1842 : Detroit Advertiser Fish Story
Sep 17 all-day

The Detroit Advertiser of September 17, 1842, reported that a Frenchman caught a catfish on September 16 with a hook and line in the Detroit River and the catfish weighed 187 pounds! Observers and probably the fisherman weren’t certain whether the Frenchman had caught the cat fish or the cat fish had caught the Frenchman. Eventually, the Frenchman reeled in the cat fish.

Source : Kathy Warnes, “Did the Fish Win?”, Definitely Downriver, May 2012.

1862 : Michiganders Fight in Battle of Antietam, MD
Sep 17 all-day

Three Michigan officers played major parts in the Battle of Antietam : General Alpheus S. Williams, General Israel Richardson, and General Orlando Willcox.

In total, several thousand Michiganders fought; Michigan forces claimed approximately 360 casualties during the battle, the single bloodiest day in U.S. military history.

Whether one claims that Antietam was a draw or a victory, the battle enabled President Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation shortly thereafter. And it prevented England and France from recognizing the Confederate States of America.


Scott Pohl, “Authors tell story of Michigan’s role at Antietam“, WKAR News, November 23, 2015.

Tom Bowman, “Antietam: A Savage Day In American History”, NPR, Septembe 17, 2012.

“Michigan at Antietam Day Honors CW Soldiers’ Sacrifices”, Michigan History, January/Febrary 2013, p.6.

Roger L. Rosentreter, “Three Generals and an unlucky regiment: Michigan at the Battle of Antietam”, Michigan History Magazine. Sept-Oct, 2008, Vol. 92 Issue 5, p20, 10 p

Michigan at Antietam : the Wolverine State’s sacrifice on America’s bloodiest day / Jack Dempsey & Brian James Egen

Antietam by the Civil War Trust.

Battle of Antietam Youtube Video

1928 : Upper Peninsula State Fair Opens for First Time
Sep 17 all-day

The Upper Peninsula State Fair in Escanaba is a fair held annually in the Upper Peninsula in the U.S. state of Michigan.

In April 1927, Michigan Governor Fed Green signed Act 89, which stated that “an annual state fair at the City of Escanaba, which shall have for its main purpose the exploiting, and encouragement of improved methods in agriculture and industrial pursuits I hereby authorize.” The opening day of the first Upper Peninsula State Fair was September 17, 1928. The present site encompasses 120 acres (0.49 km2) of land and 24 buildings. It also includes nearly 700 campsites.

As of 2010, the State ceased funding for the fair and the downstate Michigan State Fair due to budget problems. Control of fair operations has been passed onto the U.P. State Fair Authority which includes representatives from each county in the U.P. and the Hannahville Indian Community. Despite the discontinuation of the downstate Michigan State Fair which has failed to attract outside funding and struggled with sharply dropping attendance through the years, the U.P. State Fair will continue on into the foreseeable future.

Source : Wikipedia.

1951 : Northwestern Michigan College Holds First Classes
Sep 17 all-day

The first day of classes at Northwestern Michigan College was Sept. 17, 1951.

“In every way, the Northwestern Michigan College is a people’s college. It was conceived in a regional desire for education and is being financed from the pockets of the poor and rich alike.” Source : Traverse City Record-Eagle, September 17, 1951.

Geographically isolated from Michigan colleges and universities, the Grand Traverse region decides to create its own — from the ground up, grassroots-style. When NMC’s founders are told that the population was too small to have a college, they lobby to get the legislation changed. When no building is immediately available, NMC opens its doors in borrowed facilities at the airport terminal building – with donated materials and volunteer labor. At its opening, NMC has 65 students and a staff of six.

For more information, see NMC Timeline

1951: MSU Kellogg Center Opens
Sep 17 all-day

Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center History

The Story Behind Our Hotel

Originally conceived just before the outbreak of the Second World War, Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center opened its doors to the public on September 17, 1951, operated by Bill Garrison.

The Michigan Hotel Association sought to create a facility in which they could house everything needed to hold an educational conference under one roof as a sort of laboratory in hotel management. This idea interested the Kellogg Foundation as a means to provide a venue for adult education, and the Kellogg Foundation financed the building, donating $1.4 million. With a land grant and additional $500,000 from the State Board of Agriculture, Michigan State University became the site of the first Kellogg Center for Continuing Education—an important milestone in the history of MSU.

Today, there are eleven Kellogg Centers throughout the United States.

Source : MSU Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center

1970 : MSU Board of Trustees Approves the College of Osteopathic Medicine
Sep 17 all-day

On September 17, 1970, the MSU Board of Trustees approved the College of Osteopathic Medicine as MSU’s 16th College and the nation’s first such publicly-supported institution.

