Frankenmuthers, have you ever imagined what it must have felt like for the German settlers of Frankenmuth to come here to start a new life in a foreign county, on a different continent?
If I really try to put myself in their shoes and imagine what that must have felt like, I realize what a drastic step they took by leaving their home country behind, perhaps forever, to come here! Imagine what it would feel like to leave your family, Frankenmuth, and the United States without knowing if and when you will be able to see them again and without the intent to ever come back home permanently?
Let me ask you a question: What is the first association that comes to mind when you think about the city of Frankenmuth? Right, the fact that it’s "Michigan’s Little Bavaria," or "Michigan’s most German town" of course!
Frankenmuth is a city where German heritage and culture live on, even over 175 years after the first 15 German settlers arrived. The buildings look German with their timber-framed architecture, you can enjoy German cuisine and stores, and German festival traditions like the annual Oktoberfest ensure that there is something fun going on all year round.
But how does all this look to a young modern-day German?
The Attack on Pearl Harbor forced Americans to face a new reality. They were no longer safe from war. Rather than stand defenseless, many enlisted in the U.S. military. Others at home participated in Civil Defense.
Civil Defense measures had existed prior to Pearl Harbor, the bombings made it a priority. At that time the Civil Defense Corps were non-military personnel trained to fight fires, decontaminate areas after chemical weapon attacks, and to provide first aid. The advent of the Cold War, however, made these individuals much more important.
Generous locals taking pride in the city's beauty, businesses adopting German alpine architecture, and even the completion of the dike in the 1950s all helped to make Frankenmuth a tourist destination. But one often overlooked project literally paved the way for Frankenmuth's tourist appeal: The created of I-75.
Beginning in April of 1956, the Federal Aid Highway Act through the halls of Congress. By June the bill was signed into law by President Eisenhower. The initial bill allocated $25 billion in federal funds to construct 41,000 miles of interstate highways over the next decade. Our own trusty I-75 is one of those beautiful interstate highways that originated in this bill.
The first Monday of September. It’s a marking point that means the school year has come. Technically, it’s also the last day to wear white in a socially acceptable manner. All these points aside, Labor Day has a deeper meaning.
What are the chances that you could become an Olympic athlete? As of today, the US is sending 621 athletes across 36 sports to Tokyo. While historians are not known for our math skills, this intern has calculated that one has a 0.00019% chance of becoming an Olympian. But look on the bright side, according to USA swimming your chances to become a US Olympic swimmer or diver are hovering at an *attainable* 0.00013%. Against these odds, 10,931 men and women from the U.S. have gone on to represent the Stars and Stripes on the Olympic stage. This blog will go on to recognize and celebrate the Olympians that have been produced locally.
“Universal” means “of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases.”
If you’ve ever been a part of an organization, a council, board of directors, or a team, you probably know how difficult it is to get everyone on the same page. People have different ideas and strategies of how to approach a problem. There is rarely a “universal” solution.
“The soldier does not fight for hate of the enemy or what is in front of him, but for love of his brothers and what's behind him.”
William Cuthbertson, just 28 years old in the Summer of 1942, had a lot behind him to fight for. He had recently married his fiancé, Dorothy Nuechterlein, in April. Little did he know, but Dorothy would have a child 9 months later. He had friends and family in Michigan, not to mention the brothers serving in close proximity on the submarine, the Grunion.
History is often painted with blurred lines, but it's not always presented that way. Textbooks attempt to correct our vision of the past, but sometimes, their prescription isn’t always correct.
We are proud to present History at Home! History at Home is a virtual learning program that includes fun educational content, including a blog and our podcast. Even if you cannot visit us in person, there is still so much to do!