Portal:Michigan

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The Michigan Portal

Location of Michigan within the United States

Michigan (About this sound/ˈmɪʃɨgən/ ) is a Midwestern state of the United States of America. It was named after Lake Michigan, whose name is a French adaptation of the Ojibwe term mishigami, meaning "large water" or "large lake". Michigan is the eighth most populous state in the United States. It has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world, bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair. In 2005, Michigan ranked third for the number of registered recreational boats, behind California and Florida. Michigan has 12,000 inland lakes. A person is never more than six miles (9.7 km) from a natural water source, or more than 85 miles (137 km) from Great Lakes coastline.

The state is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula of Michigan, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is sometimes dubbed "the mitten," owing to its shape. When asked where in Michigan one comes from, a resident of the Lower Peninsula may often point to the corresponding part of his or her hand. The Upper Peninsula (often referred to as The U.P.) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile-wide (8.0 km) channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Upper Peninsula (whose residents are often called "Yoopers") is economically important for tourism and natural resources. The Upper and Lower Peninsulas are connected by the five-mile-wide (8.0 km) Mackinac Bridge, which is the third longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the world. The bridge has given rise to the nickname of "trolls" for residents of the Lower Peninsula, because they live "under" (south of) the bridge.

Selected article

Carriages on Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island (/ˈmækɪnɔː/ MAK-i-naw) is an island covering 3.8 square miles (10 km2) in land area, belonging to the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Lake Huron, at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The island was home to a Native American settlement before European exploration began in the 17th century. It served a strategic position amidst the commerce of the Great Lakes fur trade. This led to the establishment of Fort Mackinac on the island by the British during the American Revolutionary War. It was the scene of two battles during the War of 1812. In the late 19th century, Mackinac Island became a popular tourist attraction and summer colony. Much of the island has undergone extensive historical preservation and restoration; as a result, the entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is well known for its numerous cultural events; its wide variety of architectural styles, including the famous Victorian Grand Hotel; and its ban on almost all motor vehicles. More than 80 percent of the island is preserved as Mackinac Island State Park.

Selected biography

Henry Ford, c. 1919
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was the American founder of the Ford Motor Company and father of modern assembly lines used in mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. He was a prolific inventor and was awarded 161 U.S. patents. As owner of the Ford Company he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism", that is, the mass production of large numbers of inexpensive automobiles using the assembly line, coupled with high wages for his workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. Ford did not believe in accountants; he amassed one of the world's largest fortunes without ever having his company audited under his administration. Henry Ford's intense commitment to lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put a dealership in every city in North America, and in major cities on six continents.

Selected picture

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Campus Martius
Credit: Mikerussell

Campus Martius Park is a re-established park in downtown Detroit, Michigan. After the fire of 1805, Campus Martius (from the Latin for Field of Mars, where Roman heroes walked) was the focal point of judge Augustus Woodward's plans to rebuild the city.

Spotlight city

Boardman River in Traverse City.jpg

Traverse City is the largest city in the 21-county Northern Michigan region. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 14,532. In 2005, the Traverse City Micropolitan Statistical Area was the 13th largest in the United States, with a population estimate of 141,011. It is the county seat of Grand Traverse County, although a small portion lies in Leelanau County. Despite its modest population, Traverse City, especially its downtown, functions as the major commercial center for a seven-county area totaling over 2,700 square miles (7,000 km2) and, along with cross-peninsula counterpart Alpena, is one of Northern Lower Michigan's two anchor cities.

Traverse City is the self-proclaimed Cherry Capital of the World, holding an annual week-long Cherry Festival the first full week in July to celebrate. Besides cherries, the surrounding countryside produces grapes, and is one of the centers of wine production in the Midwest. Tourism, both summer and winter, is another key industry. Freshwater beaches, a mild summer climate, upscale golf resorts, vineyards, a nearby National Lakeshore, nearby ski resorts and thousands of square miles of surrounding forests make Traverse City (based on AAA's 2005 TripTik requests) the second most popular tourist city in the state behind Mackinaw City.

Symbols

Animate insignia
Bird American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Fish Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
Flower Apple blossom (Malus domestica)
Game animal White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Mammal Wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) (unofficial)
Reptile Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)
Tree Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Wildflower Dwarf Lake Iris (Iris lacustris)

Inanimate insignia
Fossil Mastodon (Mammut americanum)
Gemstone Isle Royale greenstone or Chlorastrolite
Motto "Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice"
Latin for "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you"
Nicknames
Soil Kalkaska Sand
Songs My Michigan
Stone Petoskey stone

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The skyline of Detroit, Michigan

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