Michigan

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Posted by pompos 02/28/2009 @ 17:37

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News headlines
Michigan man: DNA tests will show he's missing boy - Chicago Tribune
A Michigan man who believes he was snatched from his real parents half a century ago says he's confident DNA tests will indicate he was the 2-year-old boy who disappeared outside a bakery on New York's Long Island. John Barnes told NBC's "Today" show...
National Briefing | Midwest Michigan: Judges Can Regulate Dress in ... - New York Times
By AP The Michigan Supreme Court voted to give judges authority over how witnesses dress after a Muslim woman refused to remove her veil while testifying in a small-claims case. A statewide rule letting judges regulate the appearance of witnesses,...
Michigan jobless rate is highest in decades - Detroit Free Press
BY KATHERINE YUNG • FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER • June 18, 2009 Michigan's unemployment rate in May shot up to 14.1%, the highest level in more than a quarter-century, according to state figures released Wednesday. As has been the case for many years,...
Michigan State's work in Detroit area paying off - Detroit Free Press
BY MATT DORSEY • FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER • June 18, 2009 When Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio was hired three years ago, he said MSU will be a factor for in-state recruits and has since made the Detroit area ground zero for building his program....
Team notes: NASCAR drivers making shift to road racing - USA Today
"I think Pocono and Michigan were two good tracks for NASCAR to try out the double-file restart rule, but I think it's going to create some havoc here. The drivers may need to rethink how we've raced in the past. We're going to need to figure out how...
Family Outraged After Quadriplegic Marine Denied Free Admission to ... - FOXNews
The family of a US Marine is outraged after a Michigan amusement park insisted on charging the veteran admission to enter the park — despite his being a quadriplegic -- according to a newspaper report. Heather Lovell told the Grand Rapids Press that...
After Michigan win, Martin still sees room for improvement - USA Today
But Martin called car owner Rick Hendrick and asked for clemency after qualifying 32nd Friday at Michigan International Speedway. Hendrick laughed it off, but his driver claimed he wasn't joking. "Everybody can act like that's stupid, but it isn't,"...
Gov. pitches Michigan as 'pilot state' for green - Chicago Tribune
AP DETROIT - Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has used her time on a national stage in Detroit to sell the state as a leader in moving the nation toward energy independence. Granholm spoke Tuesday at the National Summit, a three-day conference on the...
MATT HELMS Hard to overlook Michigan's prairies - Detroit Free Press
“As much as we don't want to do it for aesthetic and tourism purposes, anything that's not safety related we have to cut back on,” said Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Shreck. Meanwhile, at least two dozen counties, mostly in rural...
Charges dismissed in Michigan medical-marijuana bust - Detroit Free Press
Redden and Clark were among the almost 2000 people who applied to use and grow medical marijuana in Michigan. They were also among the roughly half who fell into a legal black hole where they had letters from doctors recommending the use of marijuana,...

United States congressional delegations from Michigan

This is a complete listing of all historical congressional delegations from Michigan to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.

The following notes are not in chronological order.

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University of Michigan

University of Michigan (1855) by Jasper Francis Cropsey

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (U of M, U-M, UM, UMich, or simply Michigan) is a public research university located in the state of Michigan. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan system, which also includes two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn.

The university was founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, about 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university has physically expanded to include more than 500 major buildings with a combined area of more than 29 million square feet (664 acres or 2.69 km²), and transformed its academic program from a strictly classical curriculum to one that includes science and research. During the 20th century and early 2000s, UM was the site of much student activism and was a focal point in the controversy over affirmative action within higher education admissions.

Today, the university is a major research institution and is considered one of the original eight Public Ivies. In the most recent edition of World University Rankings, the university was ranked the 18th best university worldwide. Having graduated the largest number of living alumni at 460,000, the university covers four main geographical areas within Ann Arbor (Central, North, South, and Medical). UM owns the renowned University of Michigan Health System and has one of the largest research expenditures of any American university. Its athletic teams, called the Wolverines, are members of the Big Ten Conference and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The athletic program is known for its success in ice hockey and football, the latter of which plays in Michigan Stadium, the largest college football-only stadium in the world.

The University of Michigan was established in Detroit in 1817 as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, by the governor and judges of Michigan Territory. The Rev. John Monteith was one of the university's founders and its first President. Ann Arbor had set aside 40 acres (16 ha) that it hoped would become the site for a new state capitol, but it offered this land to the university when Lansing was chosen as the state capital. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837. The original 40 acres (160,000 m2) became part of the current Central Campus. The first classes in Ann Arbor were held in 1841, with six freshmen and a sophomore, taught by two professors. Eleven students graduated in the first commencement in 1845. By 1866 enrollment increased to 1,205 students, many of whom were Civil War veterans, and women were first admitted in 1870. James B. Angell, who served as the university's president from 1871 to 1909, aggressively expanded UM's curriculum to include professional studies in dentistry, architecture, engineering, government, and medicine. UM also became the first American university to use the seminar method of study.

From 1900 to 1920 many new facilities were constructed on campus, including facilities for the dental and pharmacy programs, a chemistry building, a building for the natural sciences, Hill Auditorium, large hospital and library complexes, and two residence halls. The university fortified its reputation for research in 1920 by reorganizing the College of Engineering and forming a potent advisory committee of 100 industrialists to guide academic research initiatives. The university became a favorite alternative choice for Jewish students from New York in the 1920s and 1930s when the Ivy League schools were applying a quota to the number of Jews to be admitted. As a result, UM gained the nickname "Harvard of the West," which became commonly parodied in reverse after John F. Kennedy referred to himself as "a graduate of the Michigan of the East, Harvard University" in his speech proposing the formation of the Peace Corps while on the front steps of the Michigan Union.

During World War II, UM's research grew to include U.S. Navy projects such as proximity fuzes, PT boats, and radar jamming. By 1950, enrollment had reached 21,000, of whom 7,700 were veterans supported by the G.I. Bill. As the Cold War and the Space Race took hold, UM became a major recipient of government grants for strategic research and helped to develop peacetime uses for nuclear energy. At present, much of that work, as well as research into alternative energy sources, is pursued via the Memorial Phoenix Project.

On October 14, 1960, Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy proposed the concept of what became the Peace Corps on the steps of Michigan Union. Lyndon B. Johnson's speech outlining his Great Society program also occurred at UM. Also during the 1960s, UM saw many protests by student groups. On March 24, 1965, a group of UM faculty members and 3,000 students held the nation's first ever faculty-led "teach-in" to protest against American policy in Southeast Asia. In response to a series of sit-ins in 1966 by Voice–the campus political party of Students for a Democratic Society–UM's administration banned sit-ins. This stimulated 1,500 students to conduct a further one-hour sit-in the LSA Building, which then housed administrative offices. Former UM student and noted architect Alden B. Dow designed the current Fleming Administration Building, which was completed in 1968. The building's plans were drawn in the early 1960s, before student activism prompted a concern for safety. Nevertheless, the Fleming Building's narrow windows, all located above the first floor, and fortress-like exterior led to a campus rumor that it was designed to be riot-proof. Dow denied those rumors, claiming the small windows were designed to be energy efficient.

