1873 : Work on Third Capitol Building In Lansing Begins
Oct 2 all-day

Michigan State Capitol

The cornerstone was laid for Michigan’s third capitol building in Lansing.

Thousands of people from all over the state thronged to the capital for the ceremony. A large parade and other gala events marked the occasion and private citizens opened their homes and provided food and shelter for the many visitors.

The new capitol building was not completed until 1879.

Sources :

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

Visit the Michigan Capitol Website for a video portraying the laying of the cornerstone and restoration efforts.

1961 : Detroit’s Fisher Theater Opens as Live Theater Venue
Oct 2 all-day

Fisher Theatre

venue exterior

Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, previously a vaudeville and movie palace, opened as a venue for live theater performances on Oct. 2, 1961.

The Albert Kahn-designed building — the largest marble-exterior building in the world, with 325,000 square feet, and the first building on the planet to boast an attached garage — opened in 1928 and could seat 3,500 people. It bears the name of its funders, the Fisher brothers.

It was shuttered at the end of 1930 and spent the next three decades as a movie house. In 1961, Nederlander Theatrical took over management and redecorated it as part of a $3.5-million overhaul to transform it into a venue for top-notch musicals and plays. The seating was reduced to 2,089.

For the full article, see Zlati Meyer, “This week in Michigan history: Detroit’s Fisher Theatre opens for live performances”, Detroit Free Press, September 29, 2013.

1974 : Al Kaline Plays Last Game As a Detroit Tiger
Oct 2 all-day

Al Kaline, Tigers outfielder, left his final game after the third inning and two at-bats. Statistics were not as big an issue back then as they are now. If they had been, he would probably have stayed in for a chance to be the first Detroit Tiger to hit his 400th home run, an honor secured last weekend in St. Louis when Miguel Cabrera hit No. 400 against the Cardinals.

What if?

He lost two home runs to games that were washed out before they had a chance to become official. One vanished June 1, 1958, when he homered in the second inning against the White Sox at then-Briggs Stadium, only to have the game halted in the fourth before it was called.

The same thing happened in 1963, in a game against the Senators at D.C. Stadium in Washington, D.C. His second-inning homer off Bennie Daniels didn’t survive rain and cancellation of that day’s boxscore.

And then, of course, there were the injuries that cost him a cumulative 21/2 seasons: broken collarbone, broken finger, fractured arm. Considering he played 22 years, injuries were inevitable. But not, perhaps, to the extent he lost nearly 10 percent of his career to the disabled list.

The home runs simply didn’t matter as much as that other statistical tribute to a great player’s career: 3,000 hits, which Kaline had nailed down eight days earlier, against Orioles left-hander Dave McNally. It came by way of a double down the right-field line. And of all the places he would get his 3,000th, it happened to be in Baltimore, at Memorial Stadium, with his dad, Nicholas, and mother, Naomi, in the stands.

Kaline had made it known well ahead of September that 1974 would be his last season as a player. He had seen a personal idol, Willie Mays, hang on too long and fall down in center field during his final season with the Mets. And neither Kaline nor his wife of 60 years, Louise, wanted a career as accomplished as his to end on a pitiful note.

He took off his uniform that day at Tiger Stadium, got ready for a 40th birthday and, with anxiety he had not anticipated, began to wonder about a life without baseball.

For the full article, see Lynn Henning, “399: Kaline’s last day short of history, long on regret”, Detroit News, May 27, 2015.

Update : Al Kaline died on April 6, 2020.

2008 : Senator Barack Obama Makes Campaign Stop at Michigan State University
Oct 2 all-day

More than 18,000 people packed Adams Field at Michigan State University for a campaign appearance by then-Senator Barack Obama. Obama would go on to carry Michigan over Republican hopeful Sen. John McCain.

Source : “Michigan Matters : Presidential Candidates Have Long Understood Mitten’s Signficance”, Lansing State Journal, November 1, 2012.

2020 : Michigan Supreme Court Strikes Down Governor’s Emergency Powers
Oct 2 all-day

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled late today that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer  lacked “the authority to declare a ‘state of emergency’ or a ‘state of disaster'” under the 1976 Emergency Management Act after April 30 and that the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act is in violation of the Constitution because it “purports to delegate to the executive branch the legislative powers of state government.”

The Republican legislature had challenged the Democratic governor’s Executive Orders to fight the coronavirus pandemic because they had not met the Republican legislatures approval.  Not surprisingly, the Michigan Supreme Court dominated by Republican sponsored judges at the time agreed.

