the team name from “Aggies” to “Spartans” in 1925, various incarnations of a Spartan warrior with a prominent chin appeared at university events and in university literature. In 1943, MSU art professor Leonard D. Jungwirth designed a statue for the university, which had to be cast in terra cotta because of World War II rationing. In 2005, the university replaced Jungwirth’s original statue with a bronze replica, moving the original indoors to protect it from the elements.

Sparty appears in several other incarnations. In printed literature, the university uses a copyrighted cartoon Spartan, usually drawn with a grimace and several days worth of whiskers, lending the nickname of “Gruff” Sparty. Finally, Sparty appears as a foam rubber mascot with an oversized head. The mascot costume, worn by an anonymous student, appears at most university sporting, alumni, and fundraising events; he is often portrayed in MSU notices and materials. Read more…

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Rivard Place part of Detroit International Riverfront
Credit: Mikerussell

The Detroit International Riverfront is an area so designated by the nonprofit city sponsored managing entity, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization. The conservancy resulted from a study commissioned by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

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Cadillac /ˈkædɪlæk/ is a division of the American automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) that designs and builds luxury vehicles. Its major markets are the United States, Canada, and China. Cadillac models are distributed in 34 additional markets worldwide. Cadillac automobiles are at the top of the luxury field within the United States. In 2018, Cadillac sold 381,859 vehicles worldwide, a record for the brand.

Cadillac is among the first automobile brands in the world, second in the United States only to fellow GM marque Buick. The firm was founded from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company in 1902. It was named after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who founded Detroit, Michigan. The Cadillac crest is based on his coat of arms. Read more…

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Ralph Isaac “Hike” Heikkinen (May 14, 1917 – January 12, 1990) was an All-American guard for the University of Michigan Wolverines football team from 1936 to 1938. He was a consensus All-American in 1938, the first player from the Gogebic Range area of Michigan‘s Upper Peninsula to win the honor. His exploits were widely reported in the Upper Peninsula press, where he became a local hero. He played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939.

From 1940 to 1944, he was the line coach for the Virginia Cavaliers football team while attending the University of Virginia School of Law at the same time. After practicing law in New York for a time, he spent a year as a line coach and law professor at Marquette University in 1947. After leaving Marquette, Heikkinen worked as executive secretary and attorney for Studebaker-Packard Corporation. He later joined the legal staff at General Motors (GM), retiring in 1978 after 20 years of service in GM’s legal department. Heikkinen also helped initiate and implement a corporation-wide alcohol treatment and education program at General Motors. Read more…

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The following are images from various Michigan-related articles on Wikipedia.

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