From the opening of the Mackinac Bridge to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald — November is full interesting anniversaries and memories for the Great Lakes State. How many of these did you know? 


November 1, 1923

The bridge to Belle Isle was opened. First named the George Washington Bridge it has been renamed the General Douglas Mac Arthur Bridge.

November 1, 1930

The Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River opened to traffic. It was the first underwater automobile tunnel connecting two countries.

November 1, 1957

Five-mile long Mackinac Bridge opened.

November 1, 1973

The state’s longest expressway, I-75 from the Ohio border near Toledo to Sault Ste. Marie (395 miles) was formally completed.

November 1, 1974

It became illegal to paint advertising on barns. The state paid to have 47 barns, most with tobacco ads, repainted.

November 1, 1979

A new law went into effect requiring auto owners to renew their license plates on their birthday.

November 2, 1976

Voters approved a referendum requiring a deposit on beverage containers to reduce litter and promote recycling.

November 3, 1972

Voters on Mackinac Island approved the use of snowmobiles, the first motor powered vehicles allowed since 1949.

November 5, 1974

Voters repealed sales tax on food and medicines.

November 5, 2004

The Polar Express, the Tom Hank’s digital cartoon film based on the book with the same title by Grand Rapids native Chris Van Allsburg opened with a gala celebration in downtown Grand Rapids. The locomotive used for the film was the former Pere Marquette #1225 owned by the Steam Railroading Institute.

November 6, 1923

The Ottawa Beach Hotel, the largest resort on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan burned to the ground. The Michigan State Parks Board bought the property and developed it into Holland State Park, the most popular of the Michigan state parks.

November 6, 1948

Glenn Frey, singer, songwriter, musician; a founding member of the band Eagles was born in Detroit.

November 6, 1973

Coleman Young becomes the first African-American mayor of Detroit, Michigan.

November 6, 1998

President Bill Clinton signed an act creating the National Automotive Heritage Area designating 6 corridors in Southeast Michigan as landmarks in the development of the automobile industry.

November 7-10, 1913

The Great Lakes Storm of 1913, historically referred to as the “Big Blow,” the “Freshwater Fury,” or the “White Hurricane,” was a blizzard with hurricane-force winds that devastated the Great Lakes Basin in the Midwestern United States and the province of Ontario in Canada from November 7 through November 10, 1913. The storm killed more than 250 people, destroyed 19 ships, and stranded 19 others.

November 7, 1972

Voters approved daylight savings time adding an extra hour of evening sunlight from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.

November 8, 1886

The Edison Illuminating Company began providing electric service in Detroit.

November 9, 1913

The most deadly storm in Great Lakes history began and when it ended 40 ships were lost and 235 seamen died.

November 10, 1975

Twenty-eight men went down with the 587-foot long Edmund Fitzgerald during a storm on Lake Superior.

November 11, 1923

Veterans Day, Hudson’s displayed the world’s largest flag.

November 11, 1929

The Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Canada was dedicated. Automobiles had to wait as 100,000 walkers crossed the bridge as part of the dedication ceremony. Opened for traffic on the 14th.

November 17, 2004

Troy based K-Mart Corporation purchased one of the oldest retail/mail order chains in the country—Sears and Roebuck.

November 19, 1928

Detroit Historical Museum opened in a rented room on the 23rd floor of the Barlum Tower.

November 19, 1988

Detroit’s magnificent Fox Theatre reopened after extensive renovation by Mike and Marian Ilitch owners of Little Caesar’s.

November 20, 1953

Birmingham became the first city in Michigan and just the second in the country to provide direct dialing for long-distance calls.

November 21, 1977

I-96 between Muskegon and Detroit was completed.

November 22, 1927

First Professional Hockey game was played at the Olympia Stadium.

November 22, 1975

The first MHSSA state high school football championship games were played. Winners were Livonia Franklin in Class A, Dearborn Divine Child in Class B, Ishpeming in Class C, and Crystal Falls in Class D.

November 27, 1953

Curtis Armstrong or Booger in the Revenge of the Nerds movies was born in Detroit. Graduated from Berkley HS.
Tags: History