August 1, 1928
The Detroit Zoological Park, with its barless exhibits opened.
August 1, 1929
Eight Eagle Scouts boarded a Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company boat for a trip to Mackinac Island. They were the first of thousands of scouts to serve as guides and honor guards at Fort Mackinac.
August 3, 1863
Streetcars pulled by horses are first used on Jefferson and Woodward Avenues. A ride cost 5 cents.
August 4, 1929
The Water Lily, a small passenger ferry started operating from Copper Harbor to Isle Royale. This was the first regular service from Michigan. Prior to this visitors came from Minnesota or Ontario. Isle Royal National Park was authorized in 1931.
August 6, 1945
In the first recorded University of Michigan graduation ceremony, 11 men received bachelor-of-arts degrees at the Ann Arbor Presbyterian Church.
August 7, 1926
Grand River Avenue was opened to traffic as the first paved road across the state. Much of the work between Lansing and Farmington was done with prison labor.
August 8, 1933
Colleges of the City of Detroit, later Wayne State University, was organized.
August 8, 1970
200,000 rock fans gather at Goose Lake in Michigan’s “Woodstock.” Many of the young attendees went hungry when the free food tent ran out of food.
August 8, 1978
Former President Gerald Ford dedicated the Ford Freeway, a 79-mile segment of I-196 between St. Joseph and Grand Rapids. When Ford an alumni of the University of Michigan lifted the U of M flag covering the road sign, he found that a green and white Michigan State flag still covered the sign.
August 9, 1975
Grand Rapids resident Gerald R. Ford became President of the United States when Richard Nixon resigned to avoid being impeached for his role in trying to cover-up the Watergate burglary. Ford had been appointed vice-president when Spiro Agnew resigned in a bribery scandal so he was the only person to become president without being elected to a national office.
August 11, 1971
In an operation at Detroit’s Mount Sinai Hospital, Haskell Shanks became the first American to receive a mechanical heart pump.
August 13, 1817
President James Monroe visits Detroit, the first U.S. President to do so. Monroe city and county are named in his honor.
August 13, 1867
The Detroit Baseball Club hosted the “World’s Tournament of Baseball.” The tournament lasted eight days and drew teams from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Canada. The Jackson Unknowns defeated the Allegheny Club of Pennsylvania to win the title.
August 13, 1988
The Palace of Auburn Hills opened.
August 14, 1959
Retired basketball player Earvin “Magic” Johnson was born in Lansing.
August 15, 1885
American novelist Edna Ferber was born in Kalamazoo.
August 15, 1960
Cobo Hall in Detroit was officially opened.
August 16, 1958
Singer Madonna (Louise Veronica Ciccone) was born in Bay City.
August 17, 1923
Henry Ford’s yacht, Sailia, arrived at Escanaba carrying Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison for a camping trip in the Upper Peninsula. During the trip Firestone tested the first balloon tires.
August 17, 1980
Al Kaline became the first Detroit Tiger to have his uniform number (#6) retired.
August 18, 1961
Robert Warren “Bob” Woodruff actor and writer, known for China Inside Out: Bob Woodruff Reports (2008), Good Morning America (1975). Was born in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
August 19, 1951
Owner of the St. Louis Browns, baseball entrepreneur, Bill Veeck sent a midget, 3’ 7” Eddie Gaedell, in to bat against the Detroit Tigers. He walked on 4 pitches. Major league baseball quickly passed a rule that all players had to be at least 4’ 8” tall.
August 21, 1984
Railroad carferry service between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas was terminated. The Chief Wawatam was the last hand-fired coal burning boat on the Great Lakes.
August 21, 2003
A massive power failure starting in Ohio struck much of the eastern United States and Canada. Parts of Michigan including Detroit were without electrical power for three days.
August 23, 1975
62,094 football fans watched the Detroit Lions beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first game played in the Pontiac Silverdome.
August 24, 1915
The state began paying a bounty of 5 cents apiece for dead rats.