1830 : State’s First Antislavery Society Formed
Dec 2 all-day

Elizabeth Margaret Chandler lg.jpg

Elizabeth Chandler organized the state’s first antislavery society. Some sources suggest that the Logan Female Anti-Slavery Society was formed in 1832, but at any rate, it went on to help create safe stops for for escaping slaves following the underground railroad.

Source : Historical Society of Michigan.

For more information about Elizabeth Chandler, see Elizabeth Chandler biography from Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame.

1888 : Detroit Milkmen Try To Raise Price of Milk to 7 Cents Per Quart
Dec 2 all-day

On December 2, 1888, Detroit milkmen met to try to raise the price of their product to seven cents per quart.

Sources :

Detroit Historical Society

Bill Loomis, “Got milk? A century ago, it came from a peddler – and bring your own pitcher”, Detroit News, 2015.

1927 : Ford Motor Co. Unveils Model A In Showrooms
Dec 2 all-day

1928 Model A Ford Tudor Sedan photo

On this day Ford Motor Co. unveiled its Model A automobile for customers for the first time.

The Ford Model A of 1928–1931 was the second huge success for the Ford Motor Company, after its predecessor, the Model T. First produced on October 20, 1927, but not sold until December 2, it replaced the venerable Model T, which had been produced for 18 years. This new Model A (a previous model had used the name in 1903–1904) was designated as a 1928 model and was available in four standard colors.

By 4 February 1929, one million Model As had been sold, and by 24 July, two million.[3] The range of body styles ran from the Tudor at US$500 (in grey, green, or black)[3] to the Town Car with a dual cowl at US$1200.[4] In March 1930, Model A sales hit three million, and there were nine body styles available.

Source : Ford Model A wikipedia entry

1967 : Crisler Arena Hosts 1st Basketball Game
Dec 2 all-day

Crisler Arena — now known as Crisler Center with the addition of the William Davidson Player Development Center — has been the location for Michigan athletic events for 45 years. The men’s basketball team has called Crisler its home since the arena opened in December 1967, and the women’s basketball team has used the arena since its inaugural season as a varsity sport in 1973-74. U-M wrestling and gymnastics have also called it home, while a multitude of campus events and concerts have been held at the facility over the years.

Two years in the making at a cost of $7.2 million, the arena is a tribute to Herbert O. “Fritz” Crisler and his many contributions to Michigan Athletics. Michigan’s football coach from 1938-47, Crisler served 27 years as the Michigan athletic director before retiring in 1968.

Dan Dworsky, a linebacker on Crisler’s undefeated 1947 (and 1948) football team, was one of two architects involved in the construction and was tasked with the design, preliminary drawings and selection of materials. The building stands at 107 feet with telescopic seating encircling the arena floor with an original seating capacity of 13,684.

Crisler Center is affectionately known as “The House that Cazzie Built,” a reference to player Cazzie Russell, who starred on Michigan teams that won three consecutive Big Ten Conference titles from 1964 to 1966. Russell’s popularity caused the team’s fan base to outgrow Yost Fieldhouse (now Yost Ice Arena) and prompted the construction of the current facility.  Michigan hosted Kentucky on Dec. 2, 1967, for the first event held in Crisler Arena, which was formally dedicated on Feb. 27, 1968. On Dec. 11, 1993, Russell became Michigan’s first basketball player to have his number retired, and the banner commemorating his No. 33 hangs from the arena rafters.


Crisler Center website hosted by the University of Michigan.

Crisler Center wikipedia entry.

1975 : China Plays MSU Fight Song to Welcome President Gerald Ford
Dec 2 all-day

When President Gerald Ford, a University alum, arrived in Peking, China to attend an important meeting with the Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping, he was greeted with a band playing the Michigan State University fight song instead of Hail to the Victors.

Michigan State Band Director Ken Bloomquist said he thought the mistake did not matter. “Michigan’s fight song is one of the greatest fight songs in the country,” Bloomquist said.  “Our fight song is certainly well known, but probably not quite as well as the U-of-M fight song,”

Source : “This week in Daily history“, Michigan Daily, December 3, 2003.

2012 : Michillinda Resort Burns To Ground
Dec 2 all-day

Fire raged through the historic Michillinda Lodge on Lake Michigan in Fruitland Township early Sunday, December 2, 2012, leaving behind nothing but smoldering ruins.

Nearly every fire department in Muskegon County sent tanker trucks to provide water to battle the blaze in the four-story building at 5207 Scenic.

The Lodge dates back to 1904, but some argue the history of Michillinda Lodge stretches back to 1894 when the Rev. Theo Willson took three members of his congregation from Moline, Ill., on a walk south of Sylvan Beach, where they had been staying. Sylvan Beach began as a cottage community in 1883.

Since the fire, Michillinda Lodge consists of nine buildings offering 26 guest units in total. The resort positions itself as both family-oriented and historic in nature, and it includes numerous on-site amenities, ranging from an outdoor swimming pool and a miniature golf course to a campfire and a 400-foot (120 m) private beach on Lake Michigan. Additionally, Michillinda Lodge accommodates weddings and receptions, as well as reunions and other gatherings. Before the restaurant in the main lodge was destroyed in the fire, it provided dining for both resort guests and the general public.

