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Crazy Laws in the Cities of Michigan and Fun Facts Part Two
Were you amazed to read about those crazy Michigan state laws in Part One about teenagers and handguns ... drunks on trains ... house robbers?
Then prepare to be astonished again when you read the craziest law about farmers and their lovable livestock, and 12 more strange, weird laws in the cities of Michigan.
Crazy Laws in the Cities of Michigan
• In Clawson – there is a law that makes it legal for a farmer to sleep with his pigs,
and his chickens.
With his chickens?
I would really like to interview the legislator who initiated this cock-eyed law.
• In Detroit – security guards at the Joe Louis Arena will confiscate any item that they feel might be thrown onto the ice.
Do you know what citizens were tossing onto the ice? Dead octopi!
The first octopus was tossed on the ice on April 15, 1952, during the Red Wings' (hockey team) Stanley Cup playoff run.
Devoted fans of the team, brothers Pete and Jerry Cusimano, tossed it onto the ice during the game. The Wings won the Cup that year, and since then, octopi have made periodic appearances on the ice in the stadium.
• No person shall sell as new any article of bedding unless it is made from all new material and a label is securely attached to the outside covering.
This may have an adverse impact on Craigslist sales.
• It is illegal to let your pig run free in Detroit unless it has a ring in its nose.
Do you think that refers to an engagement ring? (See Clawson law)
• Couples are banned from making love in an automobile unless the act takes place while the vehicle is parked on the couple’s own property.
Every voyeur in town must be on the waiting list to join the public safety department that monitors this activity.
• Willfully destroying your old radio is prohibited.
What’s a radio? Can you watch it? Just kidding.
• In Flint – the city passed a law in 2008 that gave police the authority to arrest anyone whose pants sagged so low as to expose their undies or bare bottoms.
That ‘droopy drawers’ law may aggravate certain members of the Plumber’s Union.
• In Grand Haven – no person shall throw an abandoned hoop skirt into any street or on any sidewalk, under penalty of a five-dollar fine for each offense.
What? Women are still wearing hoop skirts in Grand Haven? Who knew?
• In Harper Woods – it is illegal to paint sparrows to sell them as parakeets.
Were some Harper Woodsians really doing that?
• In Rochester – all bathing suits must have been inspected by the head of police.
Inspected for what?
• In Kalamazoo – it is against the law to serenade your girlfriend.
I suspect that tone-deaf ‘serenaders’ are responsible for this law.
• In Soo – Smoking while in bed is illegal.
… and VERY dangerous.
• In Wayland – anyone can keep their cow on Main Street downtown at a cost of 3 cents per day.
Be warned, you know what they say: “How can you keep them down on the farm once they have seen Paree – I mean, Main Street.”
Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Michigan
• The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is located at the Whitefish Point Light Station which was built in 1848.
Its stone tower was replaced with a steel tower by order of President Lincoln in 1861.
• In 1942, we learned to spell ‘Kalamazoo’ when the Glenn Miller song, ‘I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo,’ hit the top of the charts.
• The Kalamazoo Mall, opened in 1959, was the first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall in the U.S.
Today, T-shirts are sold in Kalamazoo with the phrase: ‘Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo.’
• Kalamazoo was also the original home of Gibson Guitars founded in 1902
A budget model produced in the ’60s and ’70s was called the Kalamazoo.
• Speaking of Kalamazoo,Climax is a village in Kalamazoo County, population about 800, settled in 1838. How did it get its name? When a fellow named Daniel Eldred first visited, he said, ‘This (place) caps the climax.’
• Hamtramck has an annual Paczki Day celebration devoted to the greater glory of this Polish version of a jelly doughnut. Paczki are made from especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugar, yeast and sometimes milk.
They feature a variety of fruit and cream fillings and can be glazed, or covered with powdered sugar.
• The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island on Lake Huron is a historic hotel and coastal resort built in the late 19th century that advertises the ‘world’s largest porch.’
Famous guests have included five U.S. presidents, Vladimir Putin, Thomas Edison and Mark Twain.
• Mackinac Island has prohibited private automobiles since 1898 except for snowmobiles during winter and emergency vehicles. You can travel on the island by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage.
• Lilacs thrive on the island and residents have celebrated the lilacs with an annual 10-day festival since 1949.
• Michigan is often called the ‘Wolverine State’ but few wolverines can be found in the state today.
Oh, wait, there is the Wolverine Wildcat – a wooden roller coaster at Michigan’s Adventure, an amusement park near Muskegon.
• Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and became the 38th president of the U.S.
He attended the University of Michigan where he was a defensive football star.
He served on a World War II aircraft carrier and afterward represented Michigan in Congress for 24 years.
Ford is buried with his wife, Betty, at the Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.
• The furniture industry got its start in Grand Rapids (nicknamed the ‘Furniture City’) in the second half of the 19th century, thanks to the nearby source of lumber. Today, Grand Rapids is home to five of the world's leading office furniture companies.
• Grand Rapids is home to the 24-foot replica of the Leonardo da Vinci horse, ‘Il Cavallo,’ the largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.
• Hygrade Food Products is the exclusive supplier of hot dogs to the Detroit Tigers Stadium. They launched a contest in 1959 for their employees to come up with the best brand name for their hot dogs.
Mary Ann Kurk, salesperson, won the contest with the name, ‘Ball Park Franks.’ She won a leather living room chair and a cash prize of $25 (worth $202 today).
• Hebrew National, which produces hot dogs and sausages, moved to Indianapolis in 1989. In 2005, operations were consolidated with ConAgra and located in Quincy.
'You Are the Sunshine of My Life' - 1973
Stevland Hardaway Judkins Morris, born in 1950 in Saginaw, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.
Stevland was a child prodigy who signed his first record contract with Motown Records when he was eleven years old in 1961. He has sold over 100 million records. So far.
You probably know him by his stage name, Stevie Wonder.
• Michigan ranks first in the nation in licensed hunters (over one million) who contribute $2 billion annually to its economy.
Over three-quarters of a million hunters participate in white-tailed deer season alone.
• Michigan has the largest state park and state forest system of any state with 78 state parks, 19 state recreation areas, and 6 state forests.
• Isle Royale, the largest island in Lake Superior, shelters one of the largest remaining moose herds in the U.S.
• Michigan also has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds.
You are never more than six miles from a natural water source or more than 85 miles from a Great Lakes shoreline.
• Sault Ste. Marie is the home of the Soo Locks and the Sault Ste.Marie International Bridge.
The locks on the St. Marys River enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes between the Upper Peninsula and Ontario.
They bypass the river’s rapids where the water falls 21 feet.
An average of 10,000 ships each year passes through the locks.
• Holland is the home of the Tulip Time Festival which began in 1930 when 250,000 tulips were planted for the event.
About one million visitors attend the May event each year.
• Colon (no, not that colon) is named after Colon, Panama.
It is the former home and burial site of the famous magician, Harry Blackstone, Sr., and calls itself the ‘Magic Capital of the World.’
It is also home to several magic supply manufacturers: Abbott Magic Company, Sterlini Magic Mfg. Company and FAB Magic – all well known to magicians.
• Speaking of well-known magicians, Harry Houdini, who performed in Detroit numerous times, died there in Grace Hospital on Halloween in 1926 at the age of 52. The diagnosis was peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix.
• The J.W. Westcott II, established in 1895, is the only floating post office (boat) in the world that delivers mail to ships as they are underway.
• Speaking of shipping, the Shatila Bakery in Dearborn has some of the tastiest baklava produced in the U.S., and will ship massive trays of their gooey, pistachio-laced products almost anywhere.
Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of flaky dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.
• Speaking of delicious food . . . you can get the best pastrami sandwich of your life at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor according to the ‘The New York Times.’
• Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland is a retail store in Frankenmuth that is the ‘World's Largest Christmas Store.’
How large is it? One and a half football fields in length.
Founded in 1945 by Wally Bronner, it is visited annually by over two million shoppers. The capitalization is Wally’s creation.
• As a horse-and-wagon salesman, Hamilton Carhartt of Dearborn started his company in 1889 selling five-and-dime goods.
Today, a work-clothing dynasty, Carhartt , headquartered in Detroit, is a global company with 800 products and a retail network that includes corporate-owned stores and hundreds of retailers.
The leading actors in the movie, 'Interstellar' (2014), wear Carhartt jackets. Who am I talkin' about? Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway.
• The western shore of Michigan has many sand dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes rise 460 feet above Lake Michigan.
How did the Dunes get their name?
According to a Chippewa legend, a fire drove a mother bear and her two cubs into the lake to escape. After several miles of swimming, the cubs lagged behind.
The mother bear reached the shore exhausted and waited for her cubs who, unfortunately, had drowned. The winds buried the sleeping bear where she still waits.
Jackson 5 - Ed Sullivan show - 1969
More Fun Facts
• Detroit has been home to some of the most influential musicians ever: Diana Ross, the Temptations, Smoky Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and the Jackson 5, among others.
• The two-day weekend has its origins in the Michigan labor movement. Henry Ford gave his workers two days off back in the early 1900s, even though the federal government didn’t mandate the 40-hour work-week until 1938.
• Michigan Limestone, founded in 1910, operates the world's largest open pit limestone quarry located in Rogers City. The limestone produced is almost pure white as well as high quality.
• The Simplicity Pattern Company manufactures sewing pattern guides for people who enjoy sewing fashionable garments themselves at home. The guides have been manufactured in Niles since 1931.
• Michigan’s total of more than 81 beer makers ranks fifth nationally with several more planned to open this year.
• The Upper Michigan Copper Country has the largest commercial deposits of native copper in the world.
• The Thomas M. Cooley Law School of Western Michigan University is the largest law school in the nation. The main campus is located in downtown Lansing with satellites in Grand Rapids, Auburn Hills, and Kalamazoo. (As well as Tampa, FL)
Would you like to attend? The total cost of a debt-financed attendance for three years is estimated to be only $258,232. That includes the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses.
Did you know that 4 out of 5 Great Lakes prefer Michigan? True!
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."