Introduction - MichiganLocated in the Great Lakes region of the U.S., Michigan is a Midwestern state and one of thirteen states that borders Canada. It also borders the states of Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana. The largest city, Detroit, is where most of America's most important industry, automobile manufacturing, is centered. What makes this state unique is the fact that it is the only state to be made up of two separate land masses, called the lower and upper peninsulas. When you read about all Michigan has to offer, you will see why visitors are drawn to the state each year. The list of facts below is kid-friendly; the information is easy reading for all ages.
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Michigan State Quick Facts
- Michigan was the twenty-sixth state to join the union.
- Michigan officially became a state on January 26, 1837.
- Michigan is the 11th largest state in the U.S. It has a total area of 96,716 square miles (250,493 square kilometers).
- The state capital of Michigan is Lansing.
- The largest city in Michigan is Detroit.
- Michigan is the 9th most populous state in the United States with a population of 9,895,622 (source 2013 United States Census Bureau Estimate).
- The state flower of Michigan is the Apple Blossom, which is also the state flower of Arkansas.
- The state motto is "Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice" ("If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you").
- Michigan is primarily known as the Wolverine State. Other nicknames include Great Lakes State and Water Winter Wonderland.
- Michigan residents are called either Michiganders, Michiganites or Michiganians.
- The major lakes in Michigan include Lake Superior, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake St. Clair.
- Major Rivers include the Detroit River, Kalamazoo River, Grand River, St. Marys River and St. Clair River.
- The state song of Michigan is "Michigan, My Michigan".
Michigan State Interesting Facts
- One of the longest suspension bridges in the world is called the Mackinac Bridge and it connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. The bridge, which is nicknamed Mighty Mac, is five miles long and took three years to complete.
- Although not born in Michigan, Gerald Ford moved there at age two and spent most of his life there. Before becoming the 39th president, Ford served as a Michigan Congressman for twenty-four years.
- The Detroit Zoo occupies 125 acres and sits just outside the city of Detroit. It was the first zoo in the U.S. to feature natural habitats, without the use of bars, to give the animals more of a sense of freedom.
- With approximately 3,224 miles of coastline, Michigan boasts the longest freshwater coastline in the world.
- With a combination of 150 functioning and non-functioning lighthouses, Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state.
- Michigan is bordered by four out of five Great Lakes - Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie, and each contains its own islands. Some are resort islands such as Mackinac Island, while many are completely uninhabited.
Michigan Historical Facts
- Well before the arrival of the first European explorers and settlers to North America numerous Native American Indian tribes lived in what is today the state of Michigan; including the Ojibwa, Ottawa, Menominee, Potawatomi, and Miami.
- In the late 1600s and early 1700s the French built several settlements and forts in what today is Michigan. The most important fort built by the French was Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit; built in 1702 in a location that is now within the city of Detroit.
- Michigan experienced a copper rush in 1843 which brought thousands of people to the area, especially the area called Copper Harbor.
- Beginning in the early 1900s Michigan became the center of the U.S automotive industry. The huge automotive manufacturers, Ford and Buick, were both founded in Michigan. In 1913 Henry Ford created the first moving assembly line in Ford's plant in the city of Highland Park, Michigan.