During the 1970s, severe budget constraints challenged the university's physical development; however, the 1980s saw a surge in funds devoted to research in the social and physical sciences. Meanwhile, the university's involvement in the anti-missile Strategic Defense Initiative and investments in South Africa caused controversy on campus. During the 1980s and 1990s, the university devoted substantial resources to renovating its massive hospital complex and improving the academic facilities on the North Campus. The university also emphasized the development of computer and information technology throughout the campus.

In the early 2000s, UM also faced declining state funding due to state budget shortfalls. At the same time, the university attempted to maintain its high academic standing while keeping tuition costs affordable. There were also disputes between UM's administration and labor unions, notably with the Lecturers' Employees Organization (LEO) and the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), the union representing graduate student employees. These conflicts led to a series of one-day walkouts by the unions and their supporters. The university is currently engaged in a $2.5 billion construction campaign. In 2009, the university consummated a deal to purchase a facility formerly owned by Pfizer. The acquisition includes over 170 acres (0.69 km2) of property, and 30 major buildings comprising roughly 1,600,000 feet (490,000 m) of wet laboratory space, and 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2) of administrative space. As of the purchase date, the university's intentions for the space were not announced, but the expectation is that the new space will allow the university to ramp up its research and ultimately employ in excess of 2,000 people.

In 2003, two lawsuits involving UM's affirmative action admissions policy reached the U.S. Supreme Court (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger). President George W. Bush took the unusual step of publicly opposing the policy before the court issued a ruling. The court found that race may be considered as a factor in university admissions in all public universities and private universities that accept federal funding. However, a point system was ruled as being unconstitutional. In the first case, the court upheld the Law School admissions policy, while in the second it ruled against the university's undergraduate admissions policy. The debate still continues, however, because in November 2006 Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, banning most affirmative action in university admissions. Under that law race, gender, and national origin can no longer be considered in admissions. UM and other organizations were granted a stay from implementation of the passed proposal soon after that election, and this has allowed time for proponents of affirmative action to decide legal and constitutional options in response to the election results. The university has stated it plans to continue to challenge the ruling; in the meantime, the admissions office states that it will attempt to achieve a diverse student body by looking at other factors such as whether the student attended a disadvantaged school, and the level of education of the student's parents.

The Ann Arbor campus is divided into four main areas: the North, Central, Medical, and South Campuses. The physical infrastructure includes more than 500 major buildings, with a combined area of more than 29 million square feet (664 acres or 2.69 km²). The Central and South Campus areas are contiguous, while the North Campus area is separated from them, primarily by the Huron River. There are also leased space in buildings scattered throughout the city, many occupied by organizations affiliated with the University of Michigan Health System. An East Medical Campus has recently been developed on Plymouth Road, with several university-owned buildings for outpatient care, diagnostics, and outpatient surgery.

In addition to the UM Golf Course on South Campus, the university operates a second golf course called "Radrick Farms Golf Course" on Geddes Road. The golf course is only open to faculty, staff, and alumni. Another off-campus facility is the Inglis House, which the university has owned since the 1950s. The Inglis House is a 10,000 square foot (930 m²) mansion used to hold various social events, including meetings of the board of regents, and to host visiting dignitaries. The university also operates a large office building called Wolverine Tower in southern Ann Arbor near Briarwood Mall. Another major facility is the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, which is located on the eastern outskirts of Ann Arbor.

All four campus areas are connected by bus services, the majority of which connect the North and Central Campuses. There is a shuttle service connecting the University Hospital, which lies between North and Central Campuses, with other medical facilities throughout northeastern Ann Arbor.

Central Campus was the original location of UM when it moved to Ann Arbor in 1837. It originally had a school and dormitory building (where Mason Hall now stands) and several houses for professors on land bounded by North University Avenue, South University Avenue, East University Avenue, and State Street. Because Ann Arbor and Central Campus developed simultaneously, there is no distinct boundary between the city and university, and some areas contain a mixture of private and university buildings.

Central Campus is the location of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and is immediately adjacent to the medical campus. Most of the graduate and professional schools, including the Ross School of Business and the Law School, are on Central Campus. Two prominent libraries, the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library and the Shapiro Undergraduate Library which are connected by a skywalk, are also on Central Campus, as well as museums housing collections in archeology, anthropology, paleontology, zoology, dentistry, and art. Ten of the buildings on Central Campus were designed by Detroit-based architect Albert Kahn between 1904 and 1936. The most notable of the Kahn-designed buildings are the Burton Memorial Tower and nearby Hill Auditorium.

North Campus is the most contiguous campus, built independently from the city on a large plot of farm land—approximately 800 acres (3.25 km²)—that the university bought in 1952. It is newer than Central Campus, and thus has more modern architecture, whereas most Central Campus buildings are classical or gothic in style. The architect Eero Saarinen, based in Birmingham, Michigan, created one of the early master plans for North Campus and designed several of its buildings in the 1950s, including the Earl V. Moore School of Music Building. North and Central Campuses each have unique bell towers that reflect the predominant architectural styles of their surroundings. Each of the bell towers houses a grand carillon. The North Campus tower is called Lurie Tower. The University of Michigan's largest residence hall, Bursley Hall, is located on North Campus.

North Campus houses the College of Engineering, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and Art and Design, the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and an annex of the School of Information. The campus is served by the Duderstadt Center, which houses books on art, architecture, and engineering. The Duderstadt Center also contains multiple computer labs, video editing studios, and a 3D virtual reality room. Other libraries located on North Campus include the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and the Bentley Historical Library.

South Campus is the site for the athletic programs, including major sports facilities such as Michigan Stadium, Crisler Arena, and Yost Ice Arena. South Campus is also the site of the Buhr library storage facility (the collections of which are undergoing digitization by Google), the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and the Student Theatre Arts Complex, which provides shop and rehearsal space for student theatre groups. The university's departments of public safety and transportation services offices are located on South Campus.

UM's golf course is located south of Michigan Stadium and Crisler Arena. It was designed in the late 1920s by Alister MacKenzie, the designer of Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia (home of The Masters Tournament). The course opened to the public in the spring of 1931. The University of Michigan Golf Course was included in a listing of top holes designed by what Sports Illustrated calls “golf’s greatest course architect.” The UM Golf Course’s signature No. 6 hole—a 310-yard (280 m) par 4, which plays from an elevated tee to a two-tiered, kidney-shaped green protected by four bunkers—is the second hole on the Alister MacKenzie Dream 18 as selected by a five-person panel that includes three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo and golf course architect Tom Doak. The listing of “the best holes ever designed by Augusta National architect Alister MacKenzie” is featured in SI’s Golf Plus special edition previewing the Masters in April 4, 2006.

