1918 : Michigan Women Gain Right to Vote
Nov 5 all-day

On November 5, 1918, the suffrage amendment was passed by the legislature. As a result, Michigan became the 7th state to allow women to vote.

Source : Historical Society of Michigan

1918 : Truman Newberry Defeats Henry Ford for the U.S. Senate
Nov 5 all-day

On November 5, 1918, Truman Newberry, a modest, well-mannered scion of an old-money Detroit family, suddenly found himself under federal indictment and his very name synonymous with political corruption. Newberry’s “crime”? He had run for the United States Senate as a long-shot underdog against the President’s handpicked candidate and nation’s most famous man, Henry Ford. And thanks to a skillful ad campaign financed by nearly $200,000 contributed by Newberry’s family members and friends (the equivalent of about $3 million in 2013), he had won.

Before Super PACs, McCain-Feingold, “soft money,” and the Keating 5; before Watergate, and even before Teapot Dome, there was the Michigan Senate race of 1918. In Curbing Campaign Cash, Paula Baker, an Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University, has written a lively account of one of the nation’s most contested elections and earliest campaign finance “scandals.” A brief 150 pages, Curbing Campaign Cash takes the reader on a fascinating tour through Michigan industrial and political history, the boardrooms and rivalries of Detroit’s business and social elite, and the machinations of national and progressive politics in the early twentieth century.

Unlike the typical political saga, however, Baker presents the story not as a morality tale of honest government corrupted by big money, but rather as a cautionary story about big government regulation of honest money and the political choices of the electorate.

For more information, see “The Election Case of Truman H. Newberry of Michigan (1922)”, U.S. Senate Art and History.

Bradley A. Smith, “The Campaign Finance Merry-Go-Round”, Library of Law and Liberty Blog

1962 : Martin Luther King Speaks at University of Michigan
Nov 5 all-day

Ann Arbor speech: On Nov. 5 1962, King spoke to students at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium. “It wasn’t a big crowd, it appears to be somewhat small,” Karen Lee Jania, an archivist at Bentley, told the Ann Arbor News. “I don’t think it was of campus-wide interest at the time… it’s conceivable that it was maybe a last minute kind of thing, so publicity didn’t get out.”

The speech was not well documented, but several photographs of the visit were found in 2012.

Kellie Woodhouse, “Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1962 visit to University of Michigan”, Ann Arbor News, January 19, 2013.

Martin Slagter, “Martin Luther King Jr. told U-M crowd to live as brothers or face dying as fools“, MLive, January 16, 2017.

1974 : Sales Tax on Food and Medicine Repealed
Nov 5 all-day

Voters repealed sales tax on food and medicines.

1980 : Detroit Pistons Win First Game at the Palace of Auburn Hills
Nov 5 all-day

The date was November 5, 1988, and Pistons Fever was an epidemic. Hopes were sky high.

“It doesn’t matter what we do [in the regular season],” third-year forward Dennis Rodman said after the first game at The Palace, “all everyone wants to talk about is title, title, title.”

It was understandable: just five months earlier the Pistons had come within one win (actually one defensive stop) of winning the NBA title in Los Angeles. Now, with one more year of experience, a loaded roster of players in their prime, and a brand-spanking-new arena, they were poised to become champions.

But first things first. They had to christen The Palace, a gleaming building built for greatness by team owner Bill Davidson.

“Welcome to your new home,” Davidson told the crowd in a pre-game ceremony at half court. “This is your home and your team.”

The team was beloved. Led by mercurial point guard Isiah Thomas, a lightning fast ball handler with an impish smile and an assassin’s  heart, the Pistons had a deep stable of talent. There was Bill Laimbeer, the other team leader, a wide-bodied rebounder with a fine outside shot and an obsessive will to win at all costs. His penchant for using his elbows and hips to fell opposing players in the paint made him the most hated man in the NBA. Then there was Adrian Dantley, a low post scoring machine with spin moves and a fall-away jumper for the ages. And Joe Dumars, Dantley’s protege, a quiet #2 guard who blanketed Michael Jordan and other scoring threats with smothering defense and scored frequently with his rainbow jumpers. And Rodman, a freak of an athlete who had a motor that never stopped and could jump out of the gym. Plus John Salley, a shot blocker with long arms and a big mouth, and James Edwards, he of the unblockable fade away shot. Lastly, the Pistons boasted one of the most lethal scoring machines in the league: Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson, who used his long arms and springy legs to propel his line drive jump shot to the hoop. More often than not he broke the hearts of enemy teams with his scoring bursts.

