Soo-Locks

This month in Michigan history: June

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Last month, we shared some fascinating events that took place in our state’s history and now we’re back again. From the opening of Michigan’s first hospital to the first Michigander in space, there’s been a lot to celebrate in the month of June. Read on for some interesting facts that took place in Michigan during the sixth month of the year, courtesy of the Historical Society of Michigan.

  1. June 9, 1845: Vincent’s, the first hospital in Michigan and first in the entire Northwest Territory, was opened in a log building in Detroit by the Four Sisters of Charity. Then, on Nov. 6, 1850, it moved into a new brick building on Clinton Street near St. Antoine with room for 150 patients. The land was a gift of Monique Beaubien, whose only request was for the hospital’s name to be changed to St. Mary’s.
  1. June 2, 1853: Led by the Ship Canal Company organized by Charles T. Harvey, work began on the first Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie. The steamship Illinois became the first ship to sail through the newly completed Soo Locks on June 13, 1855. Today, the Soo Locks continue to be an important waterway passage for shipping along the Great Lakes.
  1. June 2, 1895: Central Michigan Normal School (Now Central Michigan University) was taken over by the state. It had previously been established as a private institution. Central Michigan University, a public state college located in the quaint town of Mt. Pleasant, is now home to more than 20,000 students each academic year. Fire Up Chips!
  1. June 10, 1919: Michigan becomes the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement on a national level was started in 1848 and was officially ratified to the U.S. constitution on August 18, 1920.
  1. June 22, 1937: Joe Louis, known as the “Brown Bomber,” won the title as heavyweight champion of the world by knocking out James Braddock. Louis remained undefeated and retained his title until 1949. When in Detroit, be sure to visit the Monument to Joe Louis, which was a gift to the city by Sports Illustrated Magazine in 1986.
  1. June 3, 1965. Far out! Astronaut James McDivitt of Jackson became the first Michigander to orbit the earth in outer space. Before his days as an astronaut, McDivitt served in the U.S. Air Force and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1959
  1. June 4, 1982: Mike Ilitch, owner of Little Caesars Pizza, purchased the Detroit Red Wings. In Ilitch’s time as owner, the Detroit Red Wings won four Stanley Cups, winning one of which on June, 13, 2002, and were among the most storied dynasties in NHL history. Rest in peace, Mr. Ilitch.

Want to read more Michigan history, facts and initiatives? Check out our other Energy Future blogs for more great info.

Photo Courtesy of ShipWreckLog.com