Anniversary of the Mighty Mac

The Mackinac Bridge is Michigan’s most iconic landmark, and on June 25 we will celebrate the 58th anniversary of its dedication.

The Mighty Mac holds a special place in the hearts of Michiganders as the literal and symbolic connection between our state’s wonderful peninsulas. The bridge began construction in 1954 and opened on Nov. 1, 1957 — although it was not formally dedicated until the next summer.

The Mackinac Bridge Dedication Festival was held over four days in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, with surrounding communities also celebrating the dedication of the Western Hemisphere’s longest suspension bridge between anchorages. In addition to a large parade, other events marked the dedication — including fireworks displays, a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony and even the release of a special U.S. postage stamp.

The Mackinac Bridge took decades from its inception to completion, but it has become a defining monument to both human innovation and to Michigan’s landscape.

What started as an idea now welcomes about 11,600 residents, tourists and industries each day to cross the Straits of Mackinac.

TBT: “Winter Comes to Michigan” newsreel

You don’t want to miss this very cool blast from the past!

After spending decades in a basement in the eastern Upper Peninsula, a 1930s-era newsreel from the Michigan State Highway Department has resurfaced to remind us of the challenges — and the fun — of winters past.

The film, “Winter Comes to Michigan,” created by the precursor agency to the Michigan Department of Transportation, gives us a black-and-white window to the era when Murray Van Wagoner, a future Michigan governor, ran the department from 1933-1940.

The film shows residents enjoying outdoor winter fun at several locations, such as Ishpeming’s Suicide Hill ski jump, fledgling downhill ski areas, outdoor public ice skating rinks and an elaborate toboggan run. Filmmaker and author Bill Jamerson, whose documentaries have explored winter sports and other aspects of our state history, said many of the film’s locations were probably in the U.P., while the toboggan run scene was probably filmed at a winter sports park in Grayling.

On this Throwback Thursday, enjoy a glimpse at how things were 80 years ago and see how some things — like the fun and the tribulations of winter weather — are timeless.