Those “Bad Boys” were led by the most dapper leading man of the bench: head coach Chuck Daly. With his well-coiffed hair and impeccable suits, Daly strolled the sidelines with a steady calm that served as the rudder for a team that relied heavily on emotion and brute confidence. While Isiah was the monster of the hardwood, Daly was the Dr. Frankenstein.

The first game at The Palace was a precursor to a remarkable season for a remarkable team. It culminated in their first NBA Finals win and a year later they added a second.

Source : Dan Holmes, “The first game at The Palace ushered in championship era for Pistons, Detroit Athletic Co., March 1, 2017.

1992 : Unarmed Malice Green Killed by Detroit Police Officers
Nov 5 all-day

(28051) Memorials, Landmarks, Malice Green, Detroit, 1998

Malice Green, an unarmed African-American Detroit man is stopped for questioning outside a reputed crack house on West Warren in Detroit. Green died of repeated blows to the head with heavy flashlights. The two officers, Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn, who encountered Green are convicted of involuntary manslaughter after having been granted second trials.

Sources :

Detroit African American History Project.

Elisha Anderson, “25 years ago, Malice Green became the face of police brutality in Detroit“, Detroit Free Press, November 3, 2017.

2002 : Jennifer Granholm Becomes Michigan’s First Woman Governor
Nov 5 all-day

Jennifer Granholm via wikipedia


On this day, Jennifer Granholm became the first woman to be elected governor of Michigan.

Jennifer Mulhern Granholm (born February 5, 1959) is a Canadian-born American politician, lawyer, educator, author, political commentator and member of the Democratic Party who served as the Attorney General of Michigan from 1999 to 2003 and as the Governor of Michigan from 2003 to 2011. In January 2017, she became a CNN political contributor.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Granholm moved from Canada to California at age four. She graduated from San Carlos High School and briefly attempted an acting career, then held a variety of jobs before attending the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 and then a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She then clerked for Judge Damon Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in 1991 and in 1995 she was appointed to the Wayne County Corporation Counsel.

Granholm ran for Attorney General of Michigan in 1998 to succeed 37-year Democratic incumbent Frank J. Kelley. She defeated Republican John Smietanka, the 1994 nominee and former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, by 52% to 48% and served from 1999 to 2003. She ran for Governor in 2002 to succeed Republican John Engler. She defeated Engler’s Lieutenant Governor Dick Posthumus by 51% to 47% and became Michigan’s first female governor on January 1, 2003. She was re-elected to a second term in 2006 against Republican businessman Dick DeVos by a large margin and served until January 1, 2011, when she was term-limited. As Governor, Granholm received praise for her focus on renewable energy and in leading the state’s automotive industry through the crisis of 2008–10.

She was a member of the presidential transition team for Barack Obama before he assumed office on January 20, 2009. After leaving public office, Granholm took a position at U.C. Berkeley and, with her husband Daniel Mulhern, co-authored A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Future, released in September 2011.[4] Later she became host of The War Room with Jennifer Granholm on Current TV. Additionally, Granholm was an active supporter of Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Source : Jennifer Granholm wikipedia entry

2003 : Bobby Hatfield, Righteous Brother, Dies in Kalamazoo
Nov 5 all-day

Bobby Hatfield was the tenor half of The Righteous Brothers, alongside baritone Bill Medley. His death occurred in Kalamazoo just before he was ready to go onstage on November 5, 2003.

Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley had been a team ever since 1962; they started in a group called The Paramours, then branched out as a duo. After one particular performance, a man stood up in the audience and shouted, “that was righteous, brothers!” and that’s the name they went with.

The Righteous Brothers released a good number of hits, the most well-known being “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” (1964, the most programmed song in U.S. radio history), “Soul And Inspiration” (1966), “Rock And Roll Heaven” (1974), and the one that featured Bobby’s most popular vocal, “Unchained Melody” in 1965.

The Righteous Brothers were on tour with scheduled dates in Michigan and Ohio. On November 5, 2003, they were staying at the Radisson Hotel in Kalamazoo and performing just a couple of miles away at Miller Auditorium. The show was preparing to begin in a half hour and Hatfield hadn’t shown up yet. Medley and their road manager went to Hatfield’s room to see what was keeping him and they found him lying dead on his bed.