For more history about the Michillinda Beach Resort, see Dave Alexander, “Michillinda Lodge traces its history back to between Muskegon County’s lumber and industrial eras“, MLive, December 3, 2012.

Michillinda Lodge wikipedia entry

2019 : Dick Thelan, Last Remaining Michigan Survivor of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, Honored for Service
Dec 2 all-day

I was humbled this week to host a ceremony honoring Congressional Gold Medal recipient Dick Thelen, a survivor of the USS Indianapolis disaster.

Image result for dick thelan, u.S.s. indianapolis

The story of the USS Indianapolis is a distinctively tragic one. On July 30, 1945, a Japanese submarine torpedo struck the USS Indianapolis, sinking it within 12 minutes. Of the 1,195 sailors that served on the ship, 900 initially survived its sinking. Mr. Thelen, just 18 years old at the time, survived in shark-infested waters for nearly five days before he was rescued. He was one of just 317 who ultimately lived to return home.

Mr. Thelen, along with his family, were honored on this day by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. Also joining the event were members of VFW Post 701; Lansing Mayor Andy Schor; State Reps. Sarah Anthony, Kara Hope and Angela Witwer; and Zaneta Adams, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. Click here to watch the video and read the article from the Lansing State Journal.

Dozens of Michiganders served on the USS Indianapolis, as the state of Michigan was the third highest represented home state within the crew. Today, Mr. Thelen is but one of only 11 remaining USS Indianapolis survivors in the country, and Mr. Thelen is the only survivor living in Michigan. Before the ceremony, I had a chance to speak with him, and he told me he stayed alive during those harrowing five days by thinking of his father and his promise to him to return home safely.

The bravery and selflessness Mr. Thelen showed nearly 75 years ago inspire me and reflect the values that we all should aspire to uphold. In recognition of his heroism and service to our country, we presented him with a Congressional Record Statement and a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol. At the ceremony, Lansing Mayor Schor declared December 2nd Richard Thelen Day.


Elissa Slotkin
Member of Congress

Dick Thelan YouTube Interview, October 4, 2012

USS Indianapolis : Dick Thelen, April 5, 2016.

1896 : First Rural Free Mail Delivery in State of Michigan Offered in Climax, Michigan
Dec 3 all-day


Post Office: Climax, MI 49034 (Kalamazoo County)
Date of Photo: circa 1896
Contributor: Paul E. Petosky, Postmarks from the Past

The first Rural Free Delivery mail service in Michigan was started in Climax in December, 1896. Two postmen, Lewis Clark and Willis Lawrence, Judge Eldred’s great-grandson, set out on their routes, one by horse and buggy and the other on a bicycle.  The first RFD routes were around 25-30 miles long, and were based upon what a man with a horse and buggy could travel on unpaved rural country roads during a workday back then. The pay was only $45 a month, and the carrier had to provide his own horse, buggy, feed and water.

The Eckford post office southwest of Albion had the distinction of having the first rural routes in Calhoun County, and the second in the state of Michigan. The service was instituted on July 5, 1899 on an experimental basis that became permanent, and served as a model and inspiration for RFD in other post offices, including Albion.

Sources :

Michigan: Dates That First Rural Routes Were Established at Post Offices, through 1904

Climax Local History courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library

Historical Society of Michigan

Wikipedia entry

1929 : Ford Motor Company Raises Pay to $7/Day
Dec 3 all-day

Despite the collapse of the U.S. stock market, the Ford Motor Company raised the pay of its employees from $5 to $7 a day on this day.

Source : Detroit Historical Society.

2003: Governor Granholm Signs Bill Recognizing Cesar Chavez Day
Dec 3 all-day

Governor Jennifer Granholm and State Senator Buzz Thomas

After signing a bill into law today that creates Cesar Chavez Day in Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said “it takes courage” to stand up and say that people should not be discriminated against.  Courage was a word she used earlier in the morning to describe Chavez, the well-known Hispanic labor rights leader.

The governor was at the Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing this morning to sign SB 352, sponsored by Sen. Buzz Thomas (D-Detroit), a bill that establishes March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day.  The bill does not create a state holiday.  The bill encourages folks to remember Chavez for his fight for reasonable wages, decent housing and the outlawing of child labor.

“Cesar Chavez is not only a hero to the Hispanic community but to all people who labor and dream for peace, social justice, and dignity,” Thomas said.  “This legislation is long overdue.  Cesar E. Chavez’s legacy has touched us all, and this fitting recognition will continue to inform future generations of his accomplishments.”

To speed the bill’s passage through the Legislature, days remembering the great work of Ford Motor Company Henry Ford (July 30) and former President Gerald R. Ford (July 14) were added to the bill during its movement through the legislative process.  Thomas said the addition of a day for the former president was somewhat of a coincidence in that his grandfather played football at the University of Michigan with Gerald R. Ford.

House Minority Leader Dianne Byrum (D-Onondaga), Rep. Michael Murphy (D-Lansing) and Sen. Valde Garcia (R-Howell) joined Thomas at the bill signing

Source: MIRS Capitol Capsule, Wed., December 3, 2003.   Note:  MIRS News is available to the MSU Community and other subscribers.