The University of Michigan comprises a flagship campus in Ann Arbor, with two regional campuses in Dearborn and Flint. The Board of Regents, which governs the university and was established by the Organic Act of March 18, 1837, consists of eight members elected at large in biennial state elections for overlapping eight year terms. Between the establishment of the University of Michigan in 1837 and 1850, the Board of Regents ran the university directly; although they were, by law, supposed to appoint a Chancellor to administer the university, they never did. Instead a rotating roster of professors carried out the day-to-day administration duties.

The President of the University of Michigan is the principal executive officer of the university. The office was created by the Michigan Constitution of 1850, which also specified that the president was to be appointed by the Regents of the University of Michigan and preside at their meetings, but without a vote. Today, the president's office is at the Ann Arbor campus, and the president has the privilege of living in the President's House, one of the university's oldest buildings located on Central Campus in Ann Arbor.

There are thirteen undergraduate schools and colleges. By enrollment, the three largest undergraduate units are the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the College of Engineering, and the Ross School of Business. At the graduate level, the Rackham Graduate School serves as the central administrative unit of graduate education at the university. There are eighteen graduate schools and colleges, the largest of which are the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and College of Engineering, the Law School, and the Ross School of Business. Professional degrees are conferred by the Schools of Dentistry, Law, Medicine, and Pharmacy. The Medical School is partnered with the University of Michigan Health System, which comprises the university's three hospitals, dozens of outpatient clinics, and many centers for medical care, research, and education.

UM's financial endowment (the "University Endowment Fund") was valued at $7.57 billion in NACUBO's 2008 ranking. It was the seventh largest endowment in the U.S. and the third-largest among U.S public universities at that time, as well as the fastest growing endowment in the nation over the last 21 years. The endowment is primarily used according to the donors' wishes, which include the support of teaching and research. In mid-2000, UM embarked on a massive fund-raising campaign called "The Michigan Difference," which aimed to raise $2.5 billion, with $800 million designated for the permanent endowment. Slated to run through December 2008, the university announced that the campaign had reached its target 19 months early in May 2007. Like nearly all colleges and universities, Michigan lost significant amounts of money from their endowment during the second half of 2008. In February 2009, a university spokesperson estimated losses of between 20 and 30 percent.

Housed in the Michigan Union, the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) is the central student government of the University. With representatives from each of the University's colleges and schools, the MSA represents students and manages student funds on the campus. The Michigan Student Assembly is a member of the statewide Association of Michigan Universities. In recent years MSA has organized airBus, a transportation service between campus and the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, and has led the university's efforts to register its student population to vote, with its Voice Your Vote Commission (VYV) registering 109,000 students in 2004. VYV also works to improve access to non-partisan voting-related information and increase student voter turnout. MSA has also been successful at reviving Homecoming activities, including a carnival and parade, for students after a roughly eleven-year absence in October 2007.

There are student governance bodies in each college and school. The two largest colleges at the University of Michigan are the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A) and the College of Engineering. Students in the LS&A are represented by the LS&A Student Government (LSA SG). The University of Michigan Engineering Council (UMEC) manages student government affairs for the College of Engineering. In addition, the students that live in the residence halls are represented by the University of Michigan Residence Halls Association.

A longstanding goal of the student government is to create a student-designated seat on the Board of Regents, the university's governing body. Such a designation would achieve parity with other Big Ten schools that have student regents. In 2000, students Nick Waun and Scott Trudeau ran for the board on the state-wide ballot as third-party nominees. Waun ran for a second time in 2002, along with Matt Petering and Susan Fawcett. Although none of these campaigns been successful, a poll conducted by the State of Michigan in 1998 concluded that a majority of Michigan voters would approve of such a position if the measure were put before them. A change to the board's makeup would require amending the Michigan Constitution.

Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the University of Michigan is a large public, primarily residential research university with a majority of enrollments coming from undergraduate students. The full-time four year undergraduate program is classified as "more selective" with a lower transfer-in rate. The undergraduate instructional program has an arts and sciences plus professions focus with high graduate student coexistence, while the graduate instructional program is classified as comprehensive doctoral which includes medical/veterinary sciences.

With more than 70% of UM's 200 major programs, departments, and schools ranked in the top 10 in the United States, UM's academic reputation has led to its inclusion on Richard Moll's list of Public Ivies. The university routinely has led in the number of Fulbright Scholars in the late 1990s and 2000s, and has also matriculated 26 Rhodes Scholars.

A concern about academics at UM is the high level of educational expenses for a public institution, especially for out-of-state undergraduate students, who pay between US $31,301 and $36,352 annually for tuition alone. In 2005, out-of-state tuition at UM was the most expensive in the United States for a public college or university. Conversely, in-state undergraduate students paid between US $10,447 and $14,442 annually. Notwithstanding the quoted tuition levels, the university is attempting to increase financial aid availability to students. To that end, the university has built, as part of its larger university campaign, a greater than $1.4 billion endowment in order to support aid to students.

The university has 26,083 undergraduate and 14,959 graduate students in 600 academic programs, and each year about 5,400 new students are enrolled out of almost 30,000 applicants, of which almost 42% are admitted. Students come from all 50 U.S. states and more than 100 countries. 98% of the university's incoming class of 2006 earned a high school GPA of 3.0 and higher, while the middle 50% of the incoming class earned a high school GPA of 3.60 to 3.90. The middle 50% of applicants reported an SAT score of about 1920–2180 and an ACT score of 28-32, with AP credit granted to over 3000 freshmen students. Among full-time students, who make up about 96% of the student body, the university has a first-time student retention rate of 96%.

About 65% of undergraduate students are enrolled in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A), while the College of Engineering has about 20%. Fewer than 3% of undergraduate students are enrolled in the Ross School of Business. The rest of the undergraduate students are enrolled in the smaller schools, including the School of Kinesiology, School of Nursing, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the School of Art and Design. Among undergraduates, 70% graduate with a bachelor's degree within four years, with 86% graduating within five years and 88% graduating within six years. Out of the eighteen graduate schools and colleges, most Master's level students are enrolled in the College of Engineering and the Ross School of Business, while most doctorate students attend the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, College of Engineering, and the Law School. Students pursuing professional degrees attend the Schools of Dentistry, Law, Medicine (which has the highest enrollment among the schools granting professional degrees), and Pharmacy.

The university is one of the founding members (1900) of the Association of American Universities. With over 6,200 faculty members, 73 of whom are members of the National Academy and 451 of whom hold an endowed chair in their discipline, the university manages one of the largest annual collegiate research budgets of any university in the United States, totaling about $775 million per annum from 2004 to 2005, and $797 million in 2006, $823 million as of year end 2007, and $876 million as of the academic year 2007/8. The Medical School spent the most at over US $333 million, while the College of Engineering was second at more than $131 million. UM also has a technology transfer office, which is the university conduit between laboratory research and corporate commercialization interests.

