When Eva Nelson-McClendon first moved to Detroit’s Birwood Street in 1959, she didn’t know much about the wall across the street. At 6 feet tall and a foot thick, it wasn’t so imposing, running as it did between houses on her street and one over. Then she started to hear the talk.
Stories and photos about people, places and events from Michigan's past
By Michael Hodges / The Detroit News Could the world’s first abstract painter have been a Michigan fruit farmer and not, as art history has it, Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky? A recent gift of a Manierre Dawson abstract painting to West Shore Community College in Scottville, near Ludington, close to where artist-farmer Dawson had his … Continue Reading →
Eighty years ago, the Detroit Institute of Arts debuted “Detroit Industry,” the monumental murals by Diego Rivera that he intended to be a tribute to Michigan’s innovative technology.
In the years before the Emancipation Proclamation, a wagon full of what looked to be free black laborers would on occasion pull up to Mariners’ Church at its old location on Woodward Avenue close to the Detroit River. The group would dismount and start carrying goods back and forth from the wagon into the church … Continue Reading →
By Bill Loomis / Special to The Detroit News “It is always the big thief who shouts the loudest about the little thief.” — Hazen S. Pingree In the book “The American Mayor” published in 1999, Hazen S. Pingree was identified by U.S. scholars as one of the Top 10 mayors in U.S. history. … Continue Reading →
Waiting for a haircut in the 1960s, Gene Zorn read a magazine story about the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping that stirred a childhood memory. Had Zorn grown up with someone involved in the abduction? The thought nagged him for the rest of his life so, before his death in 2006, his son vowed to look into … Continue Reading →
The first time that Michigan took on a powerhouse from the South was 78 years ago, and it was most certainly the worst day in Michigan football history.
By Lauren Abdel-Razzaq / The Detroit News Pontiac — In a small room at the Pontiac Creative Arts Center, a group is on a mission to preserve the city’s African-American heritage. The volunteers have embarked on a yearlong process of discovery, launching an exhibit and soliciting residents for photos and stories of The Corner on … Continue Reading →
By Holly Fournier / The Detroit News Detroiter Fred Quick feared his wife and two daughters had died aboard the Titanic. Almost 100 years later, his granddaughter recalled hearing stories of that fateful night when Jane Quick, 32, Winifred, 8, and Phyllis, 4, survived the tragedy on the “unsinkable” ship that foundered April 15, 1912, … Continue Reading →
By Bill Loomis / The Detroit News Saint Valentine’s Day dates back to the fifth century, but the practice of exchanging Valentine’s Day cards began in the 19th century, and quickly caught on. As a writer in Graham’s American Monthly — a popular national magazine of the 19th century — observed in 1849, “Saint Valentine’s … Continue Reading →