A little known state agency is celebrating an important milestone today. The Michigan Historical Commission is holding its 100th anniversary meeting in Lansing. The commission is the group responsible for the more than 1,700 green and gold historic markers scattered across the state. It’s also heavily involved in the ongoing sesquicentennial of Michigan’s role in the Civil War. The chair of the Michigan Historical Commision, Jack Dempsey, spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore about the importance of preserving Michigan’s history.
Today on Current State: Spartan women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant; author Winona LaDuke on Native American struggles with the U.S. military; the unsolved murder that changed Michigan politics; opera star Renee Fleming; and Neighbors in Action features Lansing's Box 23.
Before the assassination of State Senator Warren Hooper in 1945, corruption in Michigan politics was the norm, not the exception. While it remains unsolved, the Hooper hit, which was widely believed to be the work of Detroit’s infamous Purple Gang, ushered in a crackdown on corruption and altered the political climate in Lansing for good.
Bill Whitbeck, a Michigan Court of Appeals judge and the author of the 2010 novel “To Account for Murder,” which is based on Hooper’s death, recounts the story.