1855 : Michigan Pushes Back Against Fugitive Slave Law
Feb 13 all-day

On Feb. 13, 1855, the Michigan Legislature moved to protect escaped slaves. To counter the harsh provisions of the 1850 federal Fugitive Slave Law, which forced the return of African Americans who had escaped the horrors of slavery, the Legislature prohibited the use of county jails for the detention of escaped slaves. The measure also directed county prosecuting attorneys to defend the recaptured slaves — a provision that had been denied the slaves in the 1850 law.


An abolitionist cartoon takes to task Northern states that complied with the Fugitive Slave Law.

For more information about Detroit and the Underground Railroad during this period, see the Detroit Historical Museum’s Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad exhibit.

Sources :

Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

Detroit Historical Society Facebook Page

Abolitionist cartoon reposted from Michigan House Democrats Official Blog, February 13, 2017.

1938 : Lansing Flooded
Feb 13 all-day

Lansing experienced the worst flood conditions in two decades after a six-hour deluge….

Scores of intersections were flooded, the depth of the water measuring from a few inches to five and six feet.

Lightning struck four dwellings, causing considerable damage. Basements were flooded, furnace fires extinguished, hundreds of automobiles were stalled. … Water flowed among many streets of the city as though they were rivers.

Source : Lansing State Journal, February 13, 1938

1985 : No More Two-for-One Drink Specials During Happy Hours
Feb 13 all-day

Ann Arbor bar patrons reacted to a new statewide ban on two-for-one drink specials during happy hours. The state originally passed the ban to cut down on the number of drunken drivers.

“If they’re going to drink and drive, they’re going to drink and drive no matter how the drinks are,” said Diane Warmington, a bartender at Rick’s American Café.

But some students said the law would prevent patrons from buying more alcohol.

“If you stick it in front of someone, they’ll drink it,” said Steve Gasser, a customer at Good Time Charley’s restaurant.

Source : “This Week in Daily history”, Michigan Daily, February 11, 2004.

2015 : Holland-Dozier-Holland Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Feb 13 all-day

The Motown songwriting/producing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland (comprising Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland) were honored Friday morning with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. H-D-H, all products of Detroit schools, were famous for writing and producing hits such as such as “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love” and “Stop In The Name Of Love” for the Supremes; “(Reach Out) I’ll Be There,” and “Bernadette” for the Four Tops, and many others for The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Martha & the Vandellas, etc.

Source : “Grapevine: The Times’ Carr dies; Mei Lin is Top Chef”, February 13, 2015.

2018 : Detroit Tigers Begin Spring Training
Feb 13 all-day


Joker Marchant Stadium 2017


Detroit Tigers pitchers and catchers will report Tuesday, February 13, 2018, and participate in their first official workout on Wednesday. The rest of the squad is due five days later.

The Tigers are beginning their 82nd season in Lakeland, the longest current relationship between a Major League team and a spring training host city. This will be their 53rd season at Joker Marchant Stadium, also now called Publix Field after extensive renovations before last spring.

If you’re visiting Lakeland, Florida, you can purchase tickets at the Tiger Town box office. Call the ticket office at (863) 686-8075 for more information.

MLive will have daily on-site coverage from Tiger Town in Lakeland throughout the spring.


Feb. 13 — Pitchers and catchers officially report

Feb. 14 — First official workout

Feb. 18 — Rest of squad officially reports

Feb. 19 — First full-squad workout

Feb. 22 — Exhibition opener against Florida-Southern College in Lakeland

Feb. 23 — Grapefruit League opener against the Yankees at Tampa

Feb. 24 — Grapefruit League home opener against the Blue Jays in Lakeland

For more coverage visit MLive.

A 2017 visit to Detroit Tigers Spring Training

2023 : Gunman Kills 3 Students at MSU
Feb 13 all-day

The suspect who shot eight Michigan State University students — three fatally — on Monday evening had no evident ties to campus, police said at an 8 a.m. press conference.

Police are still searching for why Anthony McRae, 43, allegedly walked into two campus buildings and opened fire. He had no known current or past ties to the university, police said. After police published a photo taken from a security camera of McRae, a member of the public phoned police with a tip on where he was. Shortly after police made contact with him, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot.

