1807 : Treaty of Detroit Signed
Nov 17 all-day

The 1807 Treaty of Detroit ceded the olive-colored area in southeast Michigan.  The treaty also ceded the dark yellow area north of the Maumee River in northwest Ohio.

The Treaty of Detroit was a treaty between the United States and the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot and Potawatomi Native American nations. The treaty was signed at Detroit, Michigan on November 17, 1807, with William Hull, governor of the Michigan Territory and superintendent of Indian affairs the sole representative of the U.S.

With this treaty, the First Nations ceded claim to a large portion of land in what is now Southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio. The boundary definition in the treaty began with the “mouth of the Miami river of the lakes” or what is now known as the Maumee River at Toledo, Ohio. From there the boundary ran up the middle of the river to the mouth of the Auglaize River at what is now Defiance, Ohio, then due north until it intersected a parallel of latitude at the outlet of Lake Huron into the St. Clair River.

For more information, see Treaty of Detroit Wikipedia entry

Treaty of Detroit info from Central Michigan University Clarke Historical Library.

Why is a rock out in Lake Huron noted on this 1837 map of Michigan’s Native Americans? Because it was a landmark in the 1807 Treat of Detroit.

The White Rock of Lake Huron.

Map image courtesy of the MSU Maps Library.

1929 : University of Detroit Football Fans Arrested, Fined in East Lansing
Nov 17 all-day

12 University of Detroit fans fined, 10 Jailed For Riot after UD football  victory over Michigan State in East Lansing.  Intoxication and disorderly conduct were contributing factors, buy how often did the University of Detroit beat Michigan State College?

Source : [11/18/1929 Detroit Free Press]

2004 : KMart Announces It Will Buy Sears
Nov 17 all-day

Troy-based Kmart announced on Nov. 17, 2004, its plans to buy Sears.

The purchase made Sears Holdings the third-largest retailer in the U.S. — $55 billion in annual sales and close to 3,500 stores. The company headquarters was located in Sears’ stomping grounds of Hoffman Estates, Ill.

For the full article, see Zlati Meyers, “This week in Michigan history: Kmart announces it will buy Sears”, Detroit Free Press, November 17, 2013.

2006 : University of Michigan Football Coach Dies
Nov 17 all-day
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On November 17, 2006, former University of Michigan football coach Glenn “Bo” Schembechler collapsed during the taping of a Michigan-Ohio State pregame show at WXYZ-TV in Southfield and pronounced dead a couple hours later at Providence Hospital. He was the winningest coach Wolverine football has ever had, posting a record of 194-48-5 over his 21 seasons and winning at least a share of the Big Ten title 13 times. He never had a losing season as a head coach and went 11-9-1 against the hated Buckeyes.

Sources :

Detroit Historical Society

U-M mourns death of Glenn E. ” Bo” Schembechler” , Michigan News, November 21, 2006.

Angelique S. Chengelis, “Remembering Bo: The charismatic coach“, Detroit News, November 17, 2016

1883 : Railroads Attempt to Assign Michigan to Central Time Zone
Nov 18 all-day

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November 18, 1883: Railroads Establish American Time Zones; Michigan Located in Central Time Zone.

A notable exception was Detroit, they used a local time basis until 1900, when the City Council decreed that clocks should be put back 28 minutes to Central Standard Time. About half the city businesses obeyed, while many individuals refused. Some saw exact time “dehumanizing” and used this as a reason to rebel. The decision was rescinded and the city reverted to solar time. After many railroad companies refused to use Detroit time, the city voted in 1905 to follow Central Standard Time.

By March 19, 1918, in the US Congress passed the Standard Time Act. In 1966 the Department of Transportation was formed and took over the function of time zones setting and modifications in the US.

Source :  Brian Roemmele,How, When, and Why Were Time Zones Created?“, Huffington Post, September 17, 2014.

Amy Elliott Bragg shares more about Detroit’s struggle to accept being placed in the Railroad’s Central Time Zone.

In 1907 the More Daylight Club was organized in Detroit by Dr. George Renaud and C. M. Hayes in 1907. The sun was setting before 7 pm on summer evenings. And they wanted to do something about it.

Their aim? Surprisingly pure: give people more time to enjoy their summers. More time for golf, horseback riding, nature walks, playing with your kids in the park. Their proposal was a hack-y kind of DST: they wanted to move the states at the eastern edge of Central Time — as established by the railroads in 1883 — an hour ahead, into Eastern Time.

