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Crazy Laws in Michigan and Fun Facts Part One
Crazy Laws in the State of Michigan
Do you know about the crazy Michigan law that approves weapons for teenagers?
How about the crazy law concerning drunks on trains? Or the rights of robbers who invade your home?
Prepare to be surprised and amazed when you read all about those and the other crazy laws currently in the state of Michigan. Part Two will follow with the 13 crazy laws still on the books in the cities of Michigan.
• Persons may not be drunk on trains.
How do you drink a person?
(I apologize – I couldn’t help myself.)
• The last Sunday in June of every year has officially been named Log Cabin Day.
This holiday is celebrated by log cabin home owners spending the day at a log cabin and having a feast the rustic way. If you don't own a log cabin, you can rent one at many state parks.
Does the rustic way mean rubbing two sticks together to start a fire? Just wonderin’.
• You may not swear in front of women and children.
Not to worry. You can now curse all you like. This law was repealed in 2002.
A Roseville citizen cussed like crazy when he fell out of his canoe. He was convicted in 1999 under this law on the books since 1897 prohibiting ‘indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child.’
In 2002, the conviction was overturned by the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the law was repealed. Just thought you would like to know.
• It is legal for a robber to file a law suit, if he or she got hurt in your house.
Teach your watchdog to leave the robber alone… if he sues, you may need to take out a loan.
• Any person over the age of 12 may have a license for a handgun as long as he/she has not been convicted of a felony.
Attention: parents! Do not aggravate your teens. They may be armed!
• A woman is not allowed to cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.
That must have been a helluva haircut that was so devastating it provoked this crazy law.
Question for you: What do you think?
Could this be the kind of haircut that provoked that crazy law? Just wonderin'.
• It is a misdemeanor to ‘contumeliously reproach’ God.
Willful blasphemy may well be unsound. You could be treading on dangerous ground.
Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Michigan
• Sault Ste. Marie, founded by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668, is the first European settlement in the Midwest.
• Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas.
The Lower Peninsula resembles a mitten. Many residents hold up a hand to depict where they are from.
• The Upper Peninsula (the ‘U.P.’) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan.
Speaking of the U.P., the people that live in the Upper Peninsula are called ‘Yoopers’ and are proud of it.
The people that live below the bridge are called ‘trolls.'
• The Mackinac Bridge which connects the two peninsulas is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, took 3 years to complete, and was opened to traffic in 1957.
• A person from Michigan is called a Michigander or sometimes, a Michiganian.
• Michigan's Motto is 'Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice’ … if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.
• The name, Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwe word, ‘mishigamaa,’ meaning ‘large water’ or ‘large lake.’ The Ojibwe are also known as Chippewa.
• The University of Michigan, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, is the state's oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837.
• Famous UM grads include Scopes trial defense attorney, Clarence Darrow; Swedish diplomat-turned-Holocaust-hero, Raoul Wallenberg; actor James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader); material girl, Madonna; and former president, Gerald R. Ford.
The Saugatuck Chain Ferry
• The Saugatuck Chain Ferry, built in 1838, is a hand-cranked vessel that takes tourists from the town side of the river to the other shore for a walk to the beach, the historical museum or to climb the stairs at Mt. Baldhead.
• Michigan State University in East Lansing was founded in 1855 as the nation's first land-grant university.
It served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first agricultural college in the U.S.
• The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory is located at MSU.
• MSU's illustrious alumni include the famously missing former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, actor Robert Urich, director Sam Raimi. and NBA superstar Magic Johnson.
• Little Caesars, the third largest pizza chain in the U.S., was founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1959 in a strip mall in Garden City.
There are now restaurants in all 50 states and new headquarters are to be built in downtown Detroit.
• Traverse City is the tart cherry capital of the world, and hosts the week-long National Cherry Festival each July attracting more than half a million visitors.
• Domino’s Pizza, the second largest pizza chain in the U.S., was founded by Tom and James Monaghan in 1960 in Ypsilanti.
The company now is simply known as Domino’s with headquarters near Ann Arbor. It is the largest pizza chain worldwide with more than 10,000 locations.
• Michigan is a leading grower of fruit in the U.S. including cherries, blueberries, apples, grapes, and peaches as well as plums, pears, and strawberries.
• Seul Choix (‘only choice’ in French) Point Lighthouse near Gulliver has been guiding ships since 1895.
The working light also functions as a museum, which houses early 1900s furnishings and maritime artifacts.
• Michigan has152 lighthouses, the most of any U.S. state. The first lighthouse, Fort Gratiot Light, was erected in 1825 and is still active.
• The first state capitol was located in Detroit, the original capital of Michigan, and was relocated to Lansing in 1847.
The present state Capitol with its majestic dome was built in Lansing in l879. The structure cost $1,510,130 – more than 24 million dollars today.
• Michigan has Paradise in Whitefish Township in Chippewa County, and Paradise Township in Grand Traverse County. It also boasts Eden Township in Mason County, and Eden Township in Lake County.
• But it also has Hell in Putnam Township in Livingston County. George Reeves, the founder of Hell, was a very creative entrepreneur. He built a thriving tavern and distillery in Hell in 1841.
When tax collectors came to Hell to assess his operation, Reeves and his customers hid the whiskey by filling barrels and sinking them to the bottom of the millpond. When the government agents left the area, the barrels were hauled back to the surface with ropes.