Three victims died on campus, two in Berkey Hall and one in the Union on the northern edge of MSU’s East Lansing campus, on the border with downtown East Lansing. The remaining five victims were transported to Sparrow Hospital. Four of the five required surgery last night and all are listed in critical condition.

Source : David Jesse, “Police: Suspect in Michigan State shooting had no clear ties to university”, Detroit Free Press, February 14, 2023.

Paczki Day (Date Varies)
Feb 13 all-day

Video Note: Commentator Mo Rocca traveled to Hamtramck for CBS Sunday Morning to get this report on Pazcki Day.

It may be Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but in Michigan its called Pazcki Day.  Paczki Day Music.

Be sure to wear your stretchy pants so you can indulge in those plump, fruity, calorie- and fat-laden paczki!

Local bakeries will be jammed with paczki lovers this coming Tuesday. The wait can sometimes stretch for over two hours. You can beat the rush on Paczki Day by picking up your dozen on Monday.

Local bakeries will be jammed with paczki lovers this coming Tuesday. The wait can sometimes stretch for over two hours. You can beat the rush on Paczki Day by picking up your dozen on Monday. Source : Paczki Day brings out the Mardi Gras spirit in Hamtramck from the Hamtramck Review.

Here are 10 things you should know about paczki:

1. The name paczki translates to “little packages.”

2. “Paczki” is pronounced POONCH-key and is plural; one pastry is a paczek (POON-check).

3. The paczki is thought of as a way to use up fatty ingredients like lard and butter, as well as sugar, eggs and fruit before Lenten fasting begins.

4. Don’t call paczki jelly doughnuts. They have a much richer flavor because the yeasty dough is made with more eggs. They are also bigger and plumper; the shape is more like a sphere.

5. In Poland, the last Thursday before Lent begins is called Fat Thursday. So the splurge day would not be today, it would have been Feb. 23 this year.

6. Paczki in Poland “are much smaller, about half the size. There’s also a lot less filling, only about a teaspoonful,” according to Bittner.

7. A small amount of grain alcohol is added to paczki dough before cooking. As the alcohol evaporates, it prevents the absorption of oil deep into the dough so the pastry is not greasy.

8. Filling flavors range from a slew of jams, including the traditional rosehip jam, to custard and more. Some bakeries make up their own specialty fillings each year. Some paczki are dusted with powdered sugar, others are covered with icing or glaze, some are drizzled with chocolate. Some have bits of dried orange zest on them.

9. Paczki prices vary widely, depending on the source.

10. Calorie and fat? Brace yourself. Depending on the size, paczki can have as many as 400 calories and more than 20 grams of fat.

Source : Susan Selasky, “It’s Fat Tuesday! What Detroiters should know before eating paczki“, Detroit Free Press, February 28, 2017.

Here’s more information reposted from the  Hamtramck Paczki Day page :

Pączki (Polish: pączki) are traditional Polish doughnuts. Pączki is the plural form of the word pączek  in Polish, but many English speakers use paczki as singular and paczkis as plural. A pączek is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with Plums or other sweet filling. A traditional filling is marmalade made from fried rose buds. Fresh paczki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing or bits of fried orange zest. Pączki have been known in Poland at least since the Middle Ages. Jędrzej Kitowicz has described that during the reign of the August III under influence of French cooks who came to Poland at that time, pączki dough baked in Poland has been improved, so that pączki became lighter, spongier, and more resilient Pączki Day Traditionally, the reason for making paczki has been to use up all the lard, sugar and fruit in the house, which are forbidden during Lent. They are eaten especially on Fat Thursday, the last Thursday before Lent (Polish: Tłusty czwartek, not to be confused with Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday). In Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and South Bend Paczki Day is more commonly celebrated on Fat Tuesday instead of Fat Thursday.

Although Bismarcks and Jelly-filled doughnuts are the more commonly used names for the pastry in the United States, Polish immigrants have popularized this type of preserve-filled doughnut in some parts of the country, especially in Hamtramck, an enclave of Detroit. Hamtramck is known to be the only U.S. city to organize an annual Paczki-Day (Fat Tuesday) Parade, and lines can be seen up to 24 hours before the deep-fried delights go on sale at the numerous local bakeries. Many bars in town open early in the morning, and provide free entertainment, a party atmosphere, and even Paczki-clad mascots. The Paczki-Day celebration in this town is even larger than many areas have for St. Patrick’s Day.

