Welcome to Fun Facts About the 50 States, where – week by week – I’ll be taking you on a tour around this great nation of ours, providing you with interesting, yet completely useless and probably untrue, information about each of the 50 states.
This week, it’s time to use your hand for a map, because we’re headed off to Michigan, so let’s get started…
* Michigan became the 26th state on January 26th, 1837, and was originally a penal colony for disloyal Canadians who refused to say “eh?” at the end of every sentence.
* If someone from Michigan flips you off, don’t be offended. He’s probably just trying to tell you to take I-75 to Mackinaw City.
* Famous singer Madonna was born in Detriot, Michigan, which may explain why her bras looked like the hubcaps from a ’57 Chevy.
* Michingan’s nickname is the “Wolverine State”, even though there are no longer any wolverines in the state. The last Michigan wolverine died in 1872 when it was eaten by a badger while attempting to sneak across the border into Wisconsin.
* Rogers City, Michigan boasts the world’s largest limestone quarry, which is where Fred Flintstone used to work before he made it big in Hollywood.
* Yes, I know Fred Flintstone lived in Bedrock, but he commuted.
* Being surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan has more bridges than any other state, most of which Ted Kennedy has driven off of at one time or another.
* The Detroit Zoo does not keep its animals in cages, because they all know better than to wander the streets of Detroit after dark.
* Industrialist Henry Ford was born in Dearborn, Michigan, and invented the assembly line to streamline the process of killing union agitators.
* The world’s largest crucifix is located in Indian River, Michigan. Requests from the National Endowment for the Arts to dip it in the world’s largest jar of urine have so far been ignored.
* The Ambassador Bridge connecting Michigan to Canada was built in 1953 and has since been heavily mined to prevent more talentless, hack actors like William Shatner from sneaking into our country.
* No matter where you stand in Michigan, you’re less than 100 miles from one of the Great Lakes. If you’re in Detroit, you’re also less than 100 feet from the scene of a violent crime.
* Politician Thomas Dewey was born in Owosso, Michigan, and mentored Al Gore in how to lose a close election.
* Most snowblowers sold in Michigan are manufactured in Detroit and come with 10-year/100,000 mile warranties.
* They usually expire due to mileage.
* The name Michigan comes from the Chippewa Indian word “Mishigawa”, meaning “half my pocket change is Canadian, eh?”
* Rock & Roll legend Ted Nugent was born in Detroit, Michigan, but left the state in 1982 after he ran out of animals to kill there.
* Although the Western shore of Michigan has many large sand dunes, it has no camels as they were hunted to extinction by Ted Nugent in 1981.
* James Vernor invented Ginger Ale in his Detroit pharmacy. It’s one of the most popular drinks in the nation, except in Kansas, where it’s regularly outsold by Mary Ann Ale.
* Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office, which is frequently attacked by disgruntled former employees “going pirate”.
* Aviator Charles Lindbergh was born in Detroit, Michigan. His solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 was the first recorded instance of an American being glad to arrive in France.
* Michigan has more than 11,000 lakes, all of which have – at one time or another – hidden Jimmy Hoffa.
* In the 1950’s & 60’s, the prevalence of Detroit black singing groups created the style of music known as “Motown”. Since the advent of rap, it’s been called “Mofotown”.
* In 1929, The Michigan State Police established the world’s first police radio system after inventing the chocolate glazed radio receiver.
* The state reptile of Michigan is the Painted Turtle, or – as the natives refer to it – the Crunchy Speed Bump.
That wraps up the Michigan edition of Fun Facts About the 50 States. Next week we’ll STILL be frighteningly vulnerable to Canadian moose attacks as we explore Minnesota.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go jam out to some funky Mofotown grooves.
[The complete e-book version of “Fun Facts About the 50 States” is now available at Amazon.com. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free Kindle apps for your web browser, smartphone, computer, or tablet from Amazon.com]