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5 Fun Facts About April 1 In Michigan History

---Learn Every Day: MI Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history mi To: 618-270-4005---

1. April Fools' Day Pranks on the University of Michigan Campus
On April 1, 1959, students at the University of Michigan orchestrated a prank that has become infamous in Michigan history. They placed a "nuclear reactor" in a building on campus, complete with warning signs and radiation suits. The prank caused alarm among officials and the public, but it turned out to be harmless--the "reactor" was made of a plastic tub and a few tubes.

2. Michigan's First Capitol Building Burned Down
On April 1, 1827, the first capitol building in Michigan caught fire and burned down. The building was in the town of Detroit at the time, and the accident forced the state government to temporarily relocate.

3. Michigan Proclaims Freedom for Slaves
On April 1, 1836, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to proclaim freedom for slaves. The state's constitution prohibited slavery, and Michigan's leaders were committed to upholding this principle. The law was challenged in court, but ultimately the state's anti-slavery stance prevailed.

4. The First Michigan State Fair Opens
On April 1, 1849, the first Michigan State Fair opened in Detroit. The fair featured livestock exhibits, agricultural displays, and local products. The event was a big success and became an annual tradition, eventually moving to its current location in the city of Lansing.

5. President John F. Kennedy Speaks at University of Michigan
On April 1, 1960, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The speech, which focused on education and national service, resonated with young people across the country and helped Kennedy win the presidency later that year.
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