Here, prunes are considered the traditional filling, but many others are used as well, including lemon, strawberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry, custard, raspberry, and rarely apple. Due to French influence, paczki are eaten on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) rather than on Fat Thursday. In the large Polish community of Chicago, and other large cities across the Midwest, paczki day is also celebrated annually by immigrants and locals alike. Home-made paczki glazed with fondant. Home-made paczki glazed with fondant. Another cultural phenomenon is the emergence of the “Pączki Challenge.” A eating contest in which individuals attempt to race from one side of a room (non – standard) while eating as much or as many Pączki as they can before reaching the other side. The person to reach first and having eaten the most Pączkis wins. Typically a ratio of 1 Pączki for every 10 steps is considered competitive.

Paczki stories in the Google News archives

Need to track when the next Paczki Day falls?

Paczki Day, Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday  is exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, a moveable feast based on the cycles of the moon. The date can be anywhere between 3 February and 9 March inclusive.  Here’s a table provide by wikipedia:

  • 2018 – 13 February
  • 2019 – 5 March
  • 2020 – 25 February
  • 2021 – 16 February
  • 2022 – 1 March
  • 2023 – 21 February
  • 2024 – 13 February
  • 2025 – 4 March
  • 2026 – 17 February
  • 2027 – 9 February
  • 2028 – 29 February
  • 2029 – 13 February
  • 2030 – 5 March
  • 2031 – 25 February
  • 2032 – 10 February
  • 2033 – 1 March
  • 2034 – 21 February
  • 2035 – 6 February
  • 2036 – 26 February
  • 2037 – 17 February
  • 2038 – 9 March
  • 2039 – 22 February
  • 2040 – 14 February
  • 2041 – 5 March
  • 2042 – 18 February
  • 2043 – 10 February
  • 2044 – 1 March
  • 2045 – 21 February
  • 2046 – 6 February
  • 2047 – 26 February
  • 2048 – 18 February
  • 2049 – 2 March
  • 2050 – 22 February
  • 2051 – 14 February
  • 2052 – 5 March
  • 2053 – 18 February
  • 2054 – 10 February
  • 2055 – 2 March
  • 2056 – 15 February
  • 2057 – 6 March
  • 2058 – 26 February
  • 2059 – 11 February
  • 2060 – 2 March
  • 2061 – 22 February
  • 2062 – 7 February
  • 2063 – 27 February
  • 2064 – 19 February
  • 2065 – 10 February
  • 2066 – 23 February
  • 2067 – 15 February
  • 2068 – 6 March
  • 2069 – 26 February
  • 2070 – 11 February
  • 2071 – 3 March
  • 2072 – 23 February
  • 2073 – 7 February
  • 2074 – 27 February
  • 2075 – 19 February
  • 2076 – 3 March
  • 2077 – 23 February
  • 2078 – 15 February
  • 2079 – 7 March
  • 2080 – 20 February
  • 2081 – 11 February
  • 2082 – 3 March
  • 2083 – 16 February
  • 2084 – 8 February
  • 2085 – 27 February
  • 2086 – 12 February
  • 2087 – 4 March
  • 2088 – 24 February
  • 2089 – 15 February
  • 2090 – 28 February
  • 2091 – 20 February
  • 2092 – 12 February
  • 2093 – 24 February
  • 2094 – 16 February
  • 2095 – 8 March
  • 2096 – 28 February
  • 2097 – 12 February
  • 2098 – 4 March
  • 2099 – 24 February
1824 : Annarbour Plat of Land Named for Wives
Feb 14 all-day

In about 1774, the Potawatomi founded two villages in the area of what is now Ann Arbor

On February 14, 1824, John Allen and Elisha Rumsey staked their claim to what they called “Annarbour” and registered a plat of land west of Detroit on May 25, 1824, the earliest known use of the town’s name. They arranged for their village to become the county seat of Washtenaw County.

