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 region of the upper Midwestern United States. Its name derives from a gallicized variant of the original Ojibwe word ᒥᓯᑲᒥ (mishigami), meaning 'large water' or 'large lake'. With a population of nearly 10.1 million and a total area of nearly 97,000 sq mi (250,000 km2), Michigan is the 10th-largest state by population, the 11th-largest by area, and the largest 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 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. Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bordered by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake St. Clair. It 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 the New France colony. After France's defeat in the French and Indian War in 1762, the region came under British rule. Britain ceded the 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 émigré destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; immigration from many European countries to Michigan was also the busiest at that time, especially for those who emigrated from Finland, Macedonia and the Netherlands.

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 in Metro Detroit). While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is important for tourism due to its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center of manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, services, and high-tech industry. (Full article...)

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Heritage Festival Parade, 1984
YpsiFest (formerly Ypsilanti Heritage Festival) is a festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Held each year on the fourth weekend of August, the festival sprawls across Frog Island Park, Riverside Park, and historic Depot Town. The festival features a variety of activities and entertainment including helicopter rides, acrobats and theater performances by Ring of Steel, evening concerts, gambling and bingo, and a huge kids zone full of children specific activities and rides. Additionally there are featured evens like Illumination@YpsiFest where local business compete for prizes by creating illuminated sculptures for an evening display, and an illumination parade. (Full article...)
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Grand Circus Park Historic District in Detroit, Michigan
Credit: Mikerussell

Grand Circus Park Historic District contains the five acre Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit, Michigan that connects the theatre district with its financial center. It is bisected by Woodward Avenue, four blocks north of Campus Martius Park, and is roughly bounded by Clifford, John R. and Adams Streets.

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Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum complex
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is located at the Whitefish Point Light Station 11 miles (18 km) north of Paradise in Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The light station property was transferred to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS), the Michigan Audubon Society (MAS), and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 1996. The three entities share governance of the site. The museum is operated by the GLSHS. The museum exhibits artifacts from shipwrecks from the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve and the bell from the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Admission to the museum includes a tour of historic buildings with displays that interpret the Great Lakes maritime, United States Coast Guard, and US Life-Saving Service history. (Full article...)
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James Strang in 1856 daguerreotype photograph

James Jesse Strang (March 21, 1813 – July 9, 1856) was an American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch. In 1844 he claimed to have been appointed to be the successor of Joseph Smith as leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement. Strang testified that he had possession of a letter from Smith naming him as his successor, and furthermore reported that he had been ordained to the prophetic office by an angel. His organization is claimed by his followers to be the sole legitimate continuation of the Church of Christ founded by Joseph Smith fourteen years before.

A major contender for leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints during the 1844 succession crisis after Smith's murder, Strang urged other prominent LDS leaders like Brigham Young and Sidney Rigdon to remain in their previous offices and to support his appointment by Joseph Smith. Brigham and the members of the Twelve Apostles loyal to him rejected Strang's claims, as did Rigdon, the highest ranking officer of the church. This divided the Latter Day Saint movement. During his 12 years tenure as Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Strang reigned for six years as the crowned "king" of an ecclesiastical monarchy that he established on Beaver Island in the US state of Michigan. Building an organization that eventually rivaled Young's in Utah, Strang gained nearly 12,000 adherents at a time when Young claimed 50,000. After Strang was killed in 1856 most of his followers rallied under Joseph Smith III and joined the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Strangite church has remained small in comparison to other branches. (Full article...)

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