1889 : Underwater Telephone Cable Connects Upper and Lower Peninsulas
Oct 25 all-day

An underwater telephone cable allowed the first permanent connection between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan on this day in 1889.

Source : Michigan History, September/October 2011.

1891 : Father Charles Coughlin Born
Oct 25 all-day
Image result for Father Charles Coughlin radio photo

Stations in London, Rome and Madrid carried his program. Fr. Coughlin was called many things: Social watchdog, Nazi, saint, anti-Semite. In response to the charge of anti-Semitism, he replied that he had also…assailed prominent Gentiles, both Catholic and Protestant.”

He was instrumental in the construction of the Shrine of the LIttle Flower on Woodward in Royal Oak, collecting donations of nickels and dimes from listeners.

Father Coughlin ruled the radio waves until a new Archbishop decided he was too controversial in 1937.

Source : Father Charles E. Coughlin, The Radio Priest, Detroit News, July 23, 1995.

Father Charles Couglin Radio Broadcasts courtesy of the University of Detroit Mercy

1902 : Sault Ste. Marie Celebrates Opening of Hydro-Power Plant
Oct 25 all-day

After four years of construction, Francis Clergue, hoping to make a fortune selling electric power, opens a hydro-power plant in Sault Ste. Marie (U.S.). This low-head hydro plant was the longest in the world, and in design capacity (40,000 h.p.) was second only to Niagara in the U.S. The canal had the largest water-carrying section in the U.S., delivering 30,000 cubic feet per second.

Clerque spent over $50,000 for fireworks, bands, and food to celebrate the event on this day. “Invitations were sent to all members of the Michigan State Legislature, the Governor, the heads of the state government departments, the U.S. Congressional delegation from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and a large number of prominent American engineers, businessmen, and representatives of the press. Special trains were chartered at company expense, bringing Investors and potential Investors from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, and Toronto for the celebration. The second floor of the powerhouse was used for the celebration, which was attended by 5,000 people. A large civic and military parade was held and Clergue’s sister, Helen, threw a gold and jeweled switch, setting two generators into operation, lighting up several strings of arc and Incandescent lamps, and setting In motion a street car that ran over tracks laid from the powerhouse to the country club. Speeches were delivered at the banquet, with Clergue offering a rosy picture of Industrial development In Sault, Michigan. It was thought to be only a matter of time until this small outpost of the eastern upper peninsula would become a thriving city of over 100,000 and an industrial center of the Midwest.”

Source : Michigan Every Day and Edison Sault Electric Company website.

For more information about Clergue, visit Francis H. Clergue and the Clergue Industrial Empire

2014 : MSU Coach Given Game Ball from 1966 Game of the Century
Oct 25 all-day

Mark Dantonio was speaking at a luncheon Saturday afternoon three hours before kickoff of the Michigan game when he was surprised with a rare piece of Michigan State football history.

Bob Apisa, the All-American fullback at Michigan State in the 1960’s, walked up to Dantonio at the luncheon and surprised him with a game ball he had kept from his playing days.

The ball was from the most famous game in Michigan State history: the Spartans’ 1966 game against Notre Dame, a 10-10 tie between two undefeated teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country billed as the “Game of the Century.”

“I didn’t really know what to say because it really took me by surprise a little bit too,” Dantonio said Thursday on his weekly radio show. “But it represents a lot to Michigan State and to college football in general, that game. When you look at the history of Michigan State inevitably you’re going to come to that championship team and the 10-10 tie with Notre Dame is one of the great games of college football.

“That game ball has tremendous meaning and there’s a lot of emotional ties to that, so for him to give that to the program was a big event.”

The full story behind that ball was told Thursday’ on Dantonio’s weekly radio show.

Since the game ended in a tie, then-coach Duffy Daugherty decided that no game ball would be awarded, as is tradition after wins. But an equipment manager kept a ball anyway, and later presented it to Apisa. Before making the trip to East Lansing for Saturday’s game, Apisa, who lives in California, decided it was time for the ball to be returned to the program

The game ball was the only one in Apisa’s collection. He had been given a game ball earlier that year following the Spartans’ 20-7 win over Michigan, only to give it away minutes later to a young wheelchair-bound fan who asked for his autograph after the game.

So to complete the circle, Dantonio invited Apisa into the Spartans’ locker room following the team’s 35-11 win Saturday and presented him a new game ball from Saturday’s win.

“It’s this cycle story of three footballs that all have great meaning,” Spartans athletic director Mark Hollis said Wednesday on his radio show.

For the full article, see Kyle Austin, “How the game ball from the 1966 ‘Game of the Century’ returned to Michigan State last weekend”, MLive, October 31, 2014.

1818 : Mackinac County Formed
Oct 26 all-day

Mackinac County [originally Michilimackinac County] was established October 26 1818. Originally the county included most areas north of Metro Detroit and most of the UP. [1839 map]


1825 : Erie Canal Opens
Oct 26 all-day

Erie Canal via Wikipedia

The journey from New York to Detroit was shortened from weeks to days with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The opening of the canal led to a tidal wave of settlers arriving from New England as well as cutting the cost of shipping goods.

