Calendar

Jul
27
Tue
1818 : Detroit Passes Law To Enforce Morality
Jul 27 all-day

Detroit passed an ordinance providing for public whipping of drunkards, disorderly persons, petty thieves, and wife-beaters.

Source : Historical Society of Michigan Michigan Historical Calendar

1934 : Michigan Mails First Old-Age Pension Checks
Jul 27 all-day

On July 27, 1934, the newly created state Old Age Assistance Bureau mailed the first ever old-age pension checks, ranging from $5 to $12, to 100 applicants in nine counties.

Source: Mich-again’s Day

1980 : Earthquake Rocks Southern Michigan
Jul 27 all-day

The upper tail of an earthquake centering in Kentucky hit Michigan on July 27, 1980. Automobiles in Allegan, Coldwater, Flint, Hastings, and Mount Pleasant rocked noticeably, while dishes broke in Detroit. Also, during the fifth inning of a baseball game, the quake swayed Tiger Stadium’s upper levels.

Source : Central Michigan University Bentley Library Michigan Historical Calendar.

Jul
28
Wed
1951 : President Truman Help Detroit Celebrate Its 250th Birthday
Jul 28 all-day

800,000 residents watched a birthday parade featuring Detroit’s history. President Truman was even on hand.

“Detroit Relives Colorful Past in Blaze of Glory; Spectacular Parade Thrills 800,000 on Line of March”, Detroit Free Press, July 29, 1951, front page.

Truman Hails Detroit’s Role in Struggle for Global Peace; Nation Must Keep Guard Up, He Says”, Detroit Free Press, July 29, 1951, front page.

Home movies of Detroit’s 250th Birthday Parade (1951) from YouTube.

1967 : Detroit Free Press Demands That the Detroit News Surrender
Jul 28 all-day

During the 1967 riot, the Free Press borrows an armored personnel carrier (sans gun) from Chrysler Corp., which builds them in Warren. The vehicle is used to protect reporters in riot areas. But one morning, several staffers drive the APC to the Detroit News building and demand that the News staffers surrender.

Source : Peter Gavrilovich, “178 fun facts for the Detroit Free Press’ 178th birthday”, Detroit Free Press, September 22, 2013.

1967 : Final Day of Detroit Race Riots
Jul 28 all-day

Between July 23 and July 28, 1967, 43 died, 467 were injured, and over 7000 were arrested in Detroit during a series of skirmishes between Detroit police, the National Guard, the U.S. Army, and the African Americans of Detroit. It was one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in United States history, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit’s 1943 race riot.

Source : Michigan Every Day

wikipedia entry

Detroit Burning: Photos From the 12th Street Riot, 1967 courtesy of Life magazine.

Detroit Riots of 1967 maintained by Rutgers University.

1999 : The First Casino License in Detroit
Jul 28 all-day

The first casino license in Detroit here was issued to MGM Grand Detroit on July 28, 1999.

Source : Robert Allen, “Who’s winning big at Detroit’s casinos“, Detroit Free Press, July 17, 2017.

Jul
29
Thu
1909: General Motors Buys Cadillac
Jul 29 all-day

On July 29, 1909, the newly formed General Motors Corporation (GM) acquires the country’s leading luxury automaker, the Cadillac Automobile Company, for $4.5 million.

Cadillac was founded out of the ruins of automotive pioneer Henry Ford’s second failed company (his third effort, the Ford Motor Company, finally succeeded). When the shareholders of the defunct Henry Ford Company called in Detroit machinist Henry Leland to assess the company’s assets for their planned sale, Leland convinced them to stay in business. His idea was to combine Ford’s latest chassis (frame) with a single-cylinder engine developed by Oldsmobile, another early automaker. To that end, the Cadillac Car Company (named for the French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac, who founded the city of Detroit in 1701) was founded in August 1902. Leland introduced the first Cadillac–priced at $850–at the New York Auto Show the following year.

In its first year of production, Cadillac put out nearly 2500 cars, a huge number at the time. Leland, who was reportedly motivated by an intense competition with Henry Ford, assumed full leadership of Cadillac in 1904, and with his son Wilfred by his side he firmly established the brand’s reputation for quality. Among the excellent luxury cars being produced in America at the time–including Packard, Lozier, McFarland and Pierce-Arrow–Cadillac led the field, making the top 10 in overall U.S. auto sales every year from 1904 to 1915.

By 1909, William C. Durant had assembled Buick and Oldsmobile as cornerstones of his new General Motors Corporation, founded the year before. By the end of July, he had persuaded Wilfred Leland to sell Cadillac for $4.5 million in GM stock. Durant kept the Lelands on in their management position, however, giving them full responsibility for automotive production. Three years later, Cadillac introduced the world’s first successful electric self-starter, developed by Charles F. Kettering; its pioneering V-8 engine was installed in all Cadillac models in 1915.

Over the years, Cadillac maintained its reputation for luxury and innovation: In 1954, for example, it was the first automaker to provide power steering and automatic windshield washers as standard equipment on all its vehicles. Though the brand was knocked out of its top-of-the-market position in the 1980s by the German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz, it sought to reestablish itself during the following decades, and remains a leader in the luxury car market.

Source : “General Motors buys Cadillac”, This Day in History, July 29, 1909

1971 : No-Fault Divorce Instituted in Michigan
Jul 29 all-day

A bill allowing “no-fault’ divorces was signed into law by Governor William Milliken.

Prior to this law an individual seeking a divorce had to prove their partner was an abuser, a drunk, an adulterer, or had deserted.

Source : MIRS, July 29, 2014.

1974 : Detroit Pistons Bought by Group Led by Bill Davidson
Jul 29 all-day

A group of investors, headed by Guardian Industries President Bill Davidson, bought the Detroit Pistons on July 29, 1974, for $8.1 million.

The other owners announced that day were Herb Tyner, co-owner and president of Hazel Park Raceway; David and Eugene Mondry, operating officers of Highland Appliance; Warren Coville, president of Guardian Industries’ Guardian Photo Division; William Wetsman, movie-theater chain owner, and Oscar Feldman, partner in Katcher, Feldman and Wienner.

Source : Zlati Meyer, “Investors headed by Bill Davidson buy Pistons”, Detroit Free Press, July 28, 2013.