The State of Michigan Turns 175

Lisa Diggs is the founder of Buy Michigan Now. On our blog today, she shares some thoughts about Michigan marking its 175th birthday. Plus, check out the bottom of this post for updates and pictures throughout the day using Storify.

One needs only to see the natural outline of our state from space, stare out from the shoreline of a Great Lake, or walk amidst the towering trees of a northern forest to get a sense that the land known as Michigan has been here for a very, very long time.  In fact Petoskey Stones are fossilized coral, believed to have existed 350 million years ago.  Yet, as a state, Michigan is only 175 years young.

January 26, 2012, marks one hundred and seventy five years since President Andrew Jackson signed a bill officially making Michigan our nation’s 26th state.  What a cause to celebrate!  That’s why the Buy Michigan Now campaign has launched an initiative to get us all talking about and sharing reasons why we love this state.  Whether you live here, or just like to visit, I hope you’ll join the party.

Traditional media has not always been kind to our state and its cities.  Now we have an opportunity to combine our voices and tell our own story.  Using social media, like Facebook and Twitter, we can change the national conversation about Michigan with every piece of good news, stunning picture, and optimistic status update we post.

Dine in local restaurants and shop in unique stores and brag about your experience.  Add pictures of your favorite sights, post a video about why you love the state, or declare your joy in a status update.

If you’re a Twitter user create your own “Tweets” or look for other people’s messages about Michigan that inspire you and “Retweet” them so they reach more people.  With each message, be sure to use the hashtag #Mich175 so that we may all follow along.

Live events are happening too.  Proud Michigan companies like Tubby’s Sub Shops, Hiller’s Markets, Cherry Republic, and Black Star Farms are all doing something special this week, as are Dow Gardens, the Michigan Historical Center and the Detroit Institute of Arts.  Visit Buy Michigan Now for details on their events, and many more.

Create your own unique tribute, today or any day.  Buy all Michigan-made products and cook a special meal or bake a birthday cake.  Toast with a locally-produced wine, beer, or spirit.  Visit a museum.  Talk with the children in your life about our state’s traditions and future.   Enjoy a stroll in one of our glorious parks.  Ski, skate, or snowmobile.  Take advantage of one of the four wondrous seasons we are fortunate enough to experience by living here.

Most importantly, become an ambassador for Michigan, not just this week, but all year long.  Together, with each story we tell and image we share, we have an opportunity to sculpt the world’s view of our astonishing state.  Happy birthday to us all!