UM helped develop one of the first university computer networks (the Merit Network) and through UM-alumni Claude Shannon has made major contributions to the mathematics of information theory. Other major contributions included the precursor to the National Science Foundation computer networking backbone and the virtual memory model. The university is also a major contributor to the medical field with the EKG, gastroscope, and the announcement of Jonas Salk's polio vaccine. The university's 13,000-acre (53 km2) biological station in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan is one of only 47 Biosphere Reserves in the United States.

UM is home to the National Election Studies and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. The Correlates of War project, also located at UM, is an accumulation of scientific knowledge about war. The university is also home to major research centers in optics, reconfigurable manufacturing systems, wireless integrated microsystems, and social sciences. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Life Sciences Institute are located at the university. The Institute for Social Research (ISR), the nation's longest-standing laboratory for interdisciplinary research in the social sciences, is home to the Survey Research Center, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Center for Political Studies, Population Studies Center, and Inter-Consortium for Political and Social Research. Undergraduate students are able to participate in various research projects through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) as well as the UROP/Creative-Programs.

The UM library system comprises 19 individual libraries with 24 separate collections—roughly 8.27 million volumes, growing at the rate of 177,000 volumes a year. UM was the original home of the JSTOR database, which contains about 750,000 digitized pages from the entire pre-1990 backfile of ten journals of history and economics. The university recently initiated a book digitization program in collaboration with Google. As of August 31, 2006, UM has rolled out the first phase of the Google archive retrieval.

UM recently joined the Michigan State University and Wayne State University to create the University Research Corridor. This effort was undertaken to highlight the capabilities of the state's three leading research institutions and drive the transformation of Michigan's economy.

The University of Michigan has the sixth-largest campus housing system in the U.S. and the third-largest family housing operation, accommodating up to 12,562 people. The residence halls are organized into three distinct groups: Central Campus, Hill Area (between Central Campus and the University of Michigan Medical Center) and North Campus. Family housing is located on North Campus and mainly serves graduate students. The largest residence hall has a capacity of 1,277 students, while the smallest accommodates 31 residents. A majority of upper-division and graduate students live in off-campus apartments, houses, and cooperatives, with the largest concentrations in the Central and South Campus areas.

The residential system has a number of "living-learning communities" where academic activities and residential life are combined. These communities focus on areas such as research through the Michigan Research Community, medical sciences, community service and the German language. The Michigan Research Community is housed in Mosher-Jordan Hall. The Residential College (RC), a living-learning community that is a division of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, also has its principal instructional space in East Quad. In 2006, the university approved plans for a new residence complex for 550 students on the northern corner of Central Campus. When completed, this residence complex will comprise a second living-learning community.

There are more than 1150 student clubs and organizations at the university. With a history of student activism, some of the most visible groups include those dedicated to causes such as civil rights and labor rights. The most notable of these groups were Students for a Democratic Society, which recently reformed with a new chapter on campus as of February 2007, the Weather Underground, and Students for a Safer Ann Arbor. Though the student body generally leans toward left-wing politics, there are also conservative groups, such as YAF, non-partisan groups such as the Roosevelt Institution. There are also several engineering projects teams, including the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, which placed first in the North American Solar Challenge five times and third in the World Solar Challenge three times. Michigan Interactive Investments and the Michigan Economics Society are also affiliated with the university. The university also showcases many community service organizations and charitable projects, including the University of Michigan Dance Marathon, Relay For Life, UM Stars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, SERVE, Letters to Success, The Alliance for World AIDS Relief and Education (AWARE), PROVIDES, Circle K, The Detroit Project, Habitat for Humanity, and Ann Arbor Reaching Out. Intramural sports are popular, and there are recreation facilities for each of the three campuses.

Fraternities and sororities, many of which are located east of Central Campus, play a role in the university's social life. UM is home to four different councils making up the majority of fraternities and sororites on campus. These are: the Interfraterniy Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Association.

The Michigan Union and Michigan League are student activity centers located on Central Campus; Pierpont Commons is on North Campus. The Michigan Union houses a majority of student groups, including the student government. The William Monroe Trotter House, located east of Central Campus, is a multicultural student center operated by the university's Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs. The University Activities Center (UAC) is a student-run programming organization and is composed of 15 committees. Each group involves students in the planning and execution of a variety of events both on and off campus.

The Michigan Marching Band, composed of over 350 students from almost all of UM's schools, is the university's marching band. Over 100 years old, the band performs at every home game and travels to at least one away game a year. The student-run and led University of Michigan Pops Orchestra is another musical ensemble that attracts students from all academic backgrounds. It performs regularly in the Michigan Theater. The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club, founded in 1859, is a men's chorus with over 100 members. Its eight member subset a cappella group, the University of Michigan Friars, which was founded in 1955, is the oldest currently running a cappella group on campus.

The Michigan Daily is the student-run daily newspaper. Founded in 1890, The Daily is published five days a week during the normal academic year, and weekly during the spring and summer terms. Other student publications at the university include the conservative The Michigan Review, the progressive Michigan Independent, the Michigan Journal of Political Science, The Michigan Journal of Business, the University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Forum (UMURF), and the humor publications The Michigan Every Three Weekly and the Gargoyle. WCBN (88.3 FM) is a freeform radio station; WOLV-TV is a student-run television station that is primarily shown on the university's cable television system.

The University of Michigan's sports teams are called the Wolverines. They participate in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision (formally Division I-A) and in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except men's ice hockey, which is a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. In seven of the past ten years, UM has finished in the top five of the NACDA Director's Cup, a ranking compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to tabulate the success of universities in competitive sports. UM has finished in the top eleven of the Directors' Cup standings in each of the award's twelve seasons and has placed in the top six in each of the last eight seasons.

The UM football program ranks first in NCAA history in both total wins (872) and winning percentage (.740). The team won the first Rose Bowl game in 1902. UM had 40 consecutive winning seasons from 1968 to 2007, including consecutive bowl game appearances from 1975 to 2007. The Wolverines have won a record 42 Big Ten championships, including five in the past decade. The program has eleven national championships, most recently in 1997, and has produced three Heisman Trophy winners: Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson.

Michigan Stadium is the largest college football-only stadium in the world, with an official capacity of more than 107,501 (the extra seat is said to be "reserved" for Fielding H. Yost) though attendance—frequently over 111,000 spectators—regularly exceeds the official capacity. The NCAA's record-breaking attendance has become commonplace at Michigan Stadium, especially since the arrival of head coach Bo Schembechler. UM has fierce rivalries with many teams, including Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, the latter of which has been referred to by ESPN as the greatest rivalry in American sports, along with the Notre Dame-USC and Army-Navy rivalries. UM has all-time winning records against Michigan State University, University of Notre Dame, and Ohio State University.