John Robinson, “Death of a Pop Star: Kalamazoo, 2003 “, 99.1 WFMK Blog, July 30, 2021.

2004 : Polar Express Debuts in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Nov 5 all-day
The Polar Express (film) - Wikipedia

The premier of the Tom Hanks movie “The Polar Express” — based on a book by Grand Rapids native Chris Van Allsburg — was held in the author’s hometown on November 5, 2004. The classic Christmas tale tells the story of a magical train that carries children to the North Pole.

Source : “The Polar Express Movie Premier”, Detroit Free Press, November 4, 2012.

The steam locomotive that pulls the Polar Express is modeled after an actual locomotive at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan. The Pere Marquette 1225 Berkshire-type (2-8-4), built in 1941 at the Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, OH, was part of the Pere Marquette Railway system before being decommissioned in 1951. Slated for scrapping, it was acquired by Michigan State University (MSU) in 1957 and exhibited on campus. In 1971, MSU steam enthusiasts commenced the formidable task of restoring the mighty locomotive to operating condition. Restoration was substantially completed in 1985, and in 1988, number 1225 started pulling excursion trains in the Owosso area and around Michigan. The locomotive has been listed on the United States National Register of Historical Places. In the film, artistic liberty is taken with the appearance of the locomotive and its tender, both being made to seem even more massive than the 794,500 pound (361,136 kilogram) original. Many of the train’s sound effects, such as the whistle blowing and steam exhausting, were created from live sampling of number 1225 while in operation. The 1225 even had the words “Polar Express” replacing the “Pere Marquette” on its tender while under a short promotional contract. However, the right to keep the Polar Express license agreement was lost soon after because of the licensing fees that would have been required to use the name. The Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation, also known as the Steam Railroading Institute, received no money or other compensation for the use of the engine’s image and sounds in the movie and relies upon trip revenue and donations to operate. Source : Wikipedia.

Another story about the MSU / Polar Express Link. Retired from service in 1951, 1225 was sent to scrap, in New Buffalo, Michigan. In 1955, Michigan State University Trustee, Forest Akers was asked by C&O Chairman Cyrus Eaton if the University would be interested in having a steam locomotive (Eaton did not want to scrap the engines but was having a hard time finding places that would accept them) so that engineering students would have a piece of real equipment to study. Forest Akers thought it a good idea and proposed the idea to University President John Hannah. John Hannah accepted the gift of the locomotive. When he told the Dean of the College of Engineering about the gift, the Dean said that Engineering was not interested in an obsolete locomotive. John Hannah then called up Dr. Rollin Baker, director of the MSU Museum and told him that he was getting a locomotive. The C&O then instructed the yardmaster at New Buffalo to send an engine to the Wyoming Shops for a cosmetic restoration and repainting with the name Chesapeake and Ohio on the side. The 1225 was the last engine in the line, i.e. easiest to get out. It had nothing to do with the number representing Christmas Day.

Baker received the gift of the locomotive in 1957 when it was brought to campus. The locomotive remained on static display near Spartan Stadium on the Michigan State campus in East Lansing, Michigan for a decade. While on display, a child by the name of Chris Van Allsburg used to stop by the locomotive on football weekends, on his way to the game with his father. He later stated that the engine was the inspiration for the story, Polar Express. How Pere Marquette 1225 inspired the Polar Express

2011 : Detroit Free Press Honors Memory of Arthur L. Johnson
Nov 5 all-day

His voice was soft, but commanding. His presence understated, but unmistakable.

As those who knew him described six decades of devotion to Detroit, civil rights leader Arthur L. Johnson was laid to rest Saturday — his 86th birthday — before hundreds of supporters.

Johnson, who came to Detroit in 1950 to help the city’s fledgling branch of the NAACP grow, died Tuesday of complications related to 12 years of Parkinson’s disease.

For the full article, see Megha Satyanarayana, “Arthur L. Johnson: Civil rights champion’s legacy lives on“, Detroit Free Press, November 5, 2011.

For another, see Cassandra Spratling, “Arthur Johnson, a civil rights icon and comrade of Martin Luther King Jr., dies at 85”, Detroit Free Press, November 2, 2011.