LANSING, Mich. – Celebrating 180 years of statehood, Gov. Rick Snyder, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and other state officials and guests gathered today at the State Capitol Rotunda in honor of Michigan’s admission into the Union on Jan. 26, 1837.
Michigan’s 180th “Turnaround” Statehood Celebration recognized the many contributions the state has made over its history. “Turnaround” refers to the idea that it takes 180 degrees to turn something around, a nod to the state’s resilience and comeback, and also coincides with the 180 years, as of this year, that Michigan has officially been a state.
“This is an exciting time to live in Michigan, and as a state, we have so much to celebrate,” Snyder said. “Every region of Michigan has been part of an incredible comeback, and we are going to continue the work to see that continue so every person can find success along Michigan’s path toward our future.”
“These past 180 years have seen incredible advances in technology that continue to transform the Secretary of State’s Office today,” said Johnson, whose department is the oldest in state government and was responsible for hosting the event. “Customers can now remotely schedule appointments at 24 of our busiest offices or, even better, hop online and not in line with ExpressSOS.com and its Print ‘N Go technology. This relentless drive to improve is the reason that Michigan is the greatest turnaround state.”
Also speaking at the celebration were Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Attorney General Bill Schuette, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, House Speaker Tom Leonard, House Minority Leader Sam Singh, Supreme Court Justice Robert P. Young, Jr., and State Historian Sandra Clark. Mike Senyko, chief of staff for Secretary Johnson, emceed the event and Linda Lee Tarver, the Secretary’s Community Affairs Director, was the event coordinator. Joining the assembly was 12-year-old Noah Hampton Yarborough, a Lansing resident who spoke to Michigan’s future.
The 180th Turnaround Statehood Celebration participants complimented Michigan and its resiliency through the years.
“Michigan has made tremendous progress over the past several years and we are experiencing the benefits of the commonsense policies championed by the legislature and governor,” Senate Majority Leader Meekhof said. “I am happy to be a part of celebrating Michigan’s turnaround.”
“Over the past 180 years of statehood, Michigan has proven time and time again that better and brighter days are ahead,” Schuette said. “I am honored to be here today to celebrate the storied history and bright future of this great state.”
“Michigan is a wonderful state to call home,” House Speaker Leonard said. “It has made incredible contributions to our great nation. We have seen difficult times, but the people of Michigan stood strong time and time again to move our state forward. We are all proud of our state, but I am proud of the people who stood by our homes and our communities, and who built Michigan’s comeback.”
“Working with a 19th century structure, we are delivering accessible, efficient 21st century service to the public by measuring performance, implementing technology, and reengineering court processes,” said Justice Young, Jr.
After the Rotunda program, speakers and guests met in the Speaker’s Library on the second floor of the Capitol for a reception.
Michigan was declared a territory in 1805. Large numbers of people moved to the area with the opening of the Erie Canal, which brought greater economic and industrial opportunities. The state Constitution was approved in 1835, although the pending boundary dispute with Ohio, known as the Toledo War, postponed the formal recognition of Michigan’s statehood until Jan. 26, 1837.
Johnson reminds residents that if you also are celebrating a birthday this month, or any month, many transactions such as renewing your license plate tab or driver’s license, if eligible, may be done online at ExpressSOS.com. Hop online, not in line. With Print ‘N Go technology, you will finish your transaction with your registration or temporary license in hand. Check your renewal notice for complete information.