The men's ice hockey team, which plays at Yost Ice Arena, has won nine national championships, while the men's basketball team, which plays at Crisler Arena, has appeared in four Final Fours and won a national championship in 1989. However, the program became involved in a scandal involving payments from a booster during the 1990s. This led to the program being placed on probation for a four-year period. The program also voluntarily vacated victories from its 1992–1993 and 1995–1999 seasons in which the payments took place, as well as its 1992 and 1993 Final Four appearances.

Through the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, 178 UM students and coaches had participated in the Olympics, winning medals in every Summer Olympics except 1896, and winning gold medals in all but four Olympiads. UM students have won a total of 116 Olympic medals: 54 gold, 27 silver, and 35 bronze.

The University of Michigan's fight song, The Victors, was written by student Louis Elbel in 1898 following the last-minute football victory over the University of Chicago that clinched a league championship. The song was declared by John Philip Sousa as "the greatest college fight song ever written." The song refers to the university as being the "Champions of the West". At the time, UM was part of the "Western Conference", which would later become the Big Ten Conference. Michigan was considered to be on the Western Frontier when it was founded in the old Northwest Territory. Although mainly used at sporting events, the fight song can be heard at other events. President Gerald Ford had it played as his entrance anthem in preference over the more traditional Hail to the Chief during his term from 1974 to 1977. The fight song is also sung during graduation commencement ceremonies. The university's alma mater song is The Yellow and Blue. A common rally cry is "Let's Go Blue!", written by former students Joseph Carl, a sousaphonist, and Albert Ahronheim, a drum major.

UM has more than 445,000 living graduates, reportedly one of the largest alumni bodies on earth. In addition to the late U.S. president Gerald Ford, the university has produced twenty-six Rhodes scholars and 116 Olympic medalists, seven Nobel Prize winners, and Fields Medal winner Stephen Smale. UM's contribution to aeronautics also include aircraft designer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson of Lockheed Skunk Works fame, Lockheed president Willis Hawkins, as well as several astronauts, including the all-UM crew of Gemini 4. UM counts among its matriculants sixteen billionaires, as well as a number of alumni who have founded or co-founded many companies and organizations, including Dr. J. Robert Beyster who founded Science Applications International Corporation in 1969 and Google co-founder Larry Page (see also: List of Entities Founded by University of Michigan alumni).

Notable writers who attended UM include playwright Arthur Miller, novelists Brad Meltzer and Betty Smith, screenwriter Judith Guest, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke, authors Charles Major and Sandra Steingraber, and composer/author/puppeteer Forman Brown. In Hollywood, famous alumni include actor James Earl Jones, actresses Lucy Liu and Selma Blair, and filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan. Musicians who graduated from the university include singer Joe Dassin, operatic soprano Jessye Norman, jazz guitarist Randy Napoleon, and Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis.

Other UM graduates include TV journalist Mike Wallace, former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, conservative pundit Ann Coulter, assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, Weather Underground radical activist Bill Ayers, activist Tom Hayden, architect Charles Moore, the Swedish Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg, and Benjamin D. Pritchard, the Civil War general who captured Jefferson Davis. Clarence Darrow attended the Law School at a time when many lawyers did not receive any formal education. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent, attended the UM School of Medicine. Ryan Drummond later went on to voice Sonic the Hedgehog (character) in the series of video games from 1999-2004. Pop singer Madonna, professional baseball player Derek Jeter, and rock legend Iggy Pop attended but did not graduate.

UM athletes have starred in the National Football League and National Basketball Association as well as other professional sports. Notable among recent players is Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Three players have won college football's Heisman Trophy, awarded to the player considered the best in the nation: Tom Harmon (1940), Desmond Howard (1991) and Charles Woodson (1997). Professional golfer John Schroeder and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps also attended the University of Michigan, with the latter studying Sports Marketing and Management. Phelps also swam competitively for Club Wolverine, a swimming club associated with the university.

The university claims the only alumni association with a chapter on the moon, established in 1971 when the crew of Apollo 15 placed a charter plaque for a new UM Alumni Association on the lunar surface. According to the Apollo 15 astronauts, several small UM flags were brought on the mission. However, no flag made it to the surface or was left there. The presence of a UM flag on the moon is a long-held campus myth.

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Michigan Highway System

This is a map of highways in the state of Michigan, however not all highways are in the map, nor are they all totally accurate.

The Michigan State Trunkline Highway System is made up of all the highways designated as Interstates, U.S. Highways and State Highways in the U.S. state of Michigan. The system is maintained by the Michigan Department of Transportation and comprises 9,720.8 miles (15,644.11 km) of trunklines in all 83 counties of Michigan on both the Upper and Lower peninsulas, linked by the Mackinac Bridge. The system ranges in size from the unsigned BS I-375 at 0.167 miles (0.269 km) and signed M-212 at 0.732 miles (1.178 km) to I-75 at 395.40 miles (636.33 km). Some trunklines in Michigan are maintained by MDOT but bear no signage along the route to indicate this. These unsigned trunklines are mostly segments of former highway designations that have been moved or had the designations decommissioned. These segments remain under state control until the appropriate city or county accepts jurisdiction of the roadway from the state.

The M in the state highway numbers is an integral part of the designation and included on the reassurance marker shields posted along the side of the highway. Michigan highways are properly referred to using the M and never as "Route 28" or "Highway 28", but as M-28. Michigan is one of only two states that does this, the other one being Kansas. This usage dates from 1918, when Michigan's state trunklines were first signed in the field. The state highway route marker is a diamond with a block letter "M" at the top, similar to the "M" worn by athletic teams at the University of Michigan.

Although "M-nn" outside of Michigan could refer to other state, provincial, local, or national highways, local usage in those areas does not mimic the Michigan usage in most cases. In the United Kingdom, "M" refers to motorways, analogous to freeways in the United States, whereas "M-nn" designations in Michigan simply signify state trunklines in general and may exist on any type of highway. "M-nn" trunklines are designated along eight-lane freeways in urban areas, four-lane rural freeways and expressways, principal arterial highways, two-lane highways in far-flung rural areas, and even M-185, a non-motorized road restricted to bicycles, horse-drawn carriages and pedestrians.

The highest numbers used for highway designations include M-553 in the UP and I-696 running along the northern Detroit suburbs. The lowest numbers in use are M-1 along Woodward Avenue in Detroit and US 2 across the UP. Most M-numbered trunkline designations are lower than the low 200s, but some have been designated in the low 300s. MDOT has not assigned a designation outside the Interstate System in the 400s at this time. No discernible pattern is to be inferred in Michigan's numbering system.

Unlike some other states, there are no formal rules prohibiting the usage of the same route number under different systems. Motorists driving Michigan's highways can encounter both I-75 and M-75 as well as both US 8 and M-8. Many of the state's U.S. Highways were assigned numbers duplicating those of state routes when the U.S. Highway system was created in 1926. The coming of the Interstate Highway System in the late-1950s further complicated the situation: each mainline Interstate designation has a similar but unrelated "M-numbered" state trunkline counterpart elsewhere in the state.

