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Celebrate Michigan’s 180th birthday with Statehood Day 

 

The Michigan History Center’s Statehood Day celebration Jan. 28 will include displays on Native culture.

The Michigan History Center’s Statehood Day celebration Jan. 28 will include displays on Native culture.

At the Michigan History Center Jan. 28

Join the Michigan History Center in Lansing Saturday, Jan. 28, to celebrate 180 years of rich and diverse Michigan history. Special guests and staff will commemorate the people who created our state, including First peoples, statesmen and eager citizens. Admission to the Michigan History Museum is free for the day, courtesy of the Michigan History Foundation.

The Michigan History Center’s special celebration, starting at 10 a.m. and concluding at 3 p.m., will include opportunities to:

  • Enjoy a slice of birthday cake while listening to folk tunes performed by violinist and ethnomusicologist Laurie Sommers.
  • Try out book-making and ink penmanship with special guests from the Library of Michigan.
  • Learn about Native culture and traditions past and present with Nokomis Learning Center.
  • Practice surveying with the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors Reenactment Group.
  • Participate in historic craft and trade demonstrations—make a corn husk doll, learn how wool becomes clothing and churn some butter.
  • View statehood documents, including Michigan’s first constitution, a letter from President Andrew Jackson and a rare manumission document.
Visitors will have a chance to investigate historic spices that would have been available to 1830s cooks as part of the Michigan History Center’s Statehood Day celebration Jan. 28.

Visitors will have a chance to investigate historic spices that would have been available to 1830s cooks as part of the Michigan History Center’s Statehood Day celebration Jan. 28.

For those who can’t make it to Lansing, some of these statehood documents are available to view online at seekingmichigan.org/discover/early-documents.

On Jan. 26, 1837, more than a year after Michigan adopted its first constitution and elected its first governor, President Andrew Jackson signed the bill making Michigan the nation’s 26th state. The delay was caused by a disagreement and subsequent “war” over the port-town Toledo. The compromise that gave Michigan the western two thirds of the Upper Peninsula shaped Michigan’s future of copper and iron riches, as well as timber and other natural resources.

The Michigan History Center encourages people across the state to celebrate the initiative of the leaders who first sought statehood, the compromise they made and all the extraordinary people who have built Michigan since then.

In recognition of this special 180th anniversary, the Michigan History Center will unveil several new digital education tools designed for schools, teachers and young learners. Statehood Day will serve as the public premiere for the new Mistories of Michigan video entitled “How Lansing Became the Capital.” Mistories of Michigan is a series of videos for school-age learners that aims to answer some of Michigan history’s most interesting questions. These videos are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Capital Region Community Foundation.

Attendees will also receive information about the new “Learn” section on SeekingMichigan.com. Still in development, this unique online portal will provide teachers and students with essential resources for studying Michigan history—classroom activity ideas, primary sources and maps, engaging videos, artifacts and more.

The Michigan History Center is located at 702 W. Kalamazoo St. in downtown Lansing. The museum and visitor parking are on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two blocks east of M. L. King Jr. Boulevard. Weekend parking is free.

The Michigan History Center’s museum and archival programs foster curiosity, enjoyment and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. The center includes the Michigan History Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/mhc.

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