“The wonderful material progress of this great country has almost caused us to forget that there is something worth while besides work and riches,” wrote George Renaud in a 1916 essay. “The average citizen will not only be healthier, but better satisfied with his lot in life if he can go home early during the pleasant months of the year and be able to take some advantage of daylight.”

The idea was first received as a nutso one. Many thought it was “unnatural” to mess around with the clock, though it had been standardized (by corporations no less!) for barely 30 years. If you wanted more time to enjoy the daylight, couldn’t you just go to work and come home an hour earlier? People also worried about what would happen if a city independently decided to live on its own time zone. Was that even legal? What confusion would it cause for shipping, government, business, not to mention the railroads that created the time zones in the first place?  Renaud and Hayes first officially proclaimed meeting attracted no one besides themselves. In 1908, they persuaded the City Council to conduct a vote in 1908.  It  carried zero out of 150 precincts throughout the 18 wards.  Another vote in 1911 carried eight out of eighteen wards.

But the More Daylight Club kept up their advocacy — and gradually attracted allies to the cause. Some automotive companies were persuaded on the promise of more summer evening pleasure drives. (Not Ransom E. Olds, founder of Oldsmobile, who was downright offended by the campaign: “It seems grossly unfair that Detroit should embarrass other municipalities and citizens of Michigan by the adoption of other than legal time,” he wrote in an op-ed for the Free Press.) Retailers, on the hope of more daylight for evening-strolling and window-browsing, jumped on the bandwagon. Others were intrigued by arguments about lower crime rates, improved public health, or electricity bill savings. The More Daylight Club’s members eventually included Detroit Tigers co-owner Frank Navin; John Francis Dodge, of motor company fame; police commissioner John Gillespie; Walter Campbell, President of the Belle Isle & Windsor Ferry; and prominent business leader Dexter M. Ferry of the Ferry Seed Co.

Cars and baseball helped sway opinion.  Sales for the Model T Ford were soaring, and new owners wanted an extra hour of daylight to drive around since driving around in the dark was hazardous.  Most car manufacturers  were in full support since an extra hour of daylight would encourage more sales and lower the cost of lighting at automobile plants.  Baseball had become huge as well.  When the Cleveland Indians gained an advantage of an extra hour of daylight and had fewer home gains cancelled due to nightfall, the Detroit tigers and their fans wanted the same.  The Detroit Tigers’ all-time great batter Ty Cobb endorsed the campaign.

The Detroit City Council succumbed to popular demand (and a petition signed by 25,000 people) and moved to Eastern Daylight Time on May 15, 1915.  A citywide vote in September 2016 more than endorsed the move by a two to one margin.  Though some doubters (including the editorial page editors of the Detroit Free Press) still thought the move to EST was nonsense and would be ignored, institutions were quick to adjust. Retailers posted their new hours (same as the old hours, but on EST), steamers adjusted their schedules, the Post Office announced that it would move its clocks an hour forward.

Detroit  had seceded from Central Time.

Cities across the state eventually followed Detroit’s example: Lansing, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek and Port Huron all eventually moved to Eastern Time, and in 1931 the state legislature voted to adopt Eastern Time as the uniform time zone for the state.**

In the years after Detroit switched to EST, the idea of moving the clocks forward an hour in the summer became more common. During World War I — first in Europe, then in the U.S. — daylight saving plans were adopted as a wartime energy conservation measure. Detroit became a kind of expert witness as the United States considered whether or not to adopt Daylight Saving Time in 1918; George Renaud testified before the Senate that the plan was working well, despite the expected confusion with the railroad.


Detail from a 1918 poster, via Library of Congress

saving daylihgt postcard (1)

Advocacy postcard for daylight savings time, also from 1918, also via LOC

After 1918 (save for a brief return to DST during World War II), the federal government left daylight saving plans up to states and municipalities, which could decide whether and when to be on or off DST. Not surprisingly, over the next 50 years, a patchwork of inconsistent time zones caused problems for broadcasting, transportation, and interstate business — not unlike the era before standardized railroad time. You could drive through four different time zones on a drive from Detroit to Bay City.

In 1966, to bring order to the chaos, the federal government adopted uniform time, which included a summer daylight saving plan: clocks would move forward an hour at 2 am on the last Sunday in April and back an hour at 2 am on the last Sunday in October. (Those spring forward / fall back days have since moved around a bit; since 2007, we have moved clocks forward on the second Sunday in March and back on the first Sunday in November.) It was an opt-out plan — the time-law of the land, except for states that said “no thanks.”