Many U.S. Highways in Michigan have left an M-numbered highway with the same number as a relic of their existence. As an example, M-27 runs along a portion of former US 27. In addition, two occurrences of an original "M-numbered" state route which became U.S. Highways with the same route designation existed: all of M-16 became US-16 and most of M-10 from Detroit to Saginaw was assumed into the route of US 10 in 1926. In fact each iteration of M-10 has existed along a former or future alignment of US 10, at least in part.

There were also some examples of "M-numbered" state highways which once existed as extensions of US Highways. M-25 was originally an extension of US 25 when US 25 went all the way to Michigan, and there was once an M-112 that served as an alternate routing for US 112 (both have since been changed, to I-94 and US 12 respectively).

There are four systems of highways maintained by MDOT as part of the state trunkline system. In addition there are systems of roads maintained by the federal government and counties. There is considerable overlap as designations from different systems share the same stretch of pavement in concurrencies. I-75 and US 23 share around 75 miles (121 km) of freeway alignment between Flint and Standish. BUS US 131 in Big Rapids is routed long a portion of M-20 on Perry Street to connect back to the US 131 freeway.

State trunkline highways not a part of the of the Interstate or US highway systems are numbered with the M- prefix and carry the diamond route marker.

Another important part of the state trunkline system is the special routes or bannered highways. These highway designations are distinguished by the "banner plate" on top of the normal highway marker indicating them as business or connector routes of the system. Business loops and spurs of the Interstate Highway System use a special green version of the standard Interstate marker which places the word "Business" at the top where "Interstate" appears normally. These business loops and spurs connect downtown districts to the main highways after realignments and bypasses have routed the main highway out of the downtown area. Other highways are the connector routes which as the name suggests, connect two highways together. Most of these connectors are unsigned.

There exists a parallel system of county-designated highways in Michigan with numbers assigned in a grid system by MDOT. These highways, while signed on the trunklines and shown on the official MDOT map are maintained by the various counties. They were started in 1970 as a supplement to the main trunkline system. They carry a letter-number combination and used the national standard pentagon-shaped marker in blue and yellow. Other county systems are designated and maintained in each of the 83 counties and practices vary between using the pentagon marker to older square markers in black and white.

The Forest service maintains Forest Routes providing access to the National Forests in the state. A handful of these highways exist in Michigan. In addition to these, Michigan participates in the Great Lakes Circle Tour program, signing these tours along the state-maintained highway closest to Michigan's Great Lakes shorelines. There is also the Michigan Heritage Route system created in 1993 to highlight trunklines with Historic, Recreational or Scenic qualities.

The history of the highway system in Michigan dates back to the old Native-American trails that criss-crossed the state. These trails were pathways no wider than approximately 12–18 inches (30–40 cm) permitting single-file traffic. Many of the modern highways in the state follow the path of these old trails, including the Great Trail from Fort Pitt to Fort Detroit which is now US 24 from Detroit to Toledo, Ohio. This trail connected with Braddock's Road which lead to the Atlantic Coast.

The Michigan Territory was established in 1805, and the first roads districts were established by the territorial governor. These roads were primarily built to serve the agricultural needs of the farming population of the time. These roads proved inadequate to the needs of the military during the War of 1812. Territorial Governor Lewis Cass lobbied the federal government for road construction funding to bolster defensive needs as well as aid in settlement of the territory. Military roads debuted in 1816 with the construction of the Detroit–Fort Meigs Road to Toledo as a response to transportation needs. More roads were built with Congressional appropriations in the 1820s and 1830s connection Detroit to Port Huron, Saginaw, Grand Rapids and Chicago.

Townships were given authority to construct roads under the supervision of county commissioners in 1817. This supervision was difficult since in one case, one county covered all of the Upper Peninsula and several of today's counties in the Lower Peninsula. Direct supervision over construction was granted to the townships in 1827, and federal involvement in road building ended with the 1837 granting of statehood. Private construction companies built plank roads starting in 1844 to fill the void in long-distance road construction left by the departure of the federal government. The plank road companies had to be chartered by the state and build their roads to a set of minimum specifications. These specifications included 16 feet (5 m) in width, half of that was to be 3-inch (8 cm) planks. The companies were permitted to charge one cent/mile to one-horse vehicles and two cents/mile for two-horse carriages and every score of cattle. These companies could not support the maintenance needs of the roads from the tolls charged. Even Mark Twain remarked, "The road could not have been bad if some unconscionable scoundrel had not now and then dropped a plank across it," after a trip to Grand Rapids.

Townships continued to maintain and build local roads using the "statute labor system". Able-bodied men residing in a local road district were expected to pay his road taxes by performing 30 days of labor on the roads in his district. If he was unable to work off the tax, a rate of 62.5 cents/day was assessed. This road was was performed under the guidance of the township road overseer, a separate elected township official, according to the wishes of his constituents, often without any county-level planning or coordination. Often the "improved roads" were in worse condition than unimproved roads due to the amateur nature of the maintenance.

An early form of federal aid contributed to the road network in the state starting in 1959. Congress granted certain forest and swamp lands to the state in 1850. A stipulation on the grant stated that the proceeds from the lands would be used to reclaim them for use. The Michigan Legislature established several roads to be built by contractors, paid with the proceeds from the sale of the land adjoining the roads, or with land itself. Around 5,700 miles (9,200 km) of roads were built using this plan until the supply of land was exhausted.

The tax system was partially reformed in 1881, allowing for direct payment of road taxes instead of relying totally on the statute-labor system. The first road district larger than the township level was created in Bay County in 1883 under Public Act 278. This roads district encompassed eight township and provided for better coordination and planning of road construction. Other county systems were created in 1893 with passage of legislation which allowed other counties to follow the lead of Bay County.

The first state road agency, the Michigan State Highway Department was created on July 1, 1905. At first the department administered rewards to the counties and townships for building roads to state minimum specifications. In 1905, there were 68,000 miles (110,000 km) of roads in Michigan. Of these roads, only 7,700 miles (12,000 km) were improved with gravel and 245 miles (394 km) were macadam. The state's statute labor system was abolished in 1907. Instead a property tax system was instituted with the funding only for permanent improvements, not maintenance. The nation's first mile of concrete roadway was laid along Woodward Avenue between Six Mile and Seven Mile roads in Detroit. This section of street was 17 feet 8 inches (5.38 m) wide.

Passage of the "State Trunkline Act" in 1913 provided for 3,000 miles (4,828 km) of roadways in a state-financed system. Further legislation at the time allowed for special assessment taxing districts for road improvements, taxation of automobiles based on weight and horsepower and tree-planting along highway roadsides. The first centerline was painted on a state highway in 1917 along the Marquette-Negaunee Road which was designated Trunkline 15, now Marquette County Road 492 (The first centerline was invented in 1911 in Wayne County by Edward N. Hines.) Winter maintenance started during World War I to keep 590 miles (950 km) of strategic highways clear. In 1919, Michigan first signed the trunklines, becoming the second state to do so.

