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Jul 24

Let’s Celebrate Detroit’s 314th Birthday!

cakeWe are glad to celebrate today Detroit’s 314th birthday. And we couldn’t find a better way to celebrate it than writing a new post for our readers. And yes! You guessed it; this post will be dedicated to our beloved hometown. We will share some curious facts and history that will remind us why our city is so particular and awesome at the same time.

Let’s start with a little bit of history.

How did the first natives got to Detroit? Well, Odawa people came from the eastern areas of North America. Near what is now Detroit, once there, the group divided into three groups, the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi.

Historically, the first recorded mention of Detroit was in 1670, when French missionaries found a stone idol venerated by the Indians there and destroyed it with an axe. Early settlers planted twelve missionary pear trees “named for the twelve Apostles” on the grounds of what is now Waterworks Park.

Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1698 proposed to his government in Paris that Detroit be established as a shelter for displaced Indian allies. Paris approved and in 1701 Cadillac led a party of 100 Frenchmen to establish a post called Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit.

Later, an investigation by de Pontchartrain showed Cadillac was a tyrannical profiteer whose mischief hurt the French cause, so Cadillac was removed and sent to faraway New Orleans as governor of Louisiana.

Francois Marie Picoté, sieur de Belestre was the last French commander at Fort Detroit (1758–1760). He surrendered on November 29, 1760 to the British.

After learning about Detroit’s French heritage (I’m sure many of you didn’t know that), you should see some interesting facts that make our city so special.

– We had the first concrete roadway in the country

In 1909, the first mile of concrete roadway in the United States was paved at a cost of almost $14,000 (in case you wonder, that is the equivalent to over 2 million dollars today). And that’s the humble beginning of Woodward Avenue.

Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, from Rober...

Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

– Only floating post office in the U.S.

J.W. Westcott II is a boat that delivers mail to other vessels and also provides a pilot boat service to ferry pilots to and from other vessels. The boat also operates out of Detroit, Michigan, and is the only floating post office in the world that delivers mail to ships as they are underway.

– We love techno music!

In fact, this electronic music genre emerged in… Can you guess it? Yes! In Detroit!
The first recorded use of the word techno in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. Many styles of techno now exist, but Detroit techno is seen as the foundation upon which a number of subgenres have been built. We even have our own Electronic Music Festival held each Memorial Day weekend.

English: Picture of the Main Floor at Electron...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

– The hometown of many stars

There is a wide range of personalities that were born in Detroit. Just to mention a few, we can mention: Diana Ross, Alice Cooper, Francis Ford Coppola, and J.K. Simmons among many others.

– We had the first auto traffic tunnel between two nations

The Detroit-Windsor tunnel that connects Michigan, U.S. and Ontario, Canada was completed in 1930, and nowadays, is the second busiest crossing between the United States and Canada.

English: Customs booths at the Detroit-Windsor...

English: Customs booths at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)