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Tag Archive | "Michigan History Center"

Michigan Day: May 6 at the Michigan History Center 


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Celebrate real things, real places and real stories of Michigan

Michigan Day is a new twist on a tradition that began more than 60 years ago. On Saturday, May 6, the Michigan History Center in Lansing debuts a new signature event celebrating our Michigan pride. Michigan Day features free admission, special guests, activities, hands-on explorations, demonstrations and make-and-take projects highlighting the full range of Michigan’s diverse history.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Michigan History Center, located at 702 W. Kalamazoo St. in downtown Lansing.

Although Michigan Day is new, the idea behind it is not. In 1950, a group of Michigan business leaders formed a task force to promote Michigan as a great place to live and start a business. Michigan Week was born out of the initiative and first celebrated in 1954. The inaugural celebration ended with the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Mackinac Bridge.

Costumed docents will represent all eras of Michigan history and run hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

Costumed docents will represent all eras of Michigan history and run hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

“We are honoring Michigan Week’s original mission of promoting pride in all things Michigan with this new Michigan History Center signature event,” said Michigan History Center Director Sandra Clark. “Our focus is always on getting people curious about Michigan and sharing its history in new and interesting exhibits, programs and activities. Michigan Day brings an incredible range of stories together for a fun, one-day extravaganza.”

Michigan Day is made possible with the key contributions of Michigan History Center volunteers, said Sara Gross, Michigan History Center volunteer coordinator and engagement specialist. “Our volunteers work hard year-round to develop amazing educational tools; Michigan Day shows off their many talents and skills!”

Michigan Day will have a special focus on the 60th anniversary year of the Mackinac Bridge, a tribute to that first Michigan Week celebration. Visitors can take part in a family-friendly bridge engineering activity and see original documents from the Mackinac Bridge Commission. Other Michigan Day highlights include:

  • Explore the storytelling and cultural objects of Michigan’s First Peoples with special guests Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.
  • Watch a Civil War artist sketch scenes – and maybe even take a sketch home with you.
  • Meet with Rosie the Riveter to learn about steel pennies and the Arsenal of Democracy and even hear a song.
  • Celebrate the birthday of one of Michigan’s most famous rockers and vote on your favorite tune.
  • Try your hand at making old-fashioned radio sound effects.
  • Say ‘hello’ to the Lansing Flotilla of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and learn about safety on the Great Lakes.
  • Visit the Library of Michigan and try your hand at a family-friendly paper craft featuring the beauty and history of the Water Wonder Land.
  • Learn about the Detroit 1967 Project with the Detroit Historical Society.
  • Take part in more than 20 other hands-on activities celebrating Michigan’s unique past and present.

Free admission for all visitors on Michigan Day is courtesy of the Docents Guild & Associates, the 501(c)3 organization that serves the Michigan History Center volunteer program. The sponsorship is in memory of Bill and Marilyn Cochran. Bill was an original member of the Mackinac Bridge Authority and served there for 16 years.

The Michigan History Center 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/michiganhistory.

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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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