Detroit, that old pioneer of clock-tinkering, wasn’t coming along for the ride this time. Michigan was one of the first states to opt out of the federal daylight saving plan.

But why?

Because a rift had grown between rural and urban relationships to the clock.

Did you have a vague idea in your head that daylight saving time had something to do with farmers? I definitely did. But farmers didn’t like daylight saving time. Farmers, and their dairy cows and egg hens and peach trees, work by actual daylight, not what time the clock says it is when the sun is up.

“A loss of one hour at the very best part of the day to pick and handle fruit is a loss and a rank injustice to ask of a fruit grower,” wrote one farmer in an op-ed in the Benton Harbor News-Palladium in 1927. “He is obliged to stop picking at the middle of the afternoon in order to reach the market before it closes if he has a few miles to go (as I have).” Farmers said it was hard to find workers who wanted to stay later than 5 or 5:30, which also meant less time for harvesting. The Michigan Farm Bureau estimated that the loss of harvest time would cost $3-4 million in apples alone.

Think of it this way, some said: we’re already on daylight saving time. We’re on year-round central daylight time. That was why we moved to eastern time in the first place: the extra hour of daylight. If we were to layer daylight saving time on top of that, we’d be on “double daylight time.” It kinda seemed like bankers and lawyers in the big city wanted to play more golf while the state’s hard-working heartland busted ass until well after 7 pm.

As the More Daylight Club had done way back in the 1910s, opponents of daylight saving time under the Uniform Time Act cobbled together as many strange bedfellows as they could: owners of bars, bowling alleys, movie theaters and other purveyors of indoor leisure; concerned moms who couldn’t get their kids to sleep when it was bright and lovely well after 8 pm; geographical time purists who were still stuck on central time as Michigan’s rightful place under the heavens. (The Freep which by now you may have noticed was a constant detractor of daylight time! — opposed “double daylight” on the grounds that it would be “strange and unreal.”)

In 1967, the legislature passed Public Act 6, which exempted Michigan from federal daylight saving time. But the pro-daylight saving time faction would not rest. Led by state senator Raymond Dzendzel, D-Detroit, a petition with 200,000 signatures brought a daylight saving time referendum to a statewide vote. When opposition groups challenged the validity of the petition signatures, state elections director Robert Montgomery became “one of the most harassed individuals in the emotional battle which swirled through the state’s highest courts and seemingly involved everybody from grocery clerks to corporation presidents,” wrote the Lansing State Journal. The governor’s office reported that it received more mail about daylight time than it did any other legislative issue to date that year — including the state income tax.

Voters affirmed Public Act 6 in 1968 by the hair’s-breadthest of margins — just 490 out of 2.9 million votes. Michigan said no to daylight saving time.

A few years later another petition drive, led by Michigan and Detroit chambers of commerce — who argued that being out of step with the rest of the country for half the year, and especially with New York, was expensive and a hassle — finally exhausted the daylight saving time-weary citizens of Michigan. This time, no one could seem to muster the same feverish feelings about DST, for or against. (Here and there, a carp from the time purists: “Living in flagrant discord with the natural solar cycle cannot be beneficial,” a reader wrote in a letter to the Lansing State Journal.)

And so on November 7, 1972, voters repealed Public Act 6. MY GOD, we collectively said. JUST, WHATEVER, THAT’S FINE.

We’ve been on daylight saving time ever since.

Of course, this debate is not over, and maybe it never will be.

Source : Amy Elliott Bragg, “Why is Michigan on Easern Time?  Thank (or Blame) Detroit“, Night Train, July 28, 2017.

with the addition of a paragraph or two from Chris Pearce, The Great Daylight Savings Time Controversy.

1911 : MAC-Ohio Northern Football Game Cancelled Due to Heavy Downpour!
Nov 18 all-day

Much to the disappointment of the student body, the football game between the Michigan Agricultural College and Northern Ohio University was cancelled yesterday due to an undending downpour of rain. Snow had been removed from the field, but the unrelenting rain that preceded the game the previous night and morning made conditions unplayable, at least according to the Detroit Free Press of November 18, 1911.

