Friday, September 13, 2013

Factual Friday: Random things I learned about Michigan this week

Typically, my Friday posts have been about Michigan crimes, but I don't want this blog to get too morbid, so I've decided to switch gears this week. While researching ideas for posts, I came across a few facts that, while interesting, didn't contain enough information for me to write an entire article about. I wanted to make sure they appeared in my blog, though, so following are a few very random things I learned in the past few days about Michigan.

St. Anne church, Escanaba
1. In January 1968, Vince Lombardi, famed head coach of the Green Bay Packers, made his daughter, Susan, get married at St. Anne church in Escanaba. The reason? Susan was pregnant and Lombardi, a devout Catholic, wanted to avoid the news coverage her marriage would receive if it occurred in Green Bay.

2. The city of Bad Axe received its name from, you guessed it, a bad axe. When settlers found their way to the area in the early 1860s, a team set out to survey it. At one of their camps, the surveyors found a damaged axe and noted the location by writing "bad axe" in their report. The rest is history.

3. Surrounding the city of Frankenmuth are townships named Frankenlust, Frankentrost, and Frankenhilf. The term "Franken" stands for the Franconia region of Germany, from where the area's settlers came.

4. For some reason, though the film was shot in Amsterdam, the 1966 B-movie "Secret Agent Super Dragon" (which holds a 1.9 rating on IMDB) is partly set in Fremont. In the movie, Fremont's residents serve as test cases for a supervillain who, in an effort to rule the world, inserts hallucinogenic drugs into gum and candy. The move was later lampooned by "Mystery Science Theater 3000".

5. In 1987, Detroit television station WDIV produced the pilot episode of a sitcom called "Hamtramck" about the city of, well, Hamtramck. It featured appearances from Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson and player Dave Rozema, but quickly went off the air after complaints that it presented stereotypical portrayals of the city's Polish residents.

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