Michigan Timeline

  • (1620) French Canadian explorers arrived in upper region of Michigan
  • (1634) Jean Nicolet passed through Straits of Mackinac while exploring the area
  • (1659) Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Medard des Groseilliers traveled to western Lake Superior with fur trading Native Americans
  • (1665) Claude-Jean Allouez and followers reported copper deposits in Keweenaw Peninsula region
  • (1668) First permanent European settlement established by French missionaries, Fathers Dablon and Marquette, at Sault Sainte Marie
  • (1673) Jesuit missionary, Jacques Marquette and fur trader Louis Jolliet, led small group to explore great river called Messissipi by Indians
  • (1679) Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, established Fort Miami, first French fort in area
  • (1680) LaSalle abandoned Fort Miami; traveled across Lower Peninsula
  • (1686) Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, established Fort St Joseph (now Port Huron)
  • (1701) French army officer, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, founded Detroit
  • (1754 - 1763) French and Indian War
  • (1758) British captured Fort Frontenac, cut off New France's supply and communication into Michigan
  • (1760) British captured Detroit, French rule ended
  • (1763) France ceded all lands in North America east of Mississippi River to Great Britain in Treaty of Paris; Ottawa Indians, led by Chief Pontiac, led revolt against British, captured all forts in Michigan except Detroit
  • (1787) Michigan became part of Northwest Territory in Northwest Ordinance of 1787
  • (1796) British evacuated Detroit, other posts now under terms of Jay Treaty; Wayne County established as administrative division of Northwest Territory
  • (1805) Michigan Territory created, seat of government established in Detroit; much of Detroit destroyed by fire
  • (1812) War of 1812; Detroit, Fort Mackinac surrendered to British
  • (1813) American forces retook Detroit
  • (1819) Ojibwe, Ottawa, Potawatomi Indians ceded more than six million acres in Lower Peninsula to United States; Indians began mass exodus to the south
  • (1824) Chicago Road surveyed between Fort Dearborn and Detroit
  • (1835) Conflict with Ohio (Toledo War) over border; Ohio granted lands around Toledo, Michigan received entire Upper Peninsula
  • (1837) Michigan became 26th U. S. state
  • (1842) Copper mining began near Keweenaw Point; last Indian lands ceded in Michigan by treaty
  • (1844) Iron ore discovered in Upper Peninsula
  • (1847) Lansing named State Capital; Dutch Calvinist separatists founded Holland, Michigan
  • (1854) Republic Party organized at Jackson
  • (1855) Soo Canal and Locks opened, linked Lake Superior with Lake Huron
  • (1861 - 1865) Civil War; over 90,000 men from Michigan served
  • (1871) Fires in Port Huron, Holland and Manistee killed 200, burned over 1.2 million acres
  • (1881) Great "Thumb Fire" (Huron Fire) killed 282 people, damages $2,347,000, was first natural disaster served by American Red Cross
  • (1896) Charles King of Detroit first person to design, build, test drive gasoline-powered automobile
  • (1899) Ransom E. Olds established first automobile factory in Detroit
  • (1908) First Ford Model T manufactured; General Motors founded
  • (1910) Michigan held first primary election
  • (1928) Ford River Rouge Plant completed, largest factory complex in the world, employed 100,000
  • (1929) Ambassador Bridge opened between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario (longest bridge in world when built)
  • (1930) Detroit-Windsor Tunnel opened
  • (1935) United Automobile Worker's Union (UAW) formed in Detroit; Detroit Tigers won World Series
  • (1936) Autoworkers staged sit-down strike at General Motors Corporation in Flint
  • (1941) Auto plants converted for production of war materials, Michigan became known as "Arsenal of Democracy"
  • (1945) Detroit Tigers won World Series
  • (1957) Mackinac Bridge "Big Mac" opened
  • (1959) Barry Gordy, Jr. founded Motown Records
  • (1963) New State Constitution ratified
  • (1967) Five days of race riots in Detroit, 43 killed, 1,189 injured, over 7,000 arrested, much of inner city destroyed
  • (1968) Detroit Tigers won World Series
  • (1974) Gerald Ford became 38th U. S. President
  • (1975) Ore freighter, Edmund Fitzgerald, sunk in Lake Superior during storm, all aboard were lost
  • (1976) Referendum vote banned throwaway bottles
  • (1977) Renaissance Center dedicated in Detroit
  • (1980) Detroit hosted Republican National Convention
  • (1981) Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum dedicated in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids
  • (1984) Detroit Tigers won the World Series
  • (1989) Detroit Pistons won NBA championship
  • (1990) Detroit Pistons won NBA championship
  • (1992) Term limitations for governor, federal or state senator or representatives adopted by a state constitutional amendment
  • (1998) Chrysler Corporation merged with German auto company, Daimler-Benz
  • (2001) Detroit celebrated 300th anniversary; DaimlerChrysler announced job cuts
  • (2002) Jennifer Granholm elected Michigan's first female governor; Detroit Red Wings win Stanley Cup
  • (2004) Altercation between Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers took place at NBA game, nine players suspended, five players charged with assault; Detroit Pistons won NBA championship
  • (2005) General Motors announced massive job cuts; civil rights icon, Rosa Parks, died at age of 92
  • (2008) Detroit Red Wings won 11th Stanley Cup
  • (2009) General Motors (GM) announced cut of 21,000 US jobs, phasing out Pontiac brand; Chrysler filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy; incident on airliner on international flight arriving in Detroit from Amsterdam was failed bomb attack, Nigerian man arrested
  • (2010) Pipeline in Kalamazoo River sprung leak, more than 800,000 gallons of oil released into creek, traveled to Kalamazoo River, largest oil spill in history of Midwest
  • (2011) Trial began for Nigerian accused of trying to bomb Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam
  • (2012) General Motors reported record profits for 2011
  • (2012) Nigerian bomber sentenced to life in prison
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Michigan Photographs

de la salle jacques marquette chief pontiac ford model t fort mackinac french indian war surrender of detroit ramsom olds soo locks rosa parks gerald ford edmund fitzgerald motown detroit jennifer granholm pontiac gto renaissance center delta airlines