Michigan - Fast Facts & Trivia

Packard Automotive Plant, an automobile factory that was closed and abandoned in 1958

  • The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to have cage-free, open-air exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom of movement.

  • Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office. The J.W. Westcott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while they are still on the move. They have been in operation for 125 years.

  • Indian River is home to the largest crucifix in the world. It's called the cross in the forest.

  • Michigan has the longest freshwater coast in the world.

  • Michigan has more coastline than any other state except Alaska.

  • The Ambassador Bridge was named by Joseph Bower, the person commissioned to build the bridge, who considered the name "Detroit-Windsor International Bridge" too long and emotionally unattractive. Bower wanted to "symbolize the visible expression of the friendship of two peoples with similar ideas and ideals".

  • Michigan has more than 11,000 lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.

  • Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigation lights.

  • The lighthouse of Seul Choix Point in Gulliver has been directing ships since 1895. The work light also functions as a museum displaying furnishings from the early 20th century and maritime artifacts.

  • Forty of the state's 83 counties border at least one of the Great Lakes. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five major lakes.

  • Across the country, one person stands within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.

  • Michigan covers 56,954 square miles of land area; 1.94 square miles of inland waters; and 38,575 square miles of Great Area Waters.

  • Sault Ste. Marie was founded in 1668, making it the oldest city between the Alleghenies and the Rocky Mountains.

  • Michigan was the first state to include public libraries in its constitution.

  • Michigan was the first state to guarantee every child the right to paid education.

  • Four flags flew over Michigan - French, English, Spanish and US.

  • Isle Royal Park is home to one of the largest moose herds in the United States.

  • Some of the longest bulk carriers in the world operate on the Great Lakes. Ore Carrier sail for 1,000 feet long Michigan inland seas.

  • Upper Michigan's Copper Land is the largest commercial deposit of domestic copper in the world.

  • The 19 chandeliers in the Capitol in Lansing are unique and designed specifically for the building of Tiffany's from New York. They weigh between 100-900 pounds and consist of copper, iron and tin.

  • The first traffic tunnel between two nations was the kilometer-long Detroit Windsor Tunnel under the Detroit River.

  • The world's first international submarine tunnel was opened in 1891 between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

  • The nation's first regular passenger service began in 1926 between Grand Rapids and Detroit.

  • In 1879, telephone retailers in Detroit were the first in the nation to assign phone numbers to facilitate call handling.

  • In 1929, the Michigan State Police established the world's first state police radio system.

  • Grand Rapids is home to the 24-foot Leonardo da Vinci horse, called Il Gavallo, it is the largest horse-drawn bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.

  • Detroit is known as the automobile capital of the world.

  • Alpena is home to the largest cement plant in the world.

  • Rogers City has the largest limestone quarry in the world.

  • Elsie is home to the world's largest registered Holstein dairy herd.

  • Michigan is the first in the United States producing peat and magnesium compounds and secondly in gypsum and iron ore.

  • Colon is home to the world's largest production of magical supplies.

  • The State Capitol with its majestic dome was built in 1879 in Lansing.

  • Although Michigan is often referred to as the "Wolverine State," there are no Wolverines left in Michigan.

  • Michigan ranks first in government boat registrations.

  • The Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit made the first air-conditioned car in 1939.

  • The oldest district (Way of Incorporation) is Wayne in 1815.

  • Sault Ste. Marie was founded in 1668 by Father Jacques Marquette. It is the third oldest surviving settlement in the United States.

  • In 1817, the University of Michigan was the first university founded by any of the states. Originally called Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit, the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.

  • The city of Novi was named by its name as Stagecoach Stop # 6 or No.VI.

  • Michigan State University has the largest single campus student body of any University of Michigan. It is the largest university in the country and one of the largest universities in the country.

  • Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the country's first Land Grant University and served as the prototype for 69 land grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher education in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.

  • The largest village in Michigan is Caro.

  • Michigan State Stone, The Petoskey is the official state stone. It is found along the shores of Lake Michigan.

  • The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. It connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan and stretches for 5 miles across the Strait of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac lasted for 3 years and was released for traffic in 1957.

  • Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and became the 38th President of the United States. He attended the University of Michigan, where he was a football star. He served on a World War II aircraft carrier and then represented Michigan in Congress for 24 years. He was also an Eagle Scout, the highest ranked boy scouts.

  • The Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the grain capital of the world. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process of producing cereal flake products and triggered the onset of the dry meal industry.

  • The painted turtle is Michigan state reptile.

  • The western shore of Michigan has many sand dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes rise 460 feet above Lake Michigan. Between the dunes lives the Zwergsee Iris, the official state wildflower.

  • Vernors Ginger Ale was made in Detroit and became the first US made lemonade. In 1862, the pharmacist James Vernor tried to create a new drink when he was called away to serve our country in the Civil War. When he returned four years later, the drink he kept in an oak box had a delicious gingery flavor.

  • The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to have cage-free, open-air exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom of movement.

Michigan Fast Facts & Trivia . Michigan Fast Facts & Trivia