2022 : Faster Horses Festival (July 22-24)
Jul 14 – Jul 16 all-day

Breaking News:

The Faster Horses country music festival will mark its 10th anniversary this summer with a three-day lineup topped by Luke Bryan, Shania Twain and Zac Brown Band, organizers announced Wednesday.

Those three heavyweight performers make up the most noteworthy set of headliners since the country-and-camping fest launched in 2013 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn.

The 2023 Faster Horses festival will run July 14-16 at MIS. Three-day passes will go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 10 at

The rest of the story:

Not to generalize, but a fair number of country music songs are written about good times spent in the summertime sun, drinking and partying with friends.

In that sense, Faster Horses is just like a country song. The three-day country music festival will be  celebrating its 10th year of friends, fun and sun at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn in 2022, establishing itself as one of the top new events on Michigan’s summer concert calendar.

Attendance will be capped at 50,000 per day.

Zeke Jennings, “Faster Horses Festival: What’s up with the name?”, MLive, July 16, 2014.

Faster Horses Music Festival website.

Faster Horses Music Festival Facebook Page

Faster Horses Festival YouTube Site.

1796 : Wayne County Established
Jul 15 all-day

The first county in Michigan is named for American General Anthony Wayne, who defeated the English and their Indian allies at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in Northern Ohio on August 20, 1794, ending British influence over the future Northwest territory. On August 3, 1795 he signed a peace treaty with the Indians acknowledging this fact.

The original Wayne County consisted of the entire terrirotry of Michigan and some bordering territory in the future states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Source : Detroit Almanac : 300 years of life in the Motor City

1862 : Detroit Draft Riot
Jul 15 all-day

A rally held in Detroit following Lincoln’s call for 300,000 more volunteers was broken up by hecklers and rowdies.

Source : Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State by Willis Frederick Dunbar. Also available in print.

Also see DRAFTING IN MICHIGAN.: What the Law Says About It. Who are Liable to duty and who are exempt. Detroit Free Press, July 15, 1862;
pg. 1. Courtesy of Proquest Historical Newspapers. In short all able-bodied white males between the ages of 18 and 45 and not exempt for other reasons are eligible for the draft.

THE GOVERNOR’S PROCLAMATION. Detroit Free Press, July 15, 1862, pg. 1 Courtesy of Proquest Historical Newspapers. The Governor of the state calls on the people of the state to do their duty, enlist, and help put down the rebellion. 6 new regiments are required; one from each congressional district. One month’s Pay ($13) and a bounty of $25 will be paid upon enlisting. Austin Blair, Governor.

THE CALL FOR TROOPS.: IMMENSE MEETING OF CITIZENS. Speeches of Mayor Duncan. Win. A. Howard. T. Romeyn, and H. A. Morrow. RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE MEETING. RESOLUTIONS. REMARKS BY HENRY MORROW. Detroit Free Press, July 16, 1862, p.1 Courtesy of Proquest Historical Newspapers. Exhortations were made on Detroit’s Campus Martius starting at a quarter to 7:00 p.m. An immense crowd turned out.

1917 : Camp Custer Construction Begins
Jul 15 all-day

Camp Cust aerial photograph taken in 1917, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Note: Aerial photo of Camp Custer, 1917.

Men arrived – 8,000 strong, from across the Midwest. They came carrying their own hammers and saws for the immense construction undertaking. It was hot, dusty, strenuous work, clearing the land and building railroad spurs, roads and barracks. The sound of hammer on spike rang across the hills.

Camp Custer was originally built for military training during World War I. Named after Civil War cavalry officer General George Armstrong Custer, more than 100,000 troops trained or demobilized there during the war. In the years following World War I, the camp was used to train the Officer Reserve Corps and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Two unidentified United States Army Soldiers standing in their Class A Uniforms and Overseas Caps outside one of the barracks at the Fort Custer Military Base in Battle Creek, Michigan. Soldiers at Fort Custer During World War II

On August 17, 1940, Camp Custer was designated Fort Custer and became a permanent military training base. During World War II, more than 300,000 troops trained there, including the famed 5th Infantry Division (also know as the “Red Diamond Division”) which left for combat in Normandy, France, June 1944. Fort Custer also served as a prisoner of war camp for 5,000 German soldiers until 1945.

Fort Custer became home to units of the Navy Reserve in 1949 and to a Marine Corps Reserve Tactical Bridge Company in 1952. Also during that time, approximately 17,000 troops were trained for the Korean War. Beginning in 1959, Fort Custer served for a decade as part of the North American Air Defense system.

In 1968, the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs assumed control of Fort Custer. Today, the facility is federally-owned and state-operated.

Today the Fort Custer Education Center is operated by the Michigan Army National Guard and the Regional Training Institute conducts Military Occupational Specialty, Non-Commissioned Officer Leadership Training and Officer Leadership Training Courses for Soldiers from all over the State, the Region and the Country.

Ft. Custer Army National Guard Base remains one of the most heavily used training facilities in the Midwest with its close proximity to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. It is used primarily for small arms and maintenance training at the company level. The 20th Century Tactical Studies Group (based in the US Midwest), holds two battles here in this National Guard base in Battle Creek every year.

