1820 : St. Clair County Created
Mar 28 all-day

Acting upon a petition presented to him in 1819, Territorial Governor Lewis Cass issued a proclamation setting off and naming St. Clair County, created from part of Macomb County. The county was named after Arthur St. Clair, the first governor of the Northwest Territory.

Source: Michigan History

1836 : Treaty of Washington Signed With the Ottawas and Chippewas
Mar 28 all-day
Image result for native american treaty 1836

On March 28, 1836, in Washington D.C., a few dozen Michigan Anishinaabe Ogemuk signed a treaty with the United States, represented by Henry Schoolcraft.

The treaty continues to serve as the original formal acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the Indian tribes represented there, many but not all of which are currently federally recognized.

In exchange for 1/3 of the state (eastern end of upper peninsula and northwestern lower peninsula), the tribes were entitled to hunt and fish as long as they remained.

But much later, in the 1960s, the state of Michigan started heavily regulating commercial fishermen, including tribes, limiting where and how they fished.

John Bailey was a tribal leader at the time and says the regulations hurt the tribes.

Inspired by the Civil Rights movement in the south, tribes began using non-violent civil disobedience to protest the regulations. They ignored state fishing restrictions and said to the authorities, come arrest me.

According to John Bailey, a lot of whites didn’t react well.

One of the groups actually took pictures of Indian fisherman and flooded the state with wanted posters: Spear an Indian, Save a Trout. We had guns pulled on us. We had women verbally and physically assaulted.

White commercial and sports fisherman thought traditional nets used by the tribes would lead to overfishing, destroying the fishing economy.

The fight came to a head in 1979, when the tribes went to court. They pulled out that treaty from 1836. And because of that they won. The courts said: These tribes, they own a part of that lake and the water and the fish in it, too. That’s why tribal fisherman can still fish today.

Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) gathers all 1836 Treaty fishing tribes under it’s mantle, including:

  • Bay Mills Indian Community
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
  • Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indi


Emily Bingham, “How an 800-mile canoe trip starting at an Up North beach became a turning point in Michigan history“,  MLive,January 15, 2018.

Treaty of Washington, 1836 wikipedia entry

Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA)

Turtle Talk, March 28, 2011.

1859 : Adrian College Chartered by Michigan Legislature
Mar 28 all-day

n 1840, a group of disenchanted Michigan Methodists seceded from the Michigan Episcopal Church and organized themselves in a conference bearing the name Wesleyan Methodist Connection. This led to the founding of the Leoni Theological Institute in 1848 near Jackson, Michigan. Eventually, the school’s name was changed to Michigan Union College. In 1857, the Reverend Asa Mahan became pastor of the Plymouth Congregational church in Adrian. Hearing the Michigan Union College was in financial trouble and upset at the atmosphere in Leoni (‘whiskey town’), Mahan worked to move the school to Adrian. To keep local residents from discovering the hegira, the school’s library and its students were transported under the cover of the night to Adrian where the name Adrian College was adopted. By 1862, Adrian College had a student enrollment of 82 women and 133 men.

Today, Adrian College is a private, co-educational liberal arts college conferring bachelor’s degrees in 40 academic majors and programs. The college is located in the city of Adrian, Michigan, a drive of approximately 45 minutes northwest of Toledo, Ohio, or 45 minutes southwest of Ann Arbor or 90 minutes southwest of Detroit. The 100 acre (0.4 km²) campus contains newly constructed facilities along with historic buildings. The college features a variety of athletic programs as well as a theatre department. Adrian College is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States. The fall 2013-14 student headcount was 1,649 students



Sources :

Michigan is Amazing

Michigan Every Day.

Adrian College Wikipedia Entry

1912 : Detroit Saloonkeepers Upset With Michigan’s Governor
Mar 28 all-day

Detroit saloonkeepers are upset with Governor Osborn. During the election preliminaries two years ago, he swore to be their friend, but now is courting those who favor prohibition!


Note : The Main Library now provides the MSU community online access to the historical Detroit Free Press from 1858 through 1922.

1950 : Gordie Howe Almost Dies During Game
Mar 28 all-day

Detroit Red Wings star Gordie Howe suffered a near-fatal injury after he tried to slam into Toronto Maple Leafs captain Ted (Teeder) Kennedy during the opening game of the playoffs at Olympia Stadium on March 28, 1950.

Howe crashed into the boards headfirst and had to be carried away on a stretcher as fans in the stands silently watched, shocked.

