Thursday, August 6, 2009

25 Random Facts About Michigan.

1. Michigan became a state January 26, 1837.

2. President Andrew Jackson signed it into law, making it the 26th state.

3. Michigan has had 47 governors, from Stevens T. Mason in 1835 to Jennifer M. Granholm in 2003.

4. Michigan has 83 counties in 2 peninsulas.

5. Michigan has more coastline than any other state save Alaska at 3,288 miles. That's a lot of beachfront.

6. Michigan has the dubious honor of having a Paradise in the Upper Peninsula, (been there) and a Hell (actually Pinckney, but what the, well, you know) in the Lower Peninsula (been there, Pinckney anyway).

7. Lansing is the capital city, but not the county seat. That honor belongs to Mason.

8. Michigan is the 8th most populous state in the union, we must be doing something right.

9. Michigan is the Wolverine State, but there are no wolverines. Try telling that to the U of M fans.

10. MSU has the largest student body of any Michigan University. (I went to Spring Arbor, no offense Spartans)

11. Vernor's Ginger Ale was first made in Detroit and the first soda pop made in the United States in 1862.

12. A person can stand anywhere in the state and be within 85 miles of at least one of the great lakes. (Being in such close proximity to fresh water is a luxury few other states have. A trip to Julian in California back in 1989 was a stark reminder as the main restaurant had signs encouraging patrons to save water).

13. The Packard Motor Car Co. in Detroit built the first air-conditioned car in 1939.

14. The University of Michigan was the first University established by any state. This was in 1817 and was originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit. The name was changed to the one we all know and love in 1821 and was moved to Ann Arbor in 1841. (I'm an equal opportunity fact-finder, by the way).

15. Michigan is the birthplace of rapper and Pimp My Ride host Alvin Joiner (Xzibit) 1974 Detroit, Steveland Morris (Stevie Wonder) 1950 Saginaw, Segar 1950 Dearborn, Singer Suzi Quattro 1950 Detroit, The Motor City Madman himself, Ted Nugent 1948 and Smokey Robinson 1940 Detroit (went to concert at the former Pine Knob about 10 years ago and he hadn't aged a bit).

16. Michigan is also the birthplace of astronaut and former senate hopeful Jack Lousma 1936 Grand Rapids. He ran against Carl Levin in 1984 (unfortunately lost) and was a member of the Skylab crew.

17. Depending on who you talk to, Michigan my Michigan, or My Michigan is the state song.

18. The turdus migratorius or American robin, a species of thrush, is Michigan's state bird. I believe it should be the aedes vexans otherwise known as the common mosquito.

19. The malus or apple blossom is our state flower, but the Taraxacum officinale or common dandelion is still in the running.

20. Michigan's state fossil is the Mastodon.

21. Kalkaska sand is the official state soil (who knew?).

22. The state tree is the white pine (pinus strobus).

23. The brook trout (solvelinus fontinalis) is Michigan's state fish.

24. Our state game mammal is the whitetail deer (Odocoilius viginianus). This animal is more dangerous than any bear, pit bull, shark, whale, Loch Ness Monster or Sasquatch in that it has a bad habit of running in the path of cars. In nearly 24 years of driving, I've had many close calls with deer.

25. The Dwarf Lake Iris (Iris laucustris) is Michigan's state wildflower. It is also very endangered. We used to see these a lot in the Upper Peninsula, but the penalty for picking them is serious.

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