During 2014 and 2015, Fort Custer has been designated as a possible location for a new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile base.


Historical Society of Michigan Michigan History Calendar

Fort Custer Training Center News courtesy of the Michigan National Guard.

Fort Custer Training Center wikipedia entry

Ft. Custer Army National Guard Base courtesy of

Al Jones, “Military leaders say Fort Custer Training Center is a strong candidate for missile defense system”, MLive, August 25, 2015.

Al Jones, “National Guard excited about chances of landing missile defense system in Battle Creek”, MLive, July 6, 2015.

1929 : Livingston County Can’t Prohibit Women in Suits from Riding in Cars
Jul 15 all-day

On July 15, 1929, Attorney General Wilbur M. Brucker ruled that, since control over highways was vested in the state highway commission, Livingston County did not have the authority to prohibit women in suits from riding in cars.

Source: Mich – Again’s Day

1936 : First Passenger Train Begins Service Between Detroit and Cleveland
Jul 15 all-day

Cleveland Mercury Train ticket picture 1938

On July 15, 1936, the Mercury, Michigan’s first streamlined passenger train began service on the New York Central System between Detroit and Cleveland. By November 1938, the Mercury was also operating between Detroit and Chicago.

Two train sets serviced these trains, but the schedule was such that one train set began the day in Cleveland, ran to Detroit as the Cleveland Mercury, and ran from Detroit to Chicago as the Chicago Mercury, while the other set did the reverse run (the eastbound Chicago Mercury arrived in Detroit after its westbound counterpart had left, so the NYC would have needed an extra train set, if it had not shared sets across trains). The Cleveland run was on a 2:50 hour schedule and the Chicago run took 4:45.

Sources :

Historical Society of Michigan Michigan History Calendar

Mercury Train wikipedia entry which cites :

Cook, Richard J. Sr. (1991). The New York Central’s Mercury: The Train of Tomorrow. TLC Publishing; Lynchburg, VA, pp.6-9

1940 : World’s Tallest Man Dies in Manistee
Jul 15 all-day

On July 15, 1940, Robert Pershing Wadlow, the world’s tallest man at 8-foot-11 died in Manistee. His death at age 22 came after Wadlow suffered a blister from his leg braces that caused a deadly infection.

An estimated 40,000 people attended Robert Wadlow’s funeral on July 19. He was buried in a half-ton coffin that required 12 pallbearers to carry, which was interred within a vault of solid concrete. It was believed that Robert Wadlow’s family were concerned for the sanctity of his body after his death, and went to these lengths of security to ensure it would never be disturbed or stolen.

Wadlow’s family also destroyed much of his belongings so they wouldn’t become collectors’ items, but a pair of his size 37 shoes is still displayed at Snyder’s Shoes on River Street in Manistee.

In 1985, a life-size bronze statue of Robert Wadlow by Ned Giberson was erected at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Dental Medicine. He is also featured in film and with a wax replica in the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum in Saint Augustine, Florida, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Gold Coast, Queensland and Guadalajara, Mexico. A life-sized statue was part of the exhibits at the Guinness Hall of World Records in the Empire State Building in New York City.


Michigan Every Day

YouTube video

1975 : Women Don’t Have To Take Husband’s Last Name
Jul 15 all-day

On July 15, 1975, Attorney General Frank Kelley ruled that when a woman married she did not have to adopt her husband’s last name.

Source : Historical Society of Michigan Michigan History Calendar

1812 : British Capture Mackinac Island
Jul 16 all-day

July 16-17, 1812

British soldiers stand around the British Landing cannon this morning. It was the 200th anniversary of the British landing in the dark of night July 16, 1812, for their surprise attack on the American fort the next day.  (Photo Credit:  Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau)

When the war was declared, there were a number of border posts. The British posts were in Canada, and the United States posts were in the United States territory, just across the waters from them. When war was declared in June of 1812, John Jacob Astor, who owned the American Fur Company, was near Washington, and he heard about the outbreak of the war and quickly sent a representative of his company to Fort St. Joseph, just inside Canadian waters, about 45 miles northeast of Fort Mackinac. He sent his representative there to protect his trade goods in case war broke out, but in doing so, he also alerted the British at that post to the outbreak of war.

They very quickly put together an alliance of regular troops, militia, and about 400 Native American allies, and they planned on and then successfully executed the capture of Fort Mackinac, which was the first engagement on U.S. territory during the War of 1812. It began the domino effect that eventually led to the capture of Fort Detroit and Fort Dearborn in Chicago, and so within a period of a month in the summer of 1812, the peninsulas of Michigan went from being under U.S. control to British control.

The battle of July 17, 1812 was a bloodless battle. The British landed on the north end of Mackinac Island under the cover of darkness on the night of July 16th and 17th, and brought with them two six-pound cannon, and again, a force numbering about 600. During the evening, they set up in the woods behind the fort on the elevated high ground, and the next morning when the sun rose, they fired a warning shot over the top of Fort Mackinac, and that was the first that the young American lieutenant in charge of the fort was even aware that war had been declared. He had only about 68 men inside the fort, and was looking out at a force ten times that size, and quickly decided to surrender without firing any shot in return.

