Among Michigan first ladies, Helen Milliken set the modern standard. Dignified, stylish, and deferential to her husband, former Gov. William Milliken. But she also was outspoken, passionate and unyielding.
Helen Milliken is perhaps best remembered as Michigan’s leading proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ERA, which would have banned discrimination based on gender and authorized Congress to adopt laws enforcing it, came close to passage (it was approved by Congress and 35 of the needed 38 states, including Michigan).
For the full article, see Dawson Bell, Kathleen Gray and Bill Laitne, “Helen Milliken, former Michigan first lady, dies at 89”, Detroit Free Press, November 16, 2012.