GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michiganders are celebrating the day their home became the 26th state. On Jan. 26, 1837, an act was signed by Congress admitting Michigan into the union.
Of course, Michigan’s statehood was not complete without a little war with Ohio. The Buckeye State had joined the union 34 years earlier, in 1803. They set up their boundaries claiming 400 square miles of territory known as the “Toledo strip,” which included the valuable port city of Toledo.
When Michigan applied for statehood in 1833, it cited the ordinance of 1787 and the Act of 1805 that claimed the Toledo Strip was geographically in Michigan and defined its territories to include the area.
Since Ohio was already a state, it lobbied hard in Washington to keep Toledo within its boundaries. Michigan’s 22