While Michigan was the second jurisdiction to post route designations along its state trunkline highway system in 1919, Michigan actually began assigning internal trunkline route designations for internal inventory purposes as early as 1913. From 1918 to 1926, only the "M-numbered" route designations existed on state highways throughout Michigan, while the coming of the U.S. Highway System in 1926 caused several existing designations to be either reassigned or retired altogether.

The 1932 McNitt act consolidated all of the township-controlled roads into 83 county road commissions. During World War II, the Willow Run Expressway, the Detroit Industrial Expressway and the Davison Freeway were built, ushering in the beginnings of the state's freeway system.

Act 51 of 1951 amended and clarified the current system of jurisdiction over roads in the state. The existing tri-level system was maintained, splitting road jurisdiction between the state, counties and cities, as well as subdivided each level into several classifications. Further legislation redefined the exact distribution, but Act 51 set up a system to distribute road funding from gas taxes from a single funding source, currently the Michigan Transportation Fund. Michigan was the first state to complete a border-to-border Interstate Highway in 1960 with the completion of Interstate 94 in Michigan. The 1,241-mile (1,997 km) Interstate Highway network in Michigan was completed in 1992 with the last 4 miles (6 km) of Interstate 69 in Michigan.

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Northern Michigan

The S.S. Badger connects the Wisconsin and Michigan segments of U.S. 10.

Northern Michigan—or more properly Northern Lower Michigan—is a region of the U.S. state of Michigan (known colloquially to residents of more southerly parts of the state as "up north"), popular as a tourist destination. It is home to several small- to medium-sized cities, extensive state and national forests, lakes and rivers, and a large portion of Great Lakes shoreline. The region has a significant seasonal population much like other regions that depend on tourism as their main industry.

The region is not precisely defined, with residents in the far southern part of the state tending to include areas just north of Flint and Grand Rapids, but more northern residents restricting it to the area north of Mount Pleasant: the "fingers" of the mitten-like shape of the Lower Peninsula. People from Northern Michigan generally use the term "downstate" to refer to people and places south of the region.

The geographical theme of this region is shaped by the fact that it is part of greater Michigan, which has: Template:Convert/sq mi of land; Template:Convert/sq mi of inland water; Template:Convert/sq mi of Great Lakes water area; 3,288 miles (5,292 km) of Great Lakes shoreline; 11,037 inland lakes. and 36,000 miles (57,936 km) of rivers and streams. Some of the inland lakes are truly massive.

Across the Straits of Mackinac, to the north, west and northeast, lies the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (the "U.P."). Despite its geographic location as the most northerly part of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula is not usually included in the definition of Northern Michigan (although Northern Michigan University is located in the U.P. city of Marquette), and is instead regarded by Michigan residents as a distinct region of the state. The two regions are connected by the Mackinac Bridge.

All of the northern Lower Peninsula – north of a line from Manistee County on the west to Iosco County on the east (the second orange tier up on the map) – is considered to be part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord.

There are 149 lighthouses around Michigan's Great Lakes coasts, including several in Northern Michigan. They serve as functioning warnings to mariners, but are also integral to the region's culture and history. See the list of Michigan lighthouses for more information on individual lighthouses.

Adjacent to the Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport is a United States Coast Guard air station (CGAS), which is responsible for both maritime and land-based search and rescue operations in the northern Great Lakes region.

In addition, large portions of this area are covered by the Manistee National Forest and the Huron National Forest. In the former, a unique environment is present at the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness. This relatively small area of 3,450 acres (1,396 ha), on Lake Michigan's east shore, is one of few wilderness areas in the U.S. with an extensive lake shore dunes ecosystem. The dunes are 3500 to 4000 years old, and rise to nearly 140 feet (43 m) higher than the lake. The Nordhouse Dunes are interspersed with woody vegetation such as jack pine, juniper and hemlock. Many small water holes and marshes dot the landscape, and dune grass covers some of the dunes. The wide and sandy beach is ideal for walks and sunset viewing.

Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forest. Large lakes were created by glacial action.

Michigan is a unique travel environment. Consequently, drivers should be forewarned: travel distances should not be underestimated. Michigan's overall length is only 456 miles (734 km) and width 386 miles (621 km) – but because of the lakes those distances cannot be traveled directly. The distance from northwest to the southeast corner is 456 miles (734 km) 'as the crow flies'. Unlike the crows, travelers must go around the Great Lakes. For example, when traveling to the Upper Peninsula, it is well to realize that it is roughly 300 miles (480 km) from Detroit to the Mackinac Bridge, but it is another 300 miles (480 km) from St. Ignace to Ironwood.

Likewise direct routes are few and far between I-75 and M-115 do angle from the southeast to the northwest), but most roads are oriented either east-west or north-south (oriented with township lines) (See Land Ordinance of 1785). So travel may take longer than newcomers might otherwise think.

Boating, golf, and camping are leading activities. Sailing, kayaking, canoeing, birding, bicycling, horse back riding, motorcycling, and 'off roading' are important avocations. The forest activities are available everywhere. There are a great many Michigan state parks and other protected areas which make these truly a 'pleasant peninsula.' These would include the Huron National Forest and the Manistee National Forest, plus the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness.

Some of the ski resorts located on the western side include Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Crystal Mountain Resort, Nub's Nob, Caberfae Peaks and Schuss Mountain. Some of these also serve as summer golf resorts.

Fall activities include harvest festivals, and driving around in the woods to watch the colorful fall leaves. Hunting in Northern Michigan is a popular fall pastime. There are seasons for bow hunting and a muzzle-loader season as well as for using modern rifle season. The opening day of deer season (November 15) is often an unofficial local holiday, so important that a number of area high schools close on that day.

In winter, a variety of sports are enjoyed by the locals which also draw visitors to Northern Michigan. Snowmobiling, also called sledding, is popular, and with hundreds of miles of interconnected groomed trails cross the region. Ice fishing is also popular. Tip-up Town on Houghton Lake is a major ice-fishing, snowmobiling and winter sports festival, and is unique in that it is a village that assembles out on the frozen lake surface. Higgins Lake also offers good ice fishing and has many snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing trails at the North Higgins Lake State Park. Grayling and Gaylord and their environs are recognized for Nordic skiing. Cadillac is reputed to be even more popular during the winter than it is in the summer.

Northern Michigan was inhabited by Native American tribes, most recently Ojibwa, well before English settlers founded a fort on Mackinac Island. Later, industry depended on natural resources such as lumber and fur trading which contributed to the rise of Traverse City. When the railroads connected Northern Michigan to the large cities through Kalamazoo, some wealthy urbanites established summer home associations in Charlevoix and Bay View. As passenger railroad usage ended in the 1960s because of increased automobile travel, aggressive promotion of Northern Michigan by local chambers of commerce led to many of the festivals and attractions that bring visitors north even today.