The Michigan College of Osteopathic Medicine actually started in Pontiac in 1969. The Michigan Legislature approved Public Act 162 in July 1969 calling for the establishment of a school of osteopathic medicine at one of the three major universities — MSU, Wayne State, or the University of Michigan. In Spetember MSU submitted a position paper outlining what conditions would need to be met for MSU to take over such a school. A month later the State Board of Education designated MSU as the site for the proposed school.

Source : Bob Roach, “Osteopathic College Concept Termed Unique”, Michigan State News, October 20, 1970.

1981 : Gerald Ford Museum Opening All-Star Celebration
Sep 17 all-day

Grand Rapids was buzzing with excitement back in 1981 leading up to the September 18, 1981 dedication of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

On the night before the official dedication ceremony, an All-Star Celebration Gala was held at the DeVos Performance Hall with Bob Hope serving as master of ceremonies.  The event was taped and shown later as a Bob Hope Special for NBC on October 22, 1981. The list of entertainers that took part in the television tribute to Gerald Ford included Pearl Bailey, Debby Boone, Foster Brooks, Glen Campbell, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Orlando, Mark Russell, and Danny Thomas. For a complete list, visit

Here is a video of the opening segment of that special. It features the University of Michigan Marching Band…

If you’d like more information on visiting the museum, here is the official website.

Source: Scott Winters, “Dedication of the Gerald Ford Museum Festivities”, WFGR, September 17, 2018.

1999: For Love of the Game Features Detroit Tiger Pitcher
Sep 17 all-day

Released to theaters on September 17, 1999, For Love of the Game is an American sports drama film directed by Sam Raimi and written by Dana Stevens based on Michael Shaara‘s 1991 novel of the same title. Starring Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston, it follows the perfect game performance of an aging star baseball pitcher, Billy Chapel as he deals with the pressures of pitching in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in his final outing by calming himself with memories about a long-term relationship with Jane Aubrey.

Source: For Love of the Game (film) Wikipedia Entry.

2016 : Nashville, MI and Moo-Ville Creamery Create World’s Largest Ice Cream Sundae
Sep 17 all-day

Nothing stops months of planning when you’re hoping to reclaim the Guinness Book of World Records for World’s Largest Ice Cream Sundae.

Last spring, the city of Nashville set a record with a distance of 1,823 feet.

But that record only lasted 3 weeks when a city in New Zealand set the record.

Then, this June, the city of Ludington and House of Flavors topped them both, establishing a record of 2,970 feet.

On Saturday afternoon (Sept. 17, 2016), Moo-ville Creamery and a crew of 302 volunteers from the Business District brought out nearly 900 gallons of ice cream.


They did it!

The distance was 3,656 feet, according to an on-site surveyor. Organizers will submit his figures as well as photos, video and other proof that a new record was set.

For the full article, see John Gonzalez, “World’s Largest Ice Cream Sundae: Did Moo-ville Creamery/Nashville Business District set a record?“, MLive, September 17, 2016.

Austin Denean, “Ludington’s ice cream world record officially bested by another Michigan town“, MLive, January 6, 2017.

1679: Griffon Begins Last Voyage
Sep 18 all-day

Image result for griffin ship picture

Built by explorer Rene Robert Cavilier, Sieur de la Salle, the Griffon was intended to assist La Salle in increasing his fortune by transporting large numbers of furs from the Great Lakes to points east. On its initial journey, la Salle and his crew successfully navigated the Great Lakes, landing at Green Bay, Wisconsin. La Salle continued overland to the Mississippi River and ordered his crew to sail the Griffon back to Niagara, New York. The Griffon was never heard from again and never found, but historians speculate that the Griffon was driven ashore by gale winds on Lake Huron and broke apart. The Griffon holds the dubious distinction as both the first vessel to reach the upper Great Lakes and its first shipwreck.

For more information on other Great Lakes disasters, see Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes by Paul Hancock.

Also see The Search for the Elusive Griffon : The First European Vessel to Sail the Upper Great Lakes.

LaSalle’s Griffon by Elise Dallaire.

History of the Great Lakes, part 1

Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

Sarah Kramer, Bryce Gray, Lizz Giordano, and Anne Arntson, “The White Whale for Great Lakes Shipwreck Hunters“, Atlas Obscura, May 30, 2017.

Chris Kohl, “The Wreck of the Griffon“. Cris Kohl, author of The Wreck of The Griffon, discusses where he believes the shipwreck is.