It was three days before his 22nd birthday.

The brain hemorrhage Howe suffered landed him in critical condition at Harper Hospital; he also had a broken nose, a shattered cheekbone and a seriously scratched right eye. His mother was summoned to his side.

Emergency neurosurgery to relieve the pressure saved his life, along with some time in an oxygen tank. According to legend, Howe apologized to coach Tommy Ivan.

The NHL found allegations that Kennedy heat-butted him unfounded.

The Red Wings lost that night, 5-0, but went on to win the series, 4-3, and, ultimately, the Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers, 4-3.

For the full article, see Zlati Meyer, “Flashback: Mid-game accident left Gordie Howe close to death”, Detroit Free Press, March 22, 2015.

1977 : Worst Outbreak of Botulism in Nation’s History
Mar 28 all-day

On March 28, 1977, the worst outbreak of botulism in the nation’s history occurred when 59 people contracted the disorder after eating food at a Pontiac Mexican restaurant. The source : home canned peppers.

Though all but two of the victims were hospitalized — some in critical condition — through quick identification of the toxin, which was one of the deadliest poisons known, fatalities were averted.

More information

Bryan Times via Google News, April 4, 1977.

Source: Mich-Again’s Day

1979 : Parade of Champions Celebrates MSU’s 1st Basketball Championship
Mar 28 all-day


“Michigan State was doing well in the NCAA basketball tournament back in 1979. One day, [Sportscaster] Tim Stoudt and I were on a street corner in downtown Lansing talking. ‘What could we do if they went to the Final Four?’” Duane Vernon recalls. The optimistic men approached coach Jud Heathcote, and he agreed to a parade if the team made the Final Four, so they got to work planning the march. Two days after the Spartans won it all against Larry Bird and the Indiana State Sycamores, the team was joined by students, family, friends and fans in a celebratory strut from East Lansing to the Capitol, where the State Legislature recognized the team.

Source : Laurence Consentino, ” The Long March : Lansing’s Sesquicentennial Parade forms Up with its Forerunners”, Lansing City Pulse, May 13-10, 2009.

1815 : Grand Pacification Ball Held in Detroit
Mar 29 all-day

After news arrived regarding the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, officially ending the War of 1812, Detroiters and Canadians threw a Grand Pacification Ball at the Steamboat Hotel (formerly called the Woodworth Hotel) on March 29, 1815 to show the world that there were no hard feelings. British officers from Fort Malden, the leading citizens of Detroit, and civilian dignitaries from the Canadian side of the river attended. The fiddles played late into the night, glasses were filled and emptied many times as toasts to peace and brotherhood rang out. Uncle Ben Woodworth put on a feast that banished all remembrances of the famine that was experienced the year before.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary a “Grand Pacification Ball” Commemorative Remembrance Event is scheduled for the Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit (March 28, 2015). Updates will be posted at as details are developed.

Sources :

Frank Bury Woodford, Arthur M. Woodford, All Our Yesterdays: A Brief History of Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1969, p.125.

Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812

1823 : Henry Schoolcraft Marries Jane Johnston
Mar 29 all-day

Jane Johnson Schoolcraft picture


On March 29, 1823, Henry Schoolcraft married an Ojibwa woman from Sault Saine Marie name O-bah-bahm-wawa-ge-zhe-go-qua which translates “Woman of the Sound Which Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky”.  Conveniently for most Michiganders, she was also known as Jane Johnston.   While Henry Schoolcraft was known as a geographer, geologist, and ethnologist , noted for his early studies of Native American cultures, Jane Johnston was also a writer and poet of note, writing in both English and Ojibwa. In fact, many credit her as the source of many of Schoolcraft’s writing.   Her writing is also credited as the inspiration for Longfellow’s poem “Song of Hiawatha”.

Source : Bill Loomis, On This Day in Detroit History (2016), p.53

1862 : The Drummer-Boy of Marblehead
Mar 29 all-day

The Detroit Free Press of 150 years ago was dominated by articles about the Civil War, including accounts of mishaps and victories around the country. The Drummer-Boy of Marblehead recounts the exploits of a young lad who met his maker on Roanoke Island, N.C. And as the editors assert, we have assurances that this story is literally true!

MARY MOORE.: THE DRUMMER-BOY OF. [PDF] Detroit Free Press, March 29, 1862, p.4.

Note : The Main Library now provides the MSU community online access to the historical Detroit Free Press from 1858 through 1922.