Michigan's greatest treasure -- its people

A traditional Polish peasant wedding in Detroit around 1920. Ethnically speaking, Michigan is more than just one state out of 50 –it’s a snapshot of America’s ethnic whole. A 1993 article in The Detroit News listed 146 different languages spoken in Michigan homes. Topping the list: Spanish, Polish, German, Arabic, French, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Dutch … Continue Reading →

When the pope visited Detroit

Pope John Paul II arrives at Detroit’s Metro Airport Friday, Sept. 18, 1987. “I have longed to come to you.” With this quote from St. Paul, Pope John Paul II greeted his followers in Hamtramck Saturday morning, Sept. 19, 1987, as he began his visit to the Detroit area. He was not originally scheduled to … Continue Reading →

The Execution of Pvt. Eddie Slovik

Bernard Calka, a former Macomb County commissioner, fought to have Pvt. Eddie Slovik’s remains brought back from France to be reburied next to his wife, Antoinette, in Detroit’s Woodmere Cemetery. Calka continues to seek a pardon for Slovik. On Jan. 31, 1945, Hamtramck-born Eddie Slovik was executed by firing a squad near the village of … Continue Reading →

Minoru Yamasaki, world-class architect

Architect Minoru Yamasaki experienced poverty while growing up in Seattle, Wash., and was determined to rise above it. Minoru Yamasaki was born Dec. 1, 1912,  in Seattle, Wash.,  and as a Nisei — a second-generation Japanese — he encountered poverty and social injustices that instilled in him a deep-seated need to succeed. His father, John … Continue Reading →

The Shoemaker Who Looked Like a King

“Pingree Square,” the corner of Gratiot and Randolph in 1898. Pingree’s shoe shop can be seen at lower left. The large buildings in the background are the Majestic, left center, and the J.L. Hudson Co., right. King Edward VII did his best for the stricken visitor from Detroit. The king sent his own physicians to … Continue Reading →