Calendar

Feb
10
Wed
1763 : Treaty of Paris Signed, Transferring Michigan From France to England
Feb 10 all-day

Map of U.S. displaying changes made by Treaty of Paris, courtesy of the wikipedia commons

On February 10, 1763, England and France formally ended the French and Indian War with the Treaty of Paris, which officially transferred Michigan from French to British rule. By that time, English troops had already overtaken French forts at Detroit, Michilimackinac and St. Joseph and begun the shift from fur trades and forestlands to agricultural settlements.

Sources:

Michigan Every Day

Treaty of Paris, 1763, U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian.

Treaty of Paris 1763 wikipedia entry

1922 : Detroit Symphony Conducts First Radio Concert
Feb 10 all-day

The Detroit Symphony became the first orchestra to have a concert broadcast on the radio on this day in 1922. From 1934 to 1942, the orchestra performed for millions across the country as the official orchestra of The Ford Sunday Evening Hour (later the Ford Symphony Hour) national radio show..

Sources :

Michigan History, January/February 2013.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra wikipedia entry

1923 : Detroit Historical Society Holds First Annual Meeting
Feb 10 all-day

On February 10, 1923, the first annual meeting of the Detroit Historical Society was held, featuring a discussion of the Underground Railroad. Today, the Detroit Historical Museum features a permanent exhibit on the same topic.

Sources :

Detroit Historical Society Facebook Page

See the Detroit Historical Museum’s Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad exhibit.

1962 : George Romney Announces His Candidacy for Michigan Governor
Feb 10 all-day

In 1962, who announced his ultimately successful candidacy for governor of Michigan? Republican George Romney, father of Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

Source : Today’s Test, Detroit Free Press, February 10, 2012.

2011 : President Obama Visits Marquette and Northern Michigan University
Feb 10 all-day

President Barack Obama held up the city of Marquette and Northern Michigan University (NMU) today as examples of how the United States can meet his State of the Union goal of having wireless Internet available to 98 percent of the country.

For more information, visit Obama Plugs Wired Marquette, Inside MIRS Today, February 10, 2011. Access restricted to the MSU community and other MIRS subscribers.

2013 : Tiny Frankfort, MI Celebrates One of Its Sons at the Grammy Awards
Feb 10 all-day

They pulled out all the stops tonight in tiny Frankfort, about 40 miles west of Traverse City, with native son Andrew Dost up for six Grammys with his band Fun.

About 200 townsfolk — one-sixth of the Frankfort populace — gathered at the Garden Theatre, where the red carpet was rolled out for the night’s big watching party and musical performances by the Frankfort High choir and brass ensemble.

“It’s just a big party,” said dad Mark Dost, minutes before the 8 p.m. telecast. “People are really supportive, and just want to celebrate the good news of Andrew and Fun being successful and having a chance to pick up a Grammy.”

Musicians Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff of Fun — whose nominations include all “big four” Grammys, including album of the year — snared two key wins, including best new artist and song of the year, for the anthemic “We Are Young”.

Source : “Frankfort musician and friends have Fun. at Grammys; Band takes home two awards”, Traverse City Record Eagle, February 11, 2013.

2014 : Belle Isle Becomes 102nd Michigan State Park
Feb 10 all-day

Historical Photo of Belle Isle from Hour Detroit

Belle Isle became Michigan’s 102nd state park Monday as the state Department of Natural Resources began running the island park in a move that is expected to save the city up to $6 million a year and infuse tens of millions of dollars in clean-up and upgrades.

Access to the 982-acre island has been free and will remain so for pedestrians. But the state plans to begin phasing in a requirement that vehicle drivers have an annual recreation passport indication on their license plate to enter the park.

The passport costs $11 for vehicles and $5 for motorcycles and can be bought when drivers renew their license plate registration through the Secretary of State or at the park, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. The passport also allows drivers to enter any state park or recreation area.

The fee will help finance upgrades on the island, where conditions have deteriorated in recent decades when the park was run by the city.

For the full article, see George Hunter, “Michigan officially takes over operation of Belle Isle”, Detroit News, Febraury 10, 2014.

For another, see “Belle Isle becomes a state park today, improvements continue”, Michigan Newswire, February 10, 2014.

Craig Fahle, “The ‘New’ Belle Isle? : As the state eases into its transition game, some improvements are already underway — including more law enforcement”, Hour Detroit, June 2014.

2016 : Michigan Tech Sets 3 World Records in One Day
Feb 10 all-day

A Winter World Record Trifecta

In what we believe is something akin to the spirit of the whole “when life gives you lemons” sentiment, the hardy folks of Michigan Technological University capitalized on the Keweenaw Peninsula’s famously cold, snowy winters by icing not just one but three world records on the same day.

On February 10, 2006, some 3,784 students, faculty, staffers and community residents gathered at Michigan Tech’s Sherman Field to clobber each other with snowballs, in what became the world’s biggest snowball fight; after which they all simultaneously flopped down in the snow to set the world record for most people making snow angels at the same time, in the same place.

And all this was done in the shadow of the world’s largest snowball—with a circumference of 21 feet, 3 inches—which a group of the burliest snowballers had rolled up earlier that same day. (The way we see it, that’s one record for every month they don’t have snow on the ground in Houghton.)

In 2009, though, one of Michigan Tech’s records came under siege when students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison attempted to best MTU’s snowball-fight record—but didn’t even come close. To this day, all three of Michigan Tech’s winter feats remain frozen in the record books.