For more information, see Bill Loomis, “How one bad review delayed the settlement of Michigan”, Detroit News, June 3, 2012.

Note : Michigan Every Day and the September/October 2014 Michigan History magazine claim the Erie Canal opened on October 25, 1825!

1866 : Duffield, Parke & Company Organized; Destined to Become World’s Largest Pharmaceutical Co.
Oct 26 all-day

Dr. Samuel Duffield, a chemist and physician, opened a drug store in 1862 in Detroit at Cass and Henry and began manufacturing drugs over the store.

In 1866, he took on a business partner, Hervey C. Parke, and in 1867 they hired George S. Davis as a third partner and the first salesman.

Parke was a businessman looking for business opportunities and Davis, an ambitious man with skills in sales. Duffield withdrew in 1869 because of poor health and an interest in practicing medicine. The partnership adopted the name Parke, Davis or Parke-Davis in 1871, and was formally incorporated as Parke, Davis & Company in 1875 and would go on to become  the world’s largest pharmaceutical company and played an important role in medical history.

Parke-Davis is credited with building the first modern pharmaceutical laboratory and developing the first systematic methods of performing clinical trials of new medications. The Parke-Davis Research Laboratory is a National Historic Landmark; the surrounding Parke-Davis and Company Pharmaceutical Company Plant is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The production facility on Parkdale Road in what was then Avon Township, Michigan (now in Rochester, Michigan) was also a landmark in that vicinity and is now used by PAR Pharmaceuticals.

No photo description available.
Parke-Davis Headquarters around 1950.
Parke-Davis is now a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which left Michigan in 2007 .
1933 : Graf Zeppelin Flies Over Detroit
Oct 26 all-day

Photo showing the Graf Zeppelin flying over Detroit on October 26, 1933. In view are the downtown skyline, looking east with the Detroit River and Belle Isle in the background.

Was it part of a Nazi plot to photograph bombing targets before World War II?   Probably not.

Photo shared by Detroit Historical Society and Detroitists.

1981 : Bob Ufer Dies, Voice of University of Michigan Football
Oct 26 all-day

Bob Ufer’s enthusiasm for “Meeechigan” football was infectious. (Image: U-M’s Bentley Historical Library.)

On October 26, 1981, the radio voice of University of Michigan football, 61-year-old Bob Ufer, who enthusiastically and with no hint of impartiality broadcasted 364 University of Michigan football games, died of cancer.

In addition to announcing Michigan football, Ufer was also a notable Michigan athlete, setting a 1943 world record in the 440 as a student.

He was in the first group inducted in 1978 into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor along with Gerald Ford, Bill Freehan, Tom Harmon, Ron Kramer, Bennie Oosterbaan, and Cazzie Russell


Mich-Again’s Day.

Bo Ufer wikipedia entry

Frank Beaver, “‘He felt what we felt’”, Michigan Today, October 17, 2018.

1811 : Governor Stevens T. Mason’s Birthday
Oct 27 all-day

Portrait of Governor Stevens T. Mason

It’s a milestone birthday for Michigan’s first governor, and the state plans to celebrate.

The Michigan Historical Commission will commemorate Stevens T. Mason’s 200th birthday today with a historical marker dedication at Detroit’s Capitol Park. The ceremony is set for noon at the park that’s home to an 8-foot bronze statue of the man and his remains in a crypt beneath it.

The state says the marker commemorates the place where Mason led Michigan’s statehood drive.

Mason was reinterred in the park last October. His remains were unearthed as part of a $1 million renovation project.

Mason, known as the “Boy Governor,” was elected the Michigan territory’s first governor in 1835 when the state capitol was still in Detroit. He was re-elected in 1837 and served two more years.

Source : “Michigan’s ‘boy governor’ turns 200, gets a party in the park”, Detroit News, October 27, 2011.

For more information, see Joseph Serwach, Michigan’s Boy Gov at 200 : Stevens T. Mason, the state’s first governor, can still teach us important lessons about success.

Bob Garrett, The Boy Governor Comes Home, Seeking Michigan, January 2, 2013.

The boy governor : Stevens T. Mason and the birth of Michigan politics / Don Faber. University of Michigan Press, c2012. 205pp. : In 1831, Stevens T. Mason was named Secretary of the Michigan Territory at the tender age of 19, two years before he could even vote. The youngest presidential appointee in American history, Mason quickly stamped his persona on Michigan life in large letters. After championing the territory’s successful push for statehood without congressional authorization, he would defend his new state’s border in open defiance of the country’s political elite and then orchestrate its expansion through the annexation of the Upper Peninsula—all before his official election as Michigan’s first governor at age 24, the youngest chief executive in any state’s history….The Boy Governor tells the complete story of this dominant political figure in Michigan’s early development. Capturing Mason’s youthful idealism and visionary accomplishments, including his advocacy for a strong state university and legislating for the creation of the Soo Locks, this biography renders a vivid portrait of Michigan’s first governor—his conflicts, his desires, and his sense of patriotism. This book will appeal to anyone with a love of American history and interest in the many, larger-than-life personalities that battled on the political stage during the Jacksonian era.