On Friday, January 26, Michigan will celebrate its 181st statehood anniversary. To honor this not-so-landmark but special day, we’ve highlighted five fun facts you might’ve not known about Michigan’s history.
- The battle of Michiganian vs. Michigander: Which do you prefer? Recently, the battle has been settled by the state legislature, making Michigander the official term for the residents of Michigan.
- We invented highway lines: In 1911, Edward Hines – a member of the Wayne County Road Commission – had the idea of painting a line down the middle of highways for driver safety. This invention has been called the most important single traffic safety device in the history of auto transportation.
- Second longest coastline: Behind Alaska, Michigan has the second longest coastline in country, stretching 3,288 miles. Not surprisingly, it takes the number one spot for longest freshwater coastline.
- Michigan has its own pledge of allegiance: Did you know that? Most people don’t. It was written by Harold G. Coburn and made our official state pledge in June 1972. Coincidentally, it is very similar to the United States Pledge of Allegiance…
- We have 5 national parks: According to the National Park Service, Michigan has five parks that are certified as national landmarks. These include: Isle Royale (Houghton), Keweenaw (Calumet), Pictured Rocks (Munising), River Raisin (Monroe), and Sleeping Bear Dunes (Empire).
To celebrate Michigan’s birthday, spend a day experiencing some of its greatest places like museums, parks, lakes, or anywhere else that makes you proud to be a Michigander (officially). For ideas on where to go, check out the ‘Your Neighborhood’ section on Empowering Michigan.