Source : Supremes: ’45 Emergency Powers Act Violates Constitution, MIRS, October 2, 2020.


1917 : Detroit Supports World War I Effort With First Meatless Day
Oct 3 all-day

Meatless Day Poster

On October 3, 1917, Detroit experienced its first “Meatless” Day during World War I. Such “meatless” and “wheatless” days were held regularly to conserve the nation’s food resources in support of the war effort.

At a time in our nation’s history when 65% of the population is classified as overweight and shopping is a popular form of entertainment, it’s hard to imagine a nation-wide effort where the majority of Americans voluntarily restricted their diets to free up food to send overseas. And yet after this country entered World War I in April, 1917, millions of men, women and children were patriotically participating in “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays.” After three years of devastating warfare, much of western Europe was in a state of ruin. Food was extremely scarce—the war had disrupted transportation, turned farmers into soldiers and left the fields that were not battlegrounds to be tended by women, children and the elderly. Many of the Allies, particularly in France and Belgium, were starving.

With the imperative of feeding the war-stricken combined with the nutritional needs of American soldiers heading for France, the newly formed U. S. Food Administration opened its home front campaign by declaring “Food will win the war.” To further its mission of persuading Americans to voluntarily restrict their use of wheat, meat, fats and sugar, the Food Administration, led by Herbert Hoover, relied on professional home economists. Home economics was central to women’s participation in this domestic issue. Rigorously organized to reach all levels of Americans, the Food Administration appointed a Home Economics Director in every state. In general, these directors were women. Their key responsibilities were creating volunteer networks, and educating women about food conservation and preservation, growing vegetables and healthful dietary practices.

With a new national presence, home economists in the administration created recipes and menus based on their knowledge of nutritionally equal substitutions such as corn meal or potatoes rather than wheat, pork and fish instead of beef. The achievements of the Food Administration can be seen in the figures for wheat exported to the Allies. Cutting back on wheat flour for one year enabled the United States to ship 120 million bushels to Europe—six times its usual amount. If “Food Will Win the War” was Herbert Hoover’s rallying cry, it was home economists who furnished the know-how. The Food Administration relied on them to create the ways and means for a nation to change its eating habits. Although the motives were strictly patriotic, this change pointed the way to healthful alternatives. According to an article in a 1929 Saturday Evening Post article, “Americans began to look seriously into the question of what and how much they were eating. Lots of people discovered for the first time that they could eat less and feel no worse—frequently much better.”

Sources :

Detroit Historical Society.

Meatless Mondays Wheatless Wednesdays : Home Economists in World War I, online exhibit from the Cornell University Horace Mann Library.

Tori Avey, Discover the History of Meatless Mondays, The History Kitchen, PBS, August 16, 2013.

World War I : United States Food Administration

World War I Food Conservation Posters from Pinterest

1932 : Presidential Candidate Franklin Roosevelt Stops at Ann Arbor Train Station
Oct 3 all-day

President Franklin Roosevelt, Democratic presidential nominee, along with his campaign tour party arrived in Ann Arbor on board a special train with his wife. He appeared on the platform at 6 a.m. and greeted the crowd before leaving four hours later.

Source : “This Week In Daily History”, Michigan Daily, October 1, 2002.

1939 : Campaign to Fight Goiters Launched
Oct 3 all-day

On October 3, 1939, the state health department started a campaign in the public schools to encourage parents to use iodized salt to reduce the risk of developing goiters.

Source: Historical Society of Michigan : Michigan History Calendar.

1980 : Somewhere in Time Premieres
Oct 3 all-day

The movie Somewhere in Time , which was filmed on Mackinac Island, opened in theaters nationwide on this day, October 3, 1980.

The movie was filmed on location at the Grand Hotel, as well as the Mission Point Fine Arts building of the former Mackinac College (now Mission Point Resort), both located on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Additional scenes were filmed in Chicago, Illinois.

For more information about the film, see Somewhere in Time wikipedia entry

Source : Michigan History, September/October 2020.

2005: Jim Leyland Introduced as New Detroit Tigers Manager
Oct 3 all-day

On October 3, 2005, the Tigers introduce Jim Leyland as their new manager. Leyland, who came up through the Detroit organization as a player and minor league manager, replaces the fired Alan Trammell. The Tigers will win the pennant in Leyland’s first season.

Source :  Dan Holmes, “This Week in History“, Detroit Athletic Co. Facebook Page, October 3, 2016.