For the full article, see “The World’s Longest Turd and Other Michigan Record Breakers”, Found Michigan, October 4, 2012.

2017 : Mike Ilitch Dies, Pizza Magnate, Legendary Sports Owner
Feb 10 all-day

 

Michael “Mike” Ilitch was born on the east side of Detroit three months before the beginning of the Great Depression in 1929. His parents, Sotir and Sultana Ilitch, were Macedonian immigrants with Sotir working as a tool-and-die maker for Chrysler.

After graduating from Cooley High, he played minor league baseball for the Tigers. He wanted $10,000 to re-sign in 1948 but the team offered only $5,000 so he joined the Marines.

After his military hitch, he returned to the minors, bouncing between several teams before giving up on baseball after three years.

He became a door-to-door salesman, peddling aluminum awnings. He was so good at it his partners called him the Hammer because of his ability to nail down deals.

His father arranged a blind date between Ilitch and Marian Bayoff, a Dearborn resident who worked as a Delta Airlines reservation clerk. They married in 1954 and had seven children.

They opened their first pizzeria, Pizza Treat, in 1959. Marian wanted a snazzier name so they changed it to Little Caesar, which was her nickname for him.

She handled the business finances while he did production and marketing.

One day, during those early, struggling years, Marian was surprised when a stranger came to her home.

“I’m here for the couch,” he announced.

Her husband had neglected to tell her that he had sold the furniture to help pay their business bills.

Little Caesars forged a niche in the competitive industry by being the first chain to offer only takeout.

That helped keep costs low, which would become a hallmark of Ilitch’s management style. He had little staff and no delivery expenses.

His first pie cost $2.39.

When the economy slumped after the 1973 Arab oil embargo, he drew business away from competitors by offering steep discounts, which was unheard of at the time.

A national advertising campaign, using wacky humor to tout the chain’s two-for-one deals, would later make Little Caesars synonymous with discount pizza.

One “Pizza Pizza” commercial showed a family so happy about the deal it danced in a conga line, with the family poodle in the rear.

“That put Little Caesars on the map,” said David Scrivano, president of the pizza chain.

Ilitch began franchising the chain in 1962 after getting a tip from a Texas oilman that the best way to make money was to have other people make it for you.

The entire industry rode a wave starting in the ’70s when pizza evolved from a teen snack to a dinner staple.

“I came from zero,” he said during an interview years ago. “It’s hard to believe sometimes. It’s hard to believe that this is yours.”

The Ilitches also started Blueline Foodservice Distribution, which eventually became one of the half-dozen largest food-distribution companies in the country.

Fostered hockey in U.S.

When Ilitch bought the Red Wings in 1982, they were called the Dead Wings.

They were lifeless on the ice and in the stands, which were empty. They missed the playoffs 12 of the past 14 seasons.

He stocked the team with superstars and promising college players.

The team eventually joined the elite of the National Hockey League, making the playoffs the past 25 seasons, the longest current streak among major sports in North America.

It won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008.

“This is the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life,” he said after the first championship. “Sometimes I wondered if we’d see it through to the end. But one of my strengths is perseverance.”

Most of Ilitch’s accomplishments are well known but often overlooked is his role in popularizing the playing of hockey in the U.S.

In 1968, when few Americans played in the NHL or the minor leagues, he began sponsoring amateur hockey teams.

Little Caesars AAA Hockey has become a respected organization in the U.S. and Canada, sending 100 players to the NHL.

His induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame recognized his fostering of youth hockey in Metro Detroit. He also is a Hockey Hall of Fame member.

Finally buys Tigers

As for baseball, Ilitch had tried to buy the Tigers in 1983 but was outbid by Tom Monaghan, another local boy who built one of the largest pizza chains in the country, Domino’s.

When Monaghan put the team up for sale nine years later, Ilitch snagged it.

Despite his love of baseball and longtime dream of winning a championship in the sport, he never lost his business sense with the team, said associates.

When negotiating with Monaghan, he struck a hard bargain, buying the team for $82 million. It’s now worth $1.15 billion, according to forbes.com.

“I’ve never seen a man more dedicated to a community than him,” said Dave Dombrowski, former Tigers general manager. “What he’s done for the franchise, for the city, he’s always there to give us whatever we need, whatever we want.”

The Ilitches’ business empire will remain in the family. In May the couple announced Christopher, who already runs the day-to-day operations, would eventually take over their roles.

Their businesses include Champion Foods, Olympia Development and Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program.

Remembering Mike Ilitch

2018: Michigan Tech Strives for World’s Record
Feb 10 all-day

 

Michigan Tech

Michigan Technological University has unofficially broken the world record for the most snowmen built within an hour.

The previous record was 2,036 held by Japan. Michigan Tech beat that record with a total of 2,228. Snowmen were required to be at least 3-feet tall, and also have eyes, nose, and arms.

The event, “Snowman Left Behind” was hosted by the Undergraduate Student Government and the Memorial Union Board. Hundreds of students and community members showed up to help make this record possible.

Even though they broke the record, the snow was difficult to work with.

“It’s a little cold today, so a lot of our participants were kicking at the snow to get big chunks from underneath and just building upon them,” said John Nowosad, MTU Undergraduate Student Government Events Chair. “We had to have three separate balls for every snowman so that they would count, and that was a challenge because the snow wasn’t super packable.”

All of the evidence will be submitted to Guinness World Records in an application to make the new world record official.

Source : Donny Miller, “Michigan Tech unofficially breaks record for most snowmen built within an hour“, “TV6 (Fox News), February 10, 2018.