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Michigan

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General background about this state


Michigan Flag     Michigan Great Seal


MICHIGAN


Cities
  Ann Arbor
  Battle Creek
  Dearborn
  Detroit
  Flint
  Grand Rapids
  Kalamazoo
  Lansing
  Lincoln Park
  Saginaw
  Warren





Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is often noted to be shaped like a mitten.

  • ABBREVIATION: MI
  • NICKNAME: The Wolverine State
  • POPULATION: 9,895,622 (2013 est.)
  • CAPITAL: Lansing
  • STATE BIRD: American Robin
  • STATE FLOWER: Apple Blossom
  • AREA: 96,716 sq. mi.
  • TIME ZONE: Most of state: Eastern, - 4 U.P. counties: Central
  • ENTERED UNION: Jan. 26, 1837
  • ALTITUDE: High, 1,979 ft. Mount Arvon
  • CLIMATE: Cold snowy winters, mild summers; adequate rainfall.

 

The state the Algonquin Indian's called "Michi Gama", "land of the great water", is divided by Lake Michigan into two great peninsulas which face each other across the narrow straits of Mackinac. The lower peninsula forms the "Michigan Mitten"-a land of wooded hills and resorts to the north, of fruit and dairy farms to the south, dotted with cities whose very names now evoke the industries there. Detroit is, of course, automobiles, just as Battle Creek is breakfast cereals and Grand Rapids is furniture. Less well known are Fremont, the nations number one producer of baby foods (Gerber Foods); Grayling, which made archery equipment, and Muskegon for its billiard tables and bowling equipment (Brunswick).

The Upper Peninsula, once rich in copper and iron, is a lovely wooded land with boisterous rivers hastening to the Great Lakes. Its widely scattered towns are thinly populated, but its trout streams, its game, and scenic beauty lure thousands of sportsmen and tourists to the area each year. The Upper Peninsula provided the locale for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's familiar poem, "The Song of Hiawatha".

The Pointe Mouillee State Game Area
Pointe Mouillee near Detroit, Michigan

Some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, glaciers laid down the pattern of the Great Lakes and created the state's 3,100 miles of coastline, over 11,000 inland lakes 5 acres in size or larger (one is never more than 6 miles from an inland lake), and 35,500 miles of streams and rivers. In addition to being valuable ecological resources, lakes provide aesthetic and recreational value for the people of Michigan and neighboring states. The Great Lakes contain nearly 20% of the earth's fresh water.

 

FUN FACTS:

  • Michigan's unique location on the Great Lakes gives it a range of climates for growing a variety of farm products. It is second only to California in crop diversity.
  • The largest registered Holstein herd of dairy cows lives in a town called Elsie.
  • Isle Royale was designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980. The wolf/moose predator-prey study conducted there is the longest running such study in the world.
  • Although Michigan is sometimes known as the Wolverine State because of the many wolverine pelts traded by early trappers, none of these animals are left in the state.
  • The first tunnel that allowed motor vehicles to travel between two countries connects Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, in Canada.
  • James Vernor created the first soda pop made in the United States when he stored a beverage in an oak case. When he returned home from the Civil war, 4 years later, the drink had acquired a delicious gingery flavor. He created ginger ale.

 

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