Allen and Rumsey decided to name it for their wives, both named Ann, and for the stands of Bur Oak in the 640 acres (260 ha) of land they purchased for $800 from the federal government at $1.25 per acre.  The local Ojibwa named the settlement kaw-goosh-kaw-nick, after the sound of Allen’s sawmill


Ann Arbor, Michigan Wikipedia entry

For other versions of the story, see The Making of Ann Arbor, Chapter 1



1853 : Detroit Board of Water Commissioners Created
Feb 14 all-day

Following the establishment of the City of Detroit in 1701, the supply of drinking water in Detroit and its surroundings evolved from individuals collecting water daily from the river in leather buckets, to horse-driven pumps distributing river water to homes into a small network of hollowed-out wooden logs. From wooden logs to gigantic stream-driven equipment pumping thousands of gallons of raw river water, to more efficient electric pumps supplying millions of gallons of treated water for distribution through a complex network of pipes to millions of people who reside in Southeast Michigan.

From its beginnings as little more than an afterthought, sewage disposal has undergone a similarly circuitous evolution. Sewers have evolved from simple open ditches that channeled raw waste by gravity into the nearest body of water, to covered streams, to huge pipes directing flows of waste matter to technologically-advanced facilities that clean and disinfect the effluent before it’s discharged into the Detroit River.

Today, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is the third largest provider of high-quality drinking water and wastewater treatment services in the United States. It has been a most incredible journey.

On February 14, 1853, the Michigan Legislature in Lansing created the Detroit Board of Water Commissioners, a group of five men entrusted with directing the operation of Detroit’s Water Department.

By federal court order issued February 2011, the Board of Water Commissioners is made up of seven members who oversee DWSD operations, management and major contracts, and set rates for water and sewer services. The Board includes four members from the City of Detroit, and one each nominated by the Wayne County Executive, the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner and the Macomb Public Works Commissioner with confirmation by the Mayor of Detroit. All members must have at least seven years of experience in a regulated industry. Commissioners receive $10,000 in compensation and an additional $250 per meeting, not to exceed $20,000 per year in total.

Today, due to bankruptcy proceedings, there is discussion regarding selling the water works to some of the suburban counties surrounding Detroit (Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne).

Sources :

Detroit Historical Society Facebook Page

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD)

1855 : Horatio Earle Born, Michigan’s First Highway Commissioner
Feb 14 all-day

Before a mile of Michigan roadway was paved or a centerline painted, before Henry Ford rolled his first Model A off the assembly line, there was Horatio “Good Roads” Earle. At the turn of the century, this young entrepreneur and bicycle enthusiast was president of the League of American Wheelmen. This group, founded in 1880, fought for better roads and streets and the rights of bicyclists to use them. In 1892, they convinced the Michigan legislature to establish a state highway commission to recommend road improvements.

I often hear now-a-days, the automobile instigated good roads; that the automobile is the parent of good roads. Well, the truth is, the bicycle is the father of the good roads movement in this country.

Horatio Earle

Earle was a visionary; as early as 1901, he envisioned a system of roads that would connect every major city and every state capital. He founded the American Road Makers of 1902, which later became the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and lobbied for federal funding of road construction.

Earle’s zeal on behalf of the good-roads movement brought him national prominence and focused the attention of Michigan residents on the roads issue. In 1905, voters in 83 Michigan counties approved an amendment to the state’s constitution authorizing state spending for roads, and creating the Michigan State Highway Department. The new department set up business in the office of the Speaker of the House in the State Capitol with an annual operating budget of $10,000 and a staff of five. Earle became the state’s first highway commissioner.

Earle declared war on the “mighty monarch mud, who rules the road to the exclusion of everyone.”  Under his administration, the nation’s first mile of rural concrete highway is paved on Woodward Ave. between Six and Seven Mile roads in Detroit. The road is completed in less than three months at a cost of $13,537, including $1000 in state aid. The short stretch of road becomes a tourist attraction.

Michigan historical marker commemorating Horatio Sawyer Earle in front of the Michigan Department of Transportation building in Lansing, Michigan. width=

Michigan historical marker commemorating Horatio Sawyer Earle in front of the Michigan Department of Transportation building in Lansing, Michigan.


Who was “Good Roads” Earle?, Michigan Department of Transportation

Horatio Earle Wikipedia entry

Horatio Earle entry, American Roads and Transportation Builder Association

Horatio Earle, Michigan Transportation History

The autobiography of “By gum” Earle, by Horatio Sawyer Earle.