Source : OHIO NORTHERN GAME CANCELED: Heavy Downpour of Rain Makes Playing of Game Impracticable and M.A.C. Calls It Off …Special to The Free Press, Detroit Free Press (1858-1922); Nov 18, 1911; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Detroit Free Press (1831-1922) pg. 9. Access restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.

1922 : U.S. Senator Truman Newberry Resigns
Nov 18 all-day
1927 : Hank Ballard Born in Detroit, Originator of the Twist
Nov 18 all-day
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Hank Ballard was born John Henry Kendricks in Detroit on Nov. 18, 1927, though as a performer, he routinely shaved nine years off his age by claiming a 1936 birth date. His father, a truck driver, died when Ballard was 7. Ballard moved to Alabama to live with relatives, but returned as a teenager, having soaked up such disparate influences as church gospel music and Gene Autry, the singing cowboy. In 1953, Ballard was working on the Ford assembly line when he was invited to join a local doo-wop group, the Royals. The group would later change its name to the Midnighters. Ballard, not Chubby Checker, originated the seminal song The Twist along with a dance to go with it. But Chubby Checker had the backing of Dice Clark and the American Bandstand. Music connoisseurs however know the whole story so Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. The Midnighters would also be inducted as a group later on.

For the full article, see Richard Bak, “Did You Know ‘The Twist’ Originated In Detroit? TWIST OF FATE: Detroit native Hank Ballard — not Chubby Checker — was the originator of the hit song and dance craze”, Hour Detroit, March 2013.

1958: Carl D Bradley Sinks in Lake Michigan
Nov 18 all-day

The Carl D. Bradley, traveling light departed Buffington, Indiana around 9:30 pm, Monday, November 17, and headed up Lake Michigan bound for the Port of Calcite. Roland Bryan, a sailor since age fourteen, was the master. This trip was the last for the season and the steamer was going home. The Bradley never made it. In less than 24 hours the Carl D. Bradley was on the bottom of Lake Michigan and 33 of the 35-man crew were dead or missing.

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When the vessel left Buffington, the winds were blowing up to 35 miles per hour from the south. The storm that was about to engulf the Bradley was developing over the plains when a cold front from the north met a warm front over the plains. The temperature in Chicago had dropped about 20 degrees that day. The forecast warned of gale winds. The crew prepared for severe weather by securing the unloading boom and the hatches. The steamer followed the route up the Wisconsin shore to Cana Island then changed course and cut across Lake Michigan toward Lansing Shoal. As the wind velocity increased, the crew filled the ballast tanks to maximum practical condition. By 4:00 pm of the next day, the 18th, the winds had reached 65 miles per hour. Even though the lake was rough and the winds high, the boat rode the heavy seas with no hint of the laboring.

Captain Bryan had asked the cooks to serve an early dinner. He knew the turn from Lake Michigan toward Lake Huron would put heavy weather broadside of the vessel. He wanted to give the mess crew the opportunity to clean up and secure before turning. The mess room was full of crewmembers anticipating going home.

About 5:30 pm First Mate Elmer Flemming radioed Calcite that the Bradley would arrive at 2:00 am. Then a “loud thud” was heard. In the pilothouse Captain Bryan and Flemming looked aft and saw the stern sag. Flemming immediately sent a distress signal over the radio. “Mayday! Mayday! This is the Carl D. Bradley. Our position is approximately twelve miles southwest of Gull Island. We are in serious trouble! We’re breaking up!” Captain Bryan sounded the general alarm, signaled the engine room to stop the ship, and blew the whistle to abandon ship. The power system failed and the lights in the bow section went out. The Bradley heaved upward near amidships and broke in two. The forward section rolled over and sank. The stern end plunged to the bottom. Within a few minutes the Carl D. Bradley was gone.

In those first minutes Elmer Flemming realized he did not have a life jacket. He went to his stateroom two decks below to get the life jacket and returned to the deck of the pilothouse where the life raft was located. He saw Captain Bryan and other crewmembers pulling themselves along the boat’s railing to the high side of the bow. The forward section was listing (leaning) to the port side. Suddenly the bow lurched and he was thrown into the water. When he came to surface, the forward section was gone and he saw the after section swing to the port side. With the propeller high in the air, the stern plunged to the bottom with lights burning. As the stern section plunged there was an explosion and a flash of flame – the water had reached the boilers.

