Michigan celebrates 181st birthday with ‘Statehood Day’ at Michigan History Museum

LANSING —  The Michigan History Museum in Lansing celebrates 181 years of rich and diverse history on Saturday, Jan. 27, at its annual Statehood Day celebration.

Like every good birthday party, the celebration includes music, games, cake and other fun. Special guests, staff and volunteers will pay tribute to the people who created our state, from first peoples and statesmen to eager citizens.

The program runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free for the day.

Statehood Day commemorates the events of Jan. 26, 1837, when, more than a year after Michigan adopted its first constitution and elected its first governor, President Andrew Jackson signed the bill making Michigan the nation’s 26th state. The delay was caused by a disagreement and subsequent “war” with Ohio over the port town Toledo.

The resulting compromise gave Toledo to Ohio, and Michigan the western two-thirds of the Upper Peninsula. By the mid-19th century, the discovery of copper and iron in the Upper Peninsula more than made up for the loss of Toledo.

“Through Statehood Day, we’re inviting Michiganders to explore our state’s early history, including stories about the leaders who first sought statehood, the compromises they made and the extraordinary people who have built Michigan since,” said Tobi Voigt, Michigan History Museum engagement director. “We’ll also feature interactive demonstration stations and make-and-take tables that will allow visitors to try their hand at practical crafts and trades and explore recreational pastimes of the statehood era.”

Local music legends will attend, along with recent Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Honor inductees and Acoustic Strings playing historic folk tunes all day.

Costumed interpreters will wear clothing from the time period – much of which was handmade by volunteers and staff. A special display will be present of the 1835 Michigan State Constitution, courtesy of the Archives of Michigan.

The museum is seeking up to 20 players to join the inaugural Statehood Day Euchre Tournament. Euchre, also known as “uker” or “juckerspiel,” was rising in popularity throughout the United States during Michigan’s statehood era and, by the late 1800s, was one of the most fashionable card games in the country.

Although bridge began to eclipse its popularity in the early 20th century, euchre has remained a favorite for Michiganders. The winner of the tournament will receive a gift basket full of Michigan-pride goodies from Michiganology. ‘

For more information on the tournament structure and to register as a player, visit www.jotform.com/seekingmichigan/statehood-day-euchre.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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