The Michigan Portal

The flag of Michigan
Location of Michigan within the United States

Michigan (/ˈmɪʃɪɡən/ MISH-ig-ən) is a state in the Great Lakes region of the upper Midwestern United States. It has land borders with Wisconsin to the northwest, and Indiana and Ohio to the south; it is also connected by Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie to the states of Minnesota and Illinois, and the Canadian province of Ontario. With a population of nearly 10.12 million and an area of 96,716 sq mi (250,490 km2), Michigan is the 10th-largest state by population, the 11th-largest by area, and the largest by 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. Its name derives from a gallicized variant of the original Ojibwe word ᒥᓯᑲᒥ (mishigami), meaning "large water" or "large lake".

Michigan consists of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula resembles the shape of a mitten, and comprises a majority of the state's land area. 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 United States, being bordered by four of the five Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair. It also has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. Michigan has the second-most water area of any state, behind only Alaska.

The area was first occupied by a succession of Native American tribes over thousands of years. In the 17th century, French explorers claimed it as part of the New France colony, when it was largely inhabited by indigenous peoples. French and Canadian traders and settlers, Métis, and others migrated to the area, settling largely along the waterways. 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 its 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, attracting immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from many European countries. Immigrants from Finland, Macedonia, and the Netherlands were especially numerous. Migration from Appalachia and of Black Southerners as part of the Great Migration increased in the 1930s, with many settling in Metro Detroit. (Full article...)

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Crisler Arena is the home of Michigan Wolverines men's basketball.

The University of Michigan basketball scandal, or the Ed Martin scandal, concerned National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) rules violations resulting from the relationship between the University of Michigan (or Michigan), its men's basketball program, and booster Eddie L. "Ed" Martin. The violations principally involved payments booster Martin made to several players to launder money from an illegal gambling operation. It is one of the largest incidents involving payments to athletes in American collegiate history. An initial investigation by the school was joined by the NCAA, Big Ten Conference, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). As a result of this investigation, Michigan's basketball program was punished with sanctions.

The case began when the investigation of an automobile accident involving Michigan player Maurice Taylor revealed a curious relationship between Martin and Michigan's basketball program dating back to the 1980s. Several Michigan players were implicated over the next few years and by 1999 some were called before a federal grand jury. Four eventual professional basketball players—Taylor, Chris Webber, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock—were discovered to have borrowed a total of $616,000 from Martin. During the investigation, Webber claimed not to have had any financial relationship with Martin, but eventually confessed to taking loans from Martin. He was both fined in the legal system and briefly suspended by the National Basketball Association (NBA) after performing public service. (Full article...)
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The Horace Rackham Memorial Fountain at the Detroit Zoo
The Horace Rackham Memorial Fountain at the Detroit Zoo
Credit: MJCdetroit

The Detroit Zoo is located about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the Detroit city limits at the intersection of Woodward Avenue, 10 Mile Road, and 696 in Royal Oak and Huntington Woods, Michigan, USA.

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The Streets of Old Detroit: 1870s exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum in Detroit, Michigan (United States)

Detroit, the largest city in the state of Michigan, was settled in 1701 by French colonists. It is the first European settlement above tidewater in North America. Founded as a New France fur trading post, it began to expand during the 19th century with American settlement around the Great Lakes. By 1920, based on the booming auto industry and immigration, it became a world-class industrial powerhouse and the fourth-largest city in the United States. It held that standing through the mid-20th century.

The first Europeans to settle in Detroit were French country traders and colonists from the New Orleans (the La Louisiane) colony. They were joined by traders from Montreal and Quebec; all had to contend with the powerful Five Nations of the League of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee), who took control of the southern shores of Lakes Erie and Huron through the Beaver Wars of the 17th century. Also present and powerful, but further to the north, were the Council of Three Fires (Anishinaabe). (in Anishinaabe: Niswi-mishkodewinan, also known as the People of the Three Fires; the Three Fires Confederacy; or the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians) is a long-standing Anishinaabe alliance of the Ojibwe (or Chippewa), Odawa (or Ottawa), and Potawatomi North American Native tribes. The Three Fires Confederacy (Anishinaabe) were often supported by the French, while the so-called League of Iroquois, or Five Nations (Haudenosaunee) was supported by the English and Dutch. (Full article...)
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ca. 1875

Eber Brock Ward (December 25, 1811 – January 2, 1875) was an American industrialist, iron and steel manufacturer, and shipbuilder.

Ward invested in several industries in Michigan and the Midwest. He started as an owner of steamship interests, and later accumulated woodlands, as well as lands that contained iron ore, copper and silver. His investments would ultimately include newspapers, railroads, glass manufacturing, banking, and insurance companies. (Full article...)

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