History

Michigan Dates in History - April

Contributor: Trish Stroh

From Michigan becoming the first state to repeal federal prohibition to the designation of the robin as our official state bird — April is full interesting anniversaries and memories for the Great Lakes State. How many of these did you know?

 

April 1, 1906

The state’s first yellow-pages directory was issued by the Michigan State Telephone Company in Detroit.

 

April 2, 1875

Walter P. Chrysler’s birth date. Founder of Chrysler Automobile Company.

 

April 2, 1881

Grand Opening of J.L. Hudson’s men and boy’s clothing store in the Detroit Opera House. At start of the Great Depression Hudson’s with its 25 story building was the third largest department store in the country.

 

April 3, 1933

Michigan became the first state to repeal federal prohibition.

 

April 3, 1940

Isle Royale established.

 

April 4, 1825

Detroit elects its first mayor, John R. Williams. Present day John R. road is named after Williams.

 

April 4, 1971

Gordie Howe played his last game as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

 

April 7, 1860

W.K. Kellogg, cereal magnate and health guru, is born.

 

April 7, 1939

Film Director Francis Ford Coppola was born in Detroit.

 

April 8, 1842

Elizabeth Bacon Custer, a significant chronicler of the West and the wife of George Custer, is born in Monroe, Michigan.

 

April 8, 1879

Detroit purchases Belle Isle, a 985 acre island on the Detroit River, from the Campau family for $200,000.  It becomes a public park.

 

April 8, 1931

The robin is designated as the state’s official bird.

 

April 8, 1943

Detroit Red Wings win their third Stanley Cup beating Boston in four games.

 

April 10, 1915

Actor Harry Morgan was born in Detroit. Known for starring roles in the television series Dragnet and M*A*S*H.

 

April 10, 1922

Detroit’s last horse drawn fire engine was retired.

 

April 10, 1952

Actor Steven Seagal was born in Lansing.

 

April 11, 1936

Detroit Red Wings defeat Toronto to win their first Stanley Cup.

 

April 13, 1954

Ernie Harwell working for the Baltimore Orioles made his first broadcast from Briggs Stadium (later Tiger Stadium).

 

April 14, 1931

Henry Ford drove the 20,000,000th Ford off the assembly line and to the Ford Museum and parked it next to the first Ford built in 1893.

 

April 14, 1960

Motown Records incorporated. Made first recording in 1959.

 

April 14, 1977

Renaissance Center opened in downtown Detroit.

 

April 18, 1927

Wonder Bread is introduced.

 

April 19, 1927

Ty Tyson made the first radio broadcast of a regular season Detroit Tiger game, a 8-5 win over Cleveland Indians.

 

April 19, 1973

Hundreds of craters and geysers mysteriously appeared around the town of Williamsburg near Traverse City. Geologists later determined they had been created by a natural gas leak.

 

April 20, 1909

Wayne County Road Commission began work to pave Woodward Avenue between Six and Seven Mile roads. This was the nation’s first mile of concrete highway.

 

April 20, 1988

1,200 protesters circled Tiger Stadium hoping to convince Tiger management to keep the historic ballpark.

 

April 22, 1974

The first suicide occurred on the Mackinac bridge when a young man from Royal Oak stopped his vehicle at the middle of the bridge and jumped to his death.

 

April 23, 1954

Michael Moore is born in Flint Michigan.

 

April 24, 1941

The first Chrysler built M-3 General Grant tank rolled off the assembly line. By the end of WWII Chrysler had built more than 25,000 tanks.

 

April 25, 1901

The Detroit Tigers defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 14-13 at Bennett Park in the first American league game ever played.

 

April 28, 1897

Michigan adopted the blossom of the apple tree as its state flower by an act of the legislature.

 

April 28, 1910

The Flint Police Department ordered the first “paddy wagon,” a truck with a cage to hold prisoners, from the Buick Motor Company.

 

April 30, 1954

The first passenger flight left Detroit’s Metro Airport.