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5 Fun Facts About February 19 In Michigan History

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

1. In 1976, Michigan officially designated the "Cherries" as the state fruit. Michigan is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States.
2. On February 19, 1864, the Detroit Public Library opened its doors for the first time. It was the first publicly supported free library in the United States and is now a landmark in downtown Detroit.
3. In 1857, the Michigan State Agricultural Society was formed, becoming the first organization in Michigan focused on promoting agriculture in the state. Today, the society hosts the Michigan State Fair each year.
4. The first ice cream soda was reportedly created on February 19, 1874, by a Detroit pharmacist named Philip Mohr. He added ice cream to a flavored carbonated beverage and the rest is history.
5. On February 19, 1999, Michigan Governor John Engler declared a state of emergency due to record snowfall and severe weather conditions which caused power outages and transportation problems. This resulted in schools being closed and businesses shutting down for several days.
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