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5 Fun Facts About December 13 In Michigan History

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1. On December 13, 1963, the state of Michigan officially ratified the 24th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished poll taxes as a requirement for voting in federal elections. This amendment played a crucial role in the civil rights movement and helped to increase political participation among African American and low-income voters.

2. On December 13, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald, a massive freighter carrying iron ore pellets, sank in Lake Superior during a severe storm. All 29 crew members aboard were lost, and the tragedy became the subject of a popular song by Gordon Lightfoot. Today, the sunken ship remains a popular site for divers and researchers.

3. In 1821, Michigan Territory's first governor, Lewis Cass, authorized the establishment of a school for the deaf and the blind in Detroit. This school, which officially opened on December 13 of that year, was the first of its kind in the Northwest Territory and paved the way for greater educational opportunities for children with disabilities across the region.

4. December 13, 1837, marked the beginning of the Toledo War, a boundary dispute between Michigan Territory and the state of Ohio over a strip of land near the Toledo area. The conflict ultimately led to the intervention of President Andrew Jackson and the eventual cession of the disputed territory to Ohio in exchange for Michigan gaining statehood.

5. On December 13, 1913, Henry Ford introduced the first moving assembly line at his Highland Park Plant in Detroit. This revolutionary innovation transformed the automobile industry and enabled mass production of vehicles at a lower cost, contributing to the growth of Michigan's economy and making the state a hub for automobile manufacturing.
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