• Vernors ginger ale was created in Detroit and is the oldest surviving ginger ale sold in the U.S. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to fight in the Civil War. When he returned, 4 years later, the drink he had stored in an oaken cask had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.
• A Boston Cooler is typically composed of Vernors ginger ale and vanilla ice cream. No one appears to know how it got that name.
Note: If you drop your scoop of vanilla ice cream in root beer, you have a brown cow … also known as a black cow.
• Faygo Beverages was founded in Detroit in 1907 by the Feigenson brothers originally from Russia. Their first three flavors were grape, strawberry and fruit punch. Today, Faygo Moon Mist is a popular seller.
• Henry Ford, born in Greenfield Township, founded the Ford Motor Company in 1901.
The Model T was introduced on October 1, 1908. It had the steering wheel on the left, which every other company soon copied.
The entire engine and transmission were enclosed; the four cylinders were cast in a solid block; the suspension used two semi-elliptic springs.
The car was very simple to drive, easy and cheap to repair, and affordable at $825 in 1908 ($21,650 in today’s dollars).
• The Packard Motor Car Company was founded in Warren in 1899 by brothers, James and William Packard, and was the first automobile manufacturer to offer an air conditioning unit in its cars in 1939.
• By 1957, Packards which had outsold Cadillacs, were no longer assembled at the Detroit plant. Their designs and tooling were sold to buyers around the world. For decades they continued to be built in Russia under the ZIL and ZIM names, catering to elite Communist buyers.
• The Michigan Dogman is a kind of werewolf-type beast described as having a man’s body and a dog’s head. It was first spotted in Wexford County in 1887.
In 1938 in Paris (Michigan), Robert Fortney was attacked by five wild dogs and said that one of the five walked on two legs.
• The Kellogg Company was founded in 1906 in Battle Creek (the ‘Cereal City’) by Will Keith Kellogg whose brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, invented cold breakfast cereal as an alternative to traditional meat-based breakfasts.
W.K. Kellogg was the first to introduce prizes in boxes of cereal. The first premium offered was ‘The Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Book.’
• The Ella Ellenwood, a schooner that transported lumber from Montague to Milwaukee, went down in a storm in 1901.
The ship was not recovered, but its wooden nameplate did manage to float back to Montague all by itself a year later.
• Montague also claims to have the largest standard-design weather vane – a ship and arrow which measures 48 feet tall with an arrow 26 feet long.
• Oscoda claims to be the official hometown of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack in American folklore, as the first published story about him appeared in the Oscoda Press in 1906.
• Ossineke has a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and a neutered Babe, his blue ox. The statue was moved from its original site in Spruce. Paul weighs 11 ½ tons; Babe weighs 4 ½ tons.
Speaking of giant statues, note the size of the tourists at Paul's feet.
Here is another Michigan law: It is a misdemeanor to deface or climb on Paul Bunyan or Babe.
• The Giant Tire was created by the Uniroyal Tire Company for the 1964 New York World’s Fair where it functioned as a Ferris wheel. Since 1966, it has been located on Interstate 94 near Detroit Metro Airport.
The world’s largest tire is 8 stories tall and weighs 12 tons.
• The nation's first mile of concrete roadway was laid along Woodward Avenue in 1909 between Six Mile and Seven Mile roads in Detroit. This section of street cost $14,000 (equivalent to more than $2,000,000 today.)
• The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel completed in 1930 is an automobile highway tunnel connecting Detroit in the U.S. with Windsor, Ontario in Canada. Total cost was approximately $25 million U.S.
• The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cage-less and open exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom to roam.
• The Detroit metro area sits atop a gigantic salt mine located 1,100 feet below the city. Most of the salt from the mine which opened in 1910 is used to de-ice roads.
• Benton Harbor is the poorest city in Michigan, with a per capita income of $8,965, while Barton Hills is the richest with a per capita income of $110,683.
State flower – Apple blossom
State wildflower – Dwarf Lake iris
State tree – White pine
State fossil – Mastodon
State stone – Petoskey stone (composed of fossilized coral)
State gem – Isle Royale greenstone (found on Isle Royale and Keweenaw peninsula)
State soil – Kalkaska sand
State song – ‘My Michigan’
State nicknames – The Wolverine State, The Great Lakes State, The Mitten State
State bird – American robin
State animal – Wolverine
State game animal – White-tailed deer
State fish – Brook trout
State reptile – Painted turtle
More Fun Facts
• The Michigan Underwater Preserves are 12 underwater areas where wrecks are protected for the benefit of sport divers.
• Nancy Fleming of Montague was Miss America 1961.
• Grand Haven is famous for its ‘singing sand’ beaches, which make a whistling sound when you walk on them.
• The Cross in the Woods Catholic shrine in Indian River has a 31-foot high crucifix, the largest one in the world.
• Michigan is the third leading grower of Christmas trees with 60,520 acres of land dedicated to Christmas tree farming.
• Four flags have flown over Michigan - French, English, Spanish and United States.
• Michigan is the only state that abuts four of the five Great Lakes: Huron, Michigan, Erie and Superior.
Favorite Henry Ford quote: "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."
Be on the lookout for Part Two - "Crazy Laws in the Cities of Michigan" and more fun facts.
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."