From the opening of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island to the founding of the city of Detroit — July is full interesting anniversaries and memories for the Great Lakes State. How many of these did you know?


July 1, 1917

Selfridge Field near Mt. Clemens began operations. It was named for Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge, the first military man to die in an aircraft mishap.


July 1, 1963

The U.S. postmaster introduces the ZIP code.


July 2, 1972

The first state lottery was established.


July 3, 1973

Detroit Tiger pitcher, Jim Perry started against the Indians in Cleveland. The Cleveland Indian starter was his brother Gaylord Perry. This was the first time in American League history that brothers started against each. Tigers won 5-4.


July 4, 1817

Construction begins on the Erie Canal, to connect Lake Erie and the Hudson River.


July 6, 1818

The first public land auction in Michigan takes place in Detroit.  The average price for land is $4 an acre.


July 6, 1834

Territorial governor, George B. Porter died for Asiatic cholera and young Stevens T. Mason became acting governor until removed in 1835 by President Jackson because of the dispute over the “Toledo Strip.”


July 6, 1854

The Republican Party is officially organized in Jackson, Michigan.


July 6, 1927

Bill Haley, rock ‘n’ roll musician, was born in Highland Park, Michigan.


July 6, 1931

Singer Della Reese was born in Detroit. Touched by an Angel star. Died 11-20-17.


July 8, 1938

Anthony Chebatoris was hung at the Federal Correctional Institution in Milan for killing a bystander during a failed bank robbery in Midland. He was the last person executed in Michigan and the first person to be executed under the National Bank Robbery Act of 1934.


July 10, 1887

The Grand Hotel with the world’s longest wood porch, opened on Mackinac Island.


July 18, 1980

Actress Kristen Bell was born in Huntington Woods, Michigan.


July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong walks on the moon. Quote - "That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."


July 24, 1701

The city of Detroit was founded by Antonine de la Mothe Cadillac.


July 25, 1931

Diego Rivera began painting his renowned “Detroit Industry” murals. He completed them in eight months.


July 28, 1615

French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovers Lake Huron on his seventh voyage to the New World.


July 30, 1863

Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, was born in Greenfield Township, Michigan.

Tags: History