Think about World War II and the ways Michigan helped the war effort: The Arsenal of Democracy, Rosie the Riveter, heavy bombers rolling off the assembly line at Willow Run.
Yes, the common weed found in the northwest Lower Peninsula went to war.
Gerry Wykes is a historian and freelance author/illustrator who recently wrote about milkweed for Mlive and Michigan History Magazine. He joined us today to explain how this weed helped in the war effort.
Joel Stone, curator at the Detroit Historical Museum, tells us the history of Ball Park Franks.
Some might argue there's nothing more American than baseball.
Well, did you know those Ball Park Franks that go with it are Michigan-made?
Back in 1958, the owners of Tiger Stadium were not happy with the hot dogs served at the games. So they asked Detroit-based company, Hygrade Food Corp., to come up with a better version.
Gus Hauf, a Hygrade employee, had already developed his secret recipe for the hot dog that decade. His co-worker, Mary Ann Kirk, came up with the "Ball Park" name, cementing the relationship between baseball and hot dogs. For her out-of-the-park idea, Mary Ann earned $25 and a leather chair.
"Michigan had kind of the best frankfurters in the country," said Joel Stone, the curator of the Detroit Historical Museum. "And the Ball Park was a perfect example of that."
The question of stray animals in the City of Detroit has been in the spotlight ever since Bloomberg News published a story painting Detroit as some place where "abandoned dogs roam in packs as humans dwindle." The article estimated the number of stray dogs at 50,000, a number that has turned out to be grossly inaccurate.
Michigan State University political science professor Laura Reese has completed the first academic study of the problem, which hopes to shed light on the reality of the situation.
The Livingston County chapter of the Salvation Army is out of food.
Brighton Ford is organizing an emergency food drive called "Fill-A-Ford Full of Food" Saturday with the goal of restocking the food pantry of the Salvation Army. It will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Brighton VG's Fresh Market.
In recent weeks the food pantry was pulling money from a summer children's fund to purchase food from Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan, according to Karen Swieczkowski, community relations director at Brighton Ford. Brighton Ford is spearheading tomorrow's food drive.
A few centuries ago it was not uncommon to hear Detroit referred to as "The Paris of the Midwest."
Just look at the history of Detroit and you can see that there are good reasons to link Detroit and France. The city’s early settlers were, by and large, French and French Canadian. But unlike, say, Quebec, Montreal, or New Orleans, there is no special "French feel" to Detroit beyond some French street names.
We wondered why Detroit's modern identity is so lacking in that French influence. For some insights, we turned to Guillaume Teasdale, a history instructor at the University of Windsor.
Live the life of a Victorian-era light keeper at Tawas Point Lighthouse.
That's the lure in an announcement this week that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for 2014.
Volunteers stay in renovated living quarters in the lighthouse. The accommodations include two bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom. In return, volunteers pay $250 per week and lead tours of the lighthouse or perform maintenance work.
At the start of our State of Opportunity Project we spoke with Leatrice Fullerton, a single mother with two children.
She earned a master’s degree in social work, but had difficulty finding employment when we last spoke with her. Fullerton also faces the additional challenge of being blind. The good news is that she now has two part-time jobs.
Today, Fullerton participated in a Google chat hosted by President Obama. She asked the president what his plans were for including people with disabilities in the work force.
All Things Considered host Jennifer White spoke with Fullerton.
Detroit's Police Chief for the day is nine year old Jayvon Felton - a fourth grader who is fighting leukemia, but one day hopes to fight crime as a Detroit Police Officer.
This morning Jayvon made his way to work by helicopter, taking a ride from Coleman A. Young International Airport, over Belle Isle, Comerica Park and the Ambassador Bridge. Upon his arrival, he was greeted by a group of Detroit Police Officers, Felton's classmates from Roberto Clemente Academy, and Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
Why do we care so much about famous people? What they wear, what they eat, how they live?
Well, there is an old house in Ann Arbor where renowned playwright Arthur Miller lived while he was a student at University of Michigan and there are those who are intensely interested in preserving that house.
The house is right next to the U of M's Institute for Social Research. The university's expanding the Institute and wants that old house out of the way. And if they can't get someone to buy it, it will probably be demolished.
This story got us thinking about just why we tend to care so much about celebrity homes and just what is behind our seemingly bottomless fascination with celebrities.
We're joined today by Daniel Kruger. He's a professor and a researcher at the University of Michigan and he's done research into that fascination we have for famous people.
America’s top female chess player will be competing against 50 children tonight at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
International Grandmaster Irina Krush will be playing simultaneous matches, or simul, against 50 members of the Detroit City Chess Club, the Associated Press reported. Members of the club, ranging from elementary school students to high schoolers, have earned impressive awards of their own, including two recent state titles.
In December, Detroit Public TV was awarded a national grant to cover the Detroit City Chess Club, following the team and the impacts of chess on the students. The short documentary will be shown at the DIA later this year.
Can’t make it out to the DIA tonight for the chess extravaganza? No worries. For players looking to boost their chess skills at home, Krush released a series of pun-tastic training videos entitled “Krushing Attacks.”
As Michigan descends into an arctic freeze, many cities and towns are struggling to clean up after Sunday’s big snowstorm.
“It’s just too dangerous for city residents to be outdoors,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero told reporters at a news conference today.
Bernero said many residential streets in Lansing are “impassable.”
“As we all remember from the 2011 storm, it takes a minimum of a couple days to clear all 440 miles of roads in the city,” Bernero said. “It will take at least a couple days this time as well. So we ask city residents to please be patient. Be safe.”
DETROIT (AP) - The harshest winter conditions in 20 years are heading for Michigan's Lower Peninsula, with up to 15 inches of snow forecast for parts of the state followed by temperatures diving as low as minus 15.
About 150 thousand Michigan utility customers have spent another cold day waiting for their electricity to be restored.
Sunday’s ice storm left almost a half million Michigan homes and businesses without electricity.
As of midday, approximately 125,000 Consumer’s Energy customers were still without electricity. About 20,000 DTE Energy customers and 7,000 Lansing Board of Water & Light customers were still in the dark as well.
Debra Dodd is a Consumer’s Energy spokeswoman. She says linemen are doing the best job they can in very cold conditions.
About 250,000 Michigan homes and businesses remain without power after a weekend ice storm that blacked out at least 482,000 homes and businesses and may have caused a Delta jetliner with 180 people on board to slide off a taxiway at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
The wintry blast hit Saturday night. The utilities say it will be days before most power is restored because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines.
DTE Energy says 56,000 of its affected 150,000 customers were off line.
JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - Winter has arrived in Michigan with an icy blast, sending freezing rain across a wide section of the Lower Peninsula, knocking out electrical service to at least 382,000 homes and businesses and causing multiple crashes around the state.
The state's largest utilities say it will be days before most of those blacked out get their power back because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines.
What was once the tallest building in Flint is now just a pile of rubble. This morning, 1,000 lbs. of explosives brought the building down. Demolition crews spent weeks preparing the building to be imploded.
The 19-story Genesee Towers building has stood in the heart of Flint’s downtown for the past 45 years. But a series of explosions brought the building down in a matter of seconds.
When the dust settled, all that was left was a pile of rubble.
The long-empty Genesee Towers has been emblematic of Flint’s economic woes.
“Essentially it’s both a physical barrier and a psychological barrier,” says Dave Lurvey, the demolition project manager. “I think that building being down on the ground is going to help people focus on progress rather than blight.”
The tall pile of rubble will remain on the site through the holidays.
The cleanup probably won’t be complete until the spring.
Developers plan to turn the site of the former office building into a downtown park.