1836 : Michigan Citizens Vote for the U.S. President for the First Time
Nov 8 all-day

On November 8, 1836, Michigan citizens voted, for the first time, in a U.S. presidential election and helped place Martin Van Buren in the oval office.

Source: Mich-Again’s Day.

1870 : African-Americans Were Allowed to Vote for the First Time
Nov 8 all-day

For the first time, African-Americans were allowed to vote in a state election on November 8, 1870.

Although Michigan voters had earlier rejected giving the vote to African Americans, the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing blacks the right to vote allowed them to go to the polls for the first time.

Sources :

Historical Society of Michigan

Michigan History.

1874 : Frank Baldwin Wins Second Medal of Honor
Nov 8 all-day

First Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Captain, Company D, 19th Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Peachtree Creek, Georgia, July 12, 1864. Citation: “Led his company in a countercharge at Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 12 July 1864, under a galling fire ahead of his own men, and singly entered the enemy’s line, capturing and bringing back 2 commissioned officers, fully armed, besides a guidon of a Georgia regiment.” Date of issue: December 3, 1891.

Frank Baldwin’s charge on Grey Beard‘s Band, McClellan’s Creek, TX, Nov 8, 1874


Second Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At McClellan’s Creek, Texas, November 8, 1874. Citation: “Rescued, with 2 companies, 2 white girls by a voluntary attack upon Indians whose superior numbers and strong position would have warranted delay for reinforcements, but which delay would have permitted the Indians to escape and kill their captives.” Date of issue: December 3, 1891.

Frank Dwight Baldwin (June 26, 1842 – April 22, 1923), a native of Constantine, Michigan, and born in Manchester, Michigan, is one of only 19 servicemen to receive the Medal of Honor twice. Baldwin received this award for his actions during the Atlanta Campaign where he led his company to battle at Peachtree Creek and captured two commissioned officers in the American Civil War. He received his second Medal of Honor for conspicuous bravery in 1874 during the Indian Wars.


Frank Baldwin wikipedia entry

Frank Dwight Baldwin biography from Arlington National Cemetery website

Memoirs of the late Frank D. Baldwin, Major General, U.S. A. Edited by Brigadier General W. C. Brown, Colonel C. C. Smith, and E. A. Brininstool. Los Angeles, Calif. : Wetzel Pub. Co., [1929], [©1929]

An army wife on the frontier : the memoirs of Alice Blackwood Baldwin, 1867-1877 edited and with an introd. by Robert C. and Eleanor R. Carriker. Salt Lake City : Tanner Trust Fund, University of Utah Library, [1975]

1895 : 37 People Killed in Detroit Due to Boiler Explosion
Nov 8 all-day

On November 8, 1895, in one of the state’s worst accidents, a boiler exploded in the Journal Building (home of the Detroit Journal newspaper and other businesses) in downtown Detroit, killing 37 people. The building engineer was arrested, accused of going to a saloon rather than watching the water levels in the boiler system.

Source : Historical Society of Michigan

For a video about the Detroit Historical Society, click here.

1975 : 100,000+ Big House Attendance Streak Begins
Nov 8 all-day

On November 8, 1975, the football team at the University of Michigan began its streak of having 100,000-plus fans attend every home game. The Wolverines shutout Purdue, starting an attendance streak that still continues today.

Source: MIRS archive

2002 : Eminem (Marshall Mathers) Releases Movie 8 Mile
Nov 8 all-day

On Nov. 8, 2002, Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, released the movie 8 Mile loosely based on his life story. Born in Kansas, Eminem and his family shuffled back and forth between Detroit and Kansas City during his childhood. He spent three years in the 9th grade and finally ended up at Lincoln High School (on 9 Mile Rd) , where he dropped out.

After several years of attempting to break into Detroit’s hip-hop industry through rap battles, Eminem eventually became a household name after hip-hop artist and producer Dr. Dre got him signed to a record label.

Source: Michigan Every Day

2011 : Rep. Paul Scott, First Michigan Legislator Recalled in 28 Years
Nov 8 all-day

Despite raising almost twice the money as his recall supporters, Rep. Pual Scott loses vote.

Scott’s opponents sought to recall the second-term lawmaker for several reasons, including his votes to cut K-12 education funding, add a pension tax and his work on legislation that loosens teacher tenure protection.

For the full article, see Paul Thorne, “Rep. Paul Scott says he lost by 232 votes, won’t pursue recount”, Flint Journal via MLive, November 9, 2011.

2016 : Trump Wins Michigan 47.6% to 47.31%, Closest Race In State History
Nov 8 all-day

Republican Donald J. Trump’s road the White House included Michigan’s 16 Electoral College votes as part of a thin 13,225-vote victory, the closest presidential election in terms of percentages in Michigan history.

According to unofficial results with 100 percent of precincts reporting from the Secretary of State and the Genesee County Clerk’s office, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton 47.59 to 47.31 percent, a margin of .28 percent. The previous closest election in terms of percentages was Wendell Wilkie’s 1940 .33-percentage point win over President Franklin Roosevelt

Libertarian Gary Johnson had 3.61 percent of the vote. Green Party nominee Jill Stein had .37 percent.

Trump won 75 of Michigan’s 83 counties, everything except Wayne, Oakland, Genesee, Washtenaw, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Marquette counties.

For the full article, see “Trump Wins Michigan 47.6% to 47.31%, Closest In State History“, Inside MIRS Today, November 9, 2016 is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.

The five previous closest races in Michigan History.

1775 : Henry Hamilton Appointed British Governor of Fort Detroit
Nov 9 all-day

On November 9, 1775, British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton Takes Charge of Fort Detroit.

He used Detroit as a base for raids on American colonists living on the frontier. He became known as “the hair buyer” because he paid Native American allies for American scalps.

Source: “Michigan Historical Calendar”, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

Long Knife by James Alexander Thom : Two centuries ago, with the support of the young Revolutionary government, George Rogers Clark led a small but fierce army west from Virigina to conquer all the territory between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Here is the adventure, the romance, the struggle, and the betrayal of his life. Rich in the heroic characters, meticulously researched detail and grand scale that have become James Alexander Thom’s trademarks, Long Knife, his first historical epic, is simply unforgettable. One of George Rogers Clark’s greatest frustrations was his inability to sustain an attack on British Lt. Governnor Hamilton’s Fort Detroit. However, on Feb 23, 1779, George Rogers Clark succeeded in capturing Hamilton when he seized Fort Sackville (Battle of Vincennes). Available through MeL at participating libraries.

1895 : Last Horse-Drawn Streetcar in Detroit
Nov 9 all-day

Detroit’s last horse car made its farewell during ceremonies held on November 9, 1895, in Campus Martius; marking the end of the “antiquated system of transit” in Detroit. Just after 3 o’clock on a rainy Saturday afternoon, a large crowd gathered as car #10 of the Chene Street line—the last line to be equipped with electric cars — traveled down Monroe Avenue and turned onto Woodward Avenue where it was taken to the foot of the street. A banner was nailed to each side that read: “The last horse car.” As company officials and civilians jumped on board, the Pingree & Smith band played as the car was driven up Woodward Avenue where it stopped in front of City Hall; surrounded by a vast array of umbrellas.

After a speech by Vice-President Hutchins of the Citizens’ company, the car’s two horses were auctioned-off and the car then attached to an electric car and hauled up Woodward, while the crowd began removing pieces for souvenirs. By the time it had reached Mayor Pingree’s residence and returned to City Hall, the windows were smashed, the platform roofs broken down, the seats and advertisements removed, the doors pulled off, the roof had been removed, and holes had been knocked in the sides. Although not much was left but the car’s truck, everyone present had fun and really enjoyed the celebration.

These final words appeared in the Sunday, Nov. 10, 1895 edition of The Sunday News–Tribune:

“The car had practically passed into history. The trucks were left, but little more could be said about the car. It was beyond repair, but it was the last horse car which will ever be seen in Detroit, and even if its passing was marked with destruction it also recalled the fact that Detroit is becoming a great and more magnificent city and that the day for slow travel has passed from the City of the Straits.”

The Streetcar Companies vs. Mayor Pingree (1890—1900), Detroit Transit History, Part Two.