Our beloved mitten turns 175 years old this week, and though that makes the Great Lake State only a toddler in the history of the world, it's certainly a milestone worth celebrating for those who call Michigan home.
Settled by the French, occupied by the British and home to dozens of Native American tribes, Michigan entered the union as the 26th state on Jan. 26, 1837, and has served as a cultural melting pot ever since.
But regardless of our ethnic roots, we're all Michiganders, tied together by our thirst for pop, use of anatomical geography and ever-optimistic outlook on the Lions.
We visit Mackinaw, call everything beyond Detroit "Up North" and sometimes forget there are seasons other than winter and construction.
And though we could go on and on about the things that make Michigan ... Michigan, we'd much rather hear from you. From travel spots and hole-in-the-wall eateries to beloved Motown tunes and Michigan Made products, we invite you to post your favorite things about the state in the comments below.
Happy 175th Michigan!
Did You Know?
- The name Michigan is derived from the Indian words "Michi-gama" meaning large lake.
- The state nickname is the "Great Lake State." Others include "Wolverine State" or "Water Winter Wonderland."
- The state motto is "Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice," which translates to: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.
- Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.
- You are never more than six miles from one of those bodies of water.
- Anywhere in Michigan, you are within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.
- The "official" state song of Michigan is My Michigan, but the unofficial Michigan, My Michigan to the tune of O Christmas Tree is more commonly known.
- State symbols are as follows: mammal - white-tailed deer; bird - American robin; fish - brook trout; stone - Petosky stone; tree - Eastern white pine; fossil - Mastodon