From another source:

British General Brock of the Michigan Command ordered Captain Roberts, on St. Joseph Island, to attack the American Fort on Mackinac Island. That morning Captain Roberts embarked for Michilimackinac on the Northwestern Fur Company’s ship, Caledonia, with two six-pound guns, ten batteaux (flat-bottom boats), and seventy canoes. Captain Roberts’ force was composed of 42 regulars and 4 officers, 260 Canadians, 572 Chippewas and Ottawas, 56 Sioux, 48 Winnebagoes, and 39 Menomonies.

The British arrived at Mackinac Island at 3:00 a.m. on July 17. Fort Mackinaw’s American commander, Lieutenant Hanks, immediately prepared for action. However, around 9:00 in the morning he discovered that the British were in possession of the higher ground above the fort and that British artillery was already directed at the Americans’ most defenseless position. At 11:30 in the morning, the British sent in a flag of truce and the fifty-seven United States officers and enlisted men at the Fort surrendered. After this victory, the British constructed Fort George (now known as Fort Holmes) about a half-mile behind the main Fort in order to protect it during future invasions. Great Britain retained control of Fort Mackinaw until the United States won it back in the Treaty of Ghent in 1815.

Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog.

For more information see, Pamela Piljac, Mackinac Island: Historic Frontier, Vacation Resort, Timeless Wonderland, Portage, In. : Bryce-Waterton Publications, 1988. This edition and others are listed in MelCat.

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

“Michigan at War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1812-1815,” a documentary produced by the Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, has been posted for free access on MI Streamnet through a partnership with Wayne Regional Educational Services Agency. Accompaning resource guide for teachers.

The War of 1812 in the Old Northwest

1898 : Buffalo Bill Cody Brings His Wild West Show to Saginaw
Jul 16 all-day

On July 16, 1898, Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show came to Saginaw, including 650 cowboys, Indians, Cossacks, and Bengal lancers, all performing unbelievable stunts.

A well-known scout for the army and a buffalo hunter for the railroads (which earned him his nickname), Cody had gained national prominence 15 years earlier thanks to a fanciful novel written by Edward Zane Carroll Judson. Writing under the pen name Ned Buntline, Judson made Cody the hero of his highly sensationalized dime novel The Scouts of the Plains; or, Red Deviltry As It Is.” In 1872, Judson also convinced Cody to travel to Chicago to star in a stage version of the book. Cody broke with Judson after a year, but he enjoyed the life of a performer and stayed on the stage for 11 seasons.

In 1883, Cody staged an outdoor extravaganza called the “Wild West, Rocky Mountain, and Prairie Exhibition” for a Fourth of July celebration in North Platte, Nebraska. When the show was a success, Cody realized he could evoke the mythic West more effectively if he abandoned cramped theater stages for large outdoor exhibitions. The result was “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West,” a circus-like pageant celebrating life in the West. During the next four years, Cody performed his show all around the nation to appreciative crowds often numbering 20,000 people.

Audiences loved Cody’s reenactments of frontier events: an attack on a Deadwood stage, a Pony Express relay race, and most exciting of all, the spectacle of Custer’s Last Stand at the Little Big Horn. Even more popular were the displays of western outdoor skills like rope tricks, bulldogging, and amazing feats of marksmanship. Cody made a star of Annie Oakley, an attractive young Ohio woman who earned her nickname “Little Sure Shot” by shooting a cigar out of an assistant’s mouth.

Many American’s were convinced that Cody’s spectacle was an authentic depiction of the Wild West. Cody encouraged the impression by bringing audiences “genuine characters”-real Native American performers Cody had recruited from several tribes. Even the famous Sitting Bull toured with the show for one season. Enthralled by the site of “genuine” Indians, few audience members questioned whether these men wearing immense feathered headdresses and riding artfully painted horses accurately represented tribal life on the Great Plains.

Having effectively defined the popular image of the West for many Americans, Cody took his show across the Atlantic to show Europeans. He staged his first international performance at the Earls Court show ground in London on this day in 1887 to a wildly appreciative audience. Queen Victoria herself attended two command showings. After London, Cody and his performers amazed audiences throughout Europe and then became a truly international success. One bronco rider, who stayed with the show until 1907, traveled around the world more than three times and recalled giving a performance in Outer Mongolia.

Though his Wild West show waned in popularity in the 20th century-in part because of competition from thousands of local rodeos that borrowed his idea-Cody remained on the road with the show for 30 years. When the show finally collapsed from financial pressures in 1913, Cody continued to perform in other similar shows until two months before his death in 1917. More than 18,000 attended the great showman’s funeral, and the romantic power of his vision still draws thousands of visitors a year to his gravesite on Lookout Mountain above Denver.

Sources :

Scott Seeburger, Tim McCoy : Man of Action, Michigan History, March/April 2016, p. 48

This Day in History,

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show article, from the American Experience.