The area was populated by many different ethnicities, including groups from New England, Germany, and Poland. Native American reservations exist at Mount Pleasant and on the Leelanau Peninsula.

The Lumberman's Monument honors lumberjacks that shaped the area, exploiting the natural resource. It is located on River Road, which runs parallel with the beautiful Au Sable River, and is a designated National Scenic Byway for the 23 miles that go into Oscoda. The State of Michigan has designated Oscoda as the official home of Paul Bunyan due to the earliest documented publications in the Oscoda Press, August 10, 1906 by James MacGillivray (later revised and published in the Detroit News in 1910).

Hartwick Pines State Park is a 9,672-acre (3,914 ha) State Park and Logging museum located in Crawford County near Grayling and Interstate 75. It is the third largest state park on Michigan's Lower Peninsula and the state's fifth-biggest park overall. The park contains an old growth forest of white pines and red pines that resembles the appearance of all of Northern Michigan prior to the logging era. Also to be noted is Interlochen State Park, which is the oldest state park and the other remaining stand of virgin Eastern White Pine in the Lower Peninsula.

The state has numerous historical markers, which can themselves become the center of a tour; one man's record and photographs of a quest to 'capture' them all is particularly interesting.

Interlochen Center for the Arts is a notable arts center that offers a high-school-level academy and summer camp near Traverse City. There are also several institutions of higher education in Northern Michigan. Community colleges include North Central Michigan College (NCMC, pronounced "nuck-muck" by locals), Alpena Community College, Huron Shores Campus-Alpena Community College, Kirtland Community College, and Northwestern Michigan College including the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, the only U.S. maritime academy on freshwater. Northern Lower Michigan has arguably only one four-year university (depending on the definition of the southern boundary of the region), Ferris State University in Big Rapids. Other nearby universities are in the Upper Peninsula (Northern Michigan University and Lake Superior State University), as well as Central Michigan University and Ferris State University in the more southern reaches of the state. The University of Michigan runs the University of Michigan Biological Station out of Pellston, MI. Central Michigan University runs the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island. Hillsdale College runs the biological station in Lake County.

The northeast corner has an industrial base. In particular, Alpena is home to the LaFarge Company's holdings in the world's largest cement plant and is home to Besser Block Co. (the inventor of concrete block and maker of concrete block making machine), and has a drywall board manufacturing facility owned by Abitibe; and Rogers City is the locale of the world's largest limestone quarry, which is also used in steel making all along the Great Lakes.

Nearer to the Lake Michigan shore, Cadillac and Manistee have manufacturing and chemical industries, including the world's largest salt plant.

Historically, lumbering and commercial fishing were among the most important industries. Logging is still important but at a mere fraction of its heyday output. Commercial fishing is a minor activity.

Agriculture is limited by the climate and soil conditions compared to southern regions of the state. However, there are significant potato and dry bean farms in the east. wine grapes, vegetables and cherries are produced in the west in the protected microclimates around Grand Traverse Bay. The Grand Traverse region has two of Michigan's four federally-recognized wine growing areas. The Grand Traverse Bay area is listed as one of the most endangered agricultural regions in the U.S. as its scenic land is highly sought after for vacation homes.

Large industries are sparse; cement-making and the mining of limestone and gypsum on the Lake Huron shore are the major exports of the area. Much of Michigan's natural gas extraction is from wells in Northern Michigan. A small number of men work on the Great Lakes freighters.

Airports serving Northern Michigan include MBS International Airport near Freeland, Pellston Regional Airport, Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport and Alpena County Regional Airport in the Lower peninsula. Depending on one's destination, Chippewa County International Airport in Sault Ste. Marie, in the eastern Upper peninsula might be a viable alternative. Grand Rapids and Bishop airport at Flint (although neither is within the area) also have scheduled service proximate to parts of the region. The Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport is now a public airport which gives 24 hour near-all-weather service for general aviation.

Several car ferries still operate in the region.

The major bridge in Northern Michigan is the Mackinac Bridge connecting Northern Michigan to the Upper Peninsula.

Alpena is situated along the Lake State Railway, formerly the Detroit and Mackinac Railway (D&M). Several other railroads have existed in Alpena's history.

While train lines like the Chicago and West Michigan Railway (later the Pere Marquette Railway) and several commercial cruise lines were early in generating traffic to Northern Michigan destinations, most of these have been discontinued.

The Au Sable Canoe Marathon, one of the few pro-am canoeing events in the U.S., occurs on the Au Sable River, where winning times may be as long as 21 hours.

Northern Michigan has many tree types including maple, birch, Oak, white cedar, aspen, pine, and beech. Ferns, milkweed, Queen Anne's lace, and chicory grow in the open fields and along roadsides. Forest plants include wild leeks, morel mushrooms, and trilliums. Marram grass grows on beaches. Several mosses cover the land.

Common animals in Northern Michigan include white-tailed deer, fox, racoons, and rabbits. black bear, elk, coyote, and bobcat are also present. There have also been various wolf and mountain lion sightings in Northern Michigan. Fish include whitefish, yellow perch, trout, bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie, and sunfish.

Common birds are ducks, seagulls, wild turkey, blue herons, cardinals, blue jays, black-capped chickadees, Hummingbirds, Baltimore Oriole, and ruffed grouse. Canada Geese may be seen flying over head in spring and fall. Less well known birds that are unique in Michigan to the Northern Lower Peninsula are spruce grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, red-throated loon,Swainson's hawk, and the boreal owl. .

The Au Sable State Forest is a state forest in the north-central Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Much of the forest is used for wildlife game management and the fostering of endangered and rare species, such as the Kirtland's warbler – there are regular controlled burns to maintain its habitat. The Kirtland's Warbler has its habitat in an increasing part of the area. There is a Kirtland's Warbler Festival, which is sponsored in part by Kirtland Community College.

The American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society have designated several locations as internationally Important Bird Areas.

Insect populations are similar to those found elsewhere in the midwestern United States. Lady bugs, crickets, dragonflies, mosquitoes, ants, house flies, and grasshoppers are common, as is the Western conifer seed bug, and several kinds of butterflies and moths (for example, monarch butterflies and tomato worm moths). Notable deviations in insect populations are a high population of June bugs during June as well as a scarcity of lightning bugs because of the lower average temperatures year round and especially in the summer.

There are no fatally poisonous snakes native to Northern Michigan. The poisonous Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake lives in Michigan, but it is not common, particularly in Northern Michigan. In any event, its nonfatal bite may make an adult sick, but it should be medically treated without delay.

Snakes present include the eastern hog-nosed snake, brown snake, common garter snake, eastern milk snake and the northern ribbon snake. The only common reptiles and amphibians are various pond frogs, toads, salamanders, and small turtles.

More comprehensive lists are available at individual cities, villages, etc.

Northern Michigan is in the Designated Market Areas of " Traverse City-Cadillac" (116), "Alpena"(208), and some portions of the "Flint-Saginaw-Bay City"(66) .

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Source : Wikipedia