(WOOD) – Tuesday is a big day for the Great Lakes state.
Michigan became the nation’s 26th state on Jan. 26, 1837.
In honor of the state’s 179th birthday, here are five interesting facts about Michigan:
Which way to the Orient? Looking for the fabled “northwest passage” to the Orient, European explorer Etienne Brule discovered Sault Ste. Marie in 1618. It became Michigan’s first settlement in 1668 under Father Jacques Marquette. Father Marquette died in Ludington seven years later.
Before the Edmund Fitzgerald, there was the Griffon. Lake Michigan claimed its first ship, the Griffon, in a 1679 storm. The shipwreck has never been found. Michigan’s Great Lakes are now home to thousands of shipwrecks.
Finally on the map. The known first time “Michigan” was printed on a map is 1681.
Lansing wasn’t Michigan’s first capital. Detroit became the first designated capital when Michigan became a territory in 1805. That same year, Detroit was destroyed by fire. Lansing became Michigan’s permanent capital in 1847.
Before it was Michigan, it was Michigania. Michigan’s first university, the University of Michigania, became incorporated in 1817. The University of Michigan reorganized and began offering college courses in Ann Arbor in 1841.