Four men made it to one of the life rafts: Flemming and deckhands Frank Mayes, Dennis Meredith and Gary Strzelecki. They clung for dear life as the raft was tossed about by the waves. The night was long, filled with terror, mountainous waves, howling wind and bone-numbing cold water. Some of the men had very little or light clothing. Dennis Meredith had no shoes, only pants and sweat shirt. The raft was upset several times. Flemming could not remember how many times he was washed off. He and Frank Mayes hung on. Dennis Meredith and Gary Strzelecki did not survive. Frank Mayes remembered thinking that someone would find them if they could last through the night. He also remembered ice forming in his hair and ice encrusted on his life jacket. He laid face down on the raft and gripped the sides of the raft to hold on.

The Coast Guard Radio Station WAD, Port Washington, Wisconsin, heard the Bradley’s Mayday. Radio silence was ordered except for emergency messages, and rescue operations were begun. Lieutenant Commander Harold Muth, commanding officer of the Coast Guard cutter Sundew, got the cutter under way and into Lake Michigan. The weather was fierce. Captain Muth in a video recording said the waves were twenty feet high, and the winds were out of the south-southwest 50-55 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 miles per hour. Visibility was about 75-100 feet. The forecast indicated the storm would be strengthening. The cutter Sundew arrived at the scene of the last reported location of the Bradley around 10:45 pm and began the search using the searchlight. As the search continued the seas increased to 25 feet with the winds increasing to 65 miles per hour rolling in the heavy seas.

One of the vessels joining the search was the German cargo ship Christian Sartori. This vessel had recently passed the Bradley and was four miles away when the distress signal was sounded. Despite the raging storm, Captain Paul Mueller, master of the Christian Sartori, changed course and headed back to join in the search. The turning around and returning to the scene took an hour. The crew of the German ship searched for survivors using flares. Captain Mueller signaled that they spotted only a tank and a raincoat. Mayes and Flemming later indicated that the Christian Sartori passed by them about one half mile away. That tank may have been their raft. Flemming tried desperately to light the last flare as the Sartori neared. The wet flare would not ignite. The Sartori at the request of Captain Muth assisted in the search until about 1:30 am. Sometime after the German ship left the scene, the steamer Robert C. Stanley had joined in the search. The Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock had also joined in the search operation. Coast guard aircraft were dropping flares, but the flares were not effective because of the poor visibility.

Around 8:00 am a lookout on the Sundew told Captain Muth that he saw something ahead on the water. That something turned out to be a raft with two men on it. When the cutter pulled alongside the raft, two crewmen jumped to the raft to assist Mayes and Flemming onto the cutter. The survivors were stiff and cold, unable to stand and needed assistance to get aboard the Sundew. Warren Toussaint, the cutter’s corpsman, said the survivors had icicles in their hair. The men were taken to the Chief’s quarters on the cutter, wrapped in blankets and their vital signs checked. The corpsman fed them a little beef broth every half hour. The rescue party continued to search for survivors. Mayes and Flemming requested to stay on board the cutter Sundew during the search for shipmates. Around noon the cutter Hollyhock found bodies. In late afternoon, the cutter returned to Charlevoix with the two survivors and eight bodies covered with a tarp. In the early evening the Hollyhock arrived in Charlevoix with nine bodies. Corpsman Toussaint remembered that the atmosphere in Charlevoix was silence. People waited silently with expectation in Charlevoix. The 17 bodies were taken to the Charlevoix High School where a temporary morgue was set up. The body of Gary Strzelecki was recovered by the freighter Transontario and taken to Milwaukee. His body was later flown to Rogers City. The Coast Guard continued to search for survivors or bodies until November 21. Search parties went ashore on the islands looking for survivors. There were none.

Sources :

November 18, 1958: The Wreck of the Carl D Bradley, Michigan in Pictures, November 18, 2015.

Steamer Carl D. Bradley (April 9, 1927 – November 18th, 1958) : Never Forgotten

SS Carl D. Bradley wikipedia entry.

1982 : Rev. M. Gregory Gentry Preaches Longest Sermon
Nov 18 all-day

The Rev. M. Gregory Gentry of Canton broke the world record for the longest sermon on Nov. 18, 1982, after preaching for 97 hours. The stunt helped raised $10,318.86 — close to $25,000 in today’s dollars — in pledges, which was to go to pay the 5-year-old Canton Cavalry Assembly of God’s mortgage, as well as recruit new members for his church.

Source : Zlati Meyer, “Canton pastor’s sermon starts Sunday, goes 97 hours”, Detroit Free Press, November 18, 2012.