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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Michigan: Wolverine

This Day in History: January 26, 1837

Michigan is the Great Lakes State.
 "Michigan, handsome as a well made woman, and dressed and jeweled. It seemed to me that the earth was generous and outgoing here in the heartland, and, perhaps, its people took a cue from it." ~John Steinbeck
The official nickname for Michigan is the Great Lakes State. By tradition, Michigan is referred to as the Wolverine State. Michigan's state motto is: "Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice" which is Latin for "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."
Sidenote: Why the Wolverine State when such a vicious beast is extremely rare in Michigan? In fact, a sighting in February 2004 near Ubly was the first confirmed sighting in Michigan in 200 years. The animal was found dead in 2010. Click The Origin of the Nickname 'Wolverines', that little beast of demonic fury and destruction, that tireless scrap of incessant courage, for one account!

Michigan joined the union on January 26, 1837 as the 26th state. Michigan is unique among the states in being divided into two land masses known as the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula. The Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan's upper peninsula to the rest of the state, spans five miles and is one of the world's longest suspension bridges. Michigan is also the only state to touch four of the five Great LakesDetroit, the state's largest city, is the home of the American auto industry and is the birthplace of Motown Records.
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States.
Michigan State Flag

Michigan's official flag was adopted by the Legislature in 1911 with a simple description: The State Flag shall be blue charged with the arms of the State (the state coat of arms appears on both sides of the flag). Animal symbols: Moose and Elk represent Michigan, the bald eagle signifies the United States.

The robin was designated the official state bird of Michigan in 1931 after an election held by the Michigan Audubon Society. The legislation noted that "the robin redbreast is the best known and best loved of all the birds in the state of Michigan." The robin is also the state bird of Connecticut and Wisconsin.
White-tailed deer - photo by Moxfyre on Wikipedia 
Michigan designated the white-tailed deer as official state game animal in 1997. Zeeland fourth-graders campaigned to include the white-tailed deer among Michigan's official state symbols.
Apple tree in full blossom - public domain image on Wikipedia.
Michigan designated the apple blossom as official state flower in 1897. The apple blossom is also the state flower of Arkansas. There are, probably, nearly 1000 varieties of Apple blossom cultivated in the United States, and all of which are said to be derived from the Wild crab (Pyrus coronaria, Linn).

"Michigan, My Michigan" is a popular anthem in the State of Michigan, and erroneously believed by many to be Michigan's official state song. The actual state song, "My Michigan", was formally adopted in 1937 but remains relatively obscure, due in part to the misconception that the official song is "Michigan, My Michigan".
Winifred Lee Brent Lyster of Detroit wrote the original 1862 lyrics of "Michigan, My Michigan" to the tune of "O Tannenbaum" (known in English as "O Christmas Tree"). Major James W. Long of Grand Rapids wrote new lyrics in 1886 but kept the original tune and original Civil War sentiment. In 1902, Douglas Malloch wrote the current lyrics for a convention of the Michigan State Federation of Woman's Clubs in Muskegon. The lyrics to two versions of the song, 1886 and 1902, can be found HERE.

Wolverine on Rocky Terrain
Source: en.wikipedia.org
Vicious, bloodthirsty 
Wolverine, wolverine
 Why o' why Michigan
Where you're rarely seen

Wildlife biologist Arnie Karr was able to photograph the wolverine,
a member of the weasel family, as it ran out of the woods and across a field
(2/2004). Photo credit: Arnie Karr  /  DNR via AP
Michigan, o' Michigan
Resolute and strong
Are those of the traits
Which you both belong?

Is this perhaps the same wolverine seen by Arnie Karr?
Read Jeff Ford's remarkable story!
Perhaps it is history
The Toledo War
The will to survive
Fearless for sure

Michigan, o' Michigan
Like the wolverine
Tenacious, action packed
 Ready on the scene

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults

Michigan Facts and Trivia

ADDED BONUS: Most people today don't know the fascinating details of one Michiganian's rise to fame and fortune. He was a man deemed most unlikely to become one of the wealthiest Americans of the century, called "dim-witted" by his teachers, failing to even sell brooms. Because of people like him, Michiganians, or anyone for that matter, should never underestimate how much good can be accomplished by a single person, any person, with an idea and the freedom to try it out.

To whom am I referring? Visit Awakenings tomorrow for a glimpse into the man, his ambitions and accomplishments! OR Click HERE!


Next state by month: #34 Kansas - Jan 29, 1861