From KISS to Harry Houdini — October is full interesting anniversaries and memories for the Great Lakes State. How many of these did you know?
October 1, 1967
Michigan’s first state income tax went into effect. Individual incomes were taxed at the rate of 2.6%.
October 2, 1853
The Detroit Free Press became the first Michigan newspaper to publish a regular Sunday edition.
October 5, 1852
The first college to train teachers, Michigan Normal School at Ypsilanti, was dedicated. Today it is Eastern Michigan University.
October 6, 1927
The Detroit Institutes of Arts opened.
October 6, 1975
80,642 people watched the Detroit Lions lose to Dallas, 36–10, in the first game played in the Pontiac Silverdome.
October 7, 1917
Henry Ford revolutionized the production of automobiles as the first moving production line started operation at Ford’s Highland Park plant.
October 7, 1935
The Detroit Tigers won their first World Series Championship by beating the Chicago Cubs, 7–3, in the sixth game at Briggs Stadium.
October 8, 1871
Holland, Manistee, and 90% of the homes in Michigan’s thumb were destroyed by fire on the same day Chicago burned.
October 9, 1948
WXYZ TV channel 7 in Detroit begins broadcasting.
October 10, 1938
The Blue Water Bridge over the St. Clair River at Port Huron was opened.
October 10, 1945
The Detroit Tigers won their second World Series Championship beating the Chicago Cubs, 9–3, in the deciding seventh game in Chicago. This was the last time the Cubbies played in a World Series.
October 10, 1968
The Detroit Tigers won their third World Series as Mickey Lolich pitched three complete games and hit a key home run to help defeat the St, Louis Cardinals in a seven game series.
October 10, 1973
Gerald Ford becomes Vice President because Spiro Agnew resigns amid accusations of income tax evasion.
October 10, 1975
The band Kiss was busy touring when they got a request from football coaches at Cadillac High School, who used the band’s music to get them pumped up for games. And it worked. KISS traveled to Michigan for what would become a Cadillac KISS Army.
October 11, 1973
The first “vanity” automobile license plates were issued.
October 13, 1921
Detroit’s WWJ became Michigan’s first licensed radio station.
October 13, 1960
Cobo Hall was dedicated. At the time it was the world’s largest exhibition hall.
October 14, 1984
The Tigers, led by Kirk Gibson, defeat the San Diego Padres in five games to win their 4th World Series.
October 15, 1966
Congress authorized Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore protecting cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, and forest along the Lakes Superior shoreline.
October 16, 1946
Eighteen-year old Detroit Red Wing rookie, Gordie Howe scored a goal in his first appearance at Olympia Stadium. Howe played for 32 seasons in the National Hockey League and in the World Hockey League where he played with his sons.
October 18, 1730
Cadillac, founder of Detroit, dies in France.
October 20, 2003
Kirk Jones from Canton Township became the first person survive a plunge over Niagara Falls without a safety device. He later joined the Toby Tyler Circus.
October 21, 1929
The Edison Institute (Greenfield Village and the Ford Museum) was dedicated by President Herbert Hoover and Henry Ford’s friend, Thomas Edison.
October 21, 1977
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore including massive coastal sand dunes on the Lake Michigan shore and North and South Manitou Islands was established.
October 22, 1955
The state’s first official historic marker was dedicated on the campus of Michigan State University. It commemorated the founding of the first state supported agricultural college in the country.
October 24, 1889
Detroit won its first baseball championship defeating the St. Louis Browns to take the American Association title.
October 24, 1901
A Bay City schoolteacher, Annie Edson Taylor, became the first woman to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel and live to tell about her adventure.
October 24, 1998
Michigan’s largest department store, Detroit’s J.L. Hudson store, was imploded.
October 25, 1825
The Erie Canal is completed. It connects Lake Erie with the Hudson River near Albany, New York, making transportation of people and goods across New York State easier, faster and less expensive. Roads are improved between Detroit and Toledo, St. Joseph and Chicago. The Erie Canal was officially opened. This water connection between the Great Lakes and the Hudson River led to a population explosion. Michigan sought statehood within a decade.
October 25, 1889
An underwater telephone cable across the Straits of Mackinac made the first permanent connection between Michigan’s two peninsulas.
October 25, 1924
Ty Tyson of WWJ radio in Detroit made the first play-by-play broadcast of a University of Michigan football game.
October 31, 1926
Harry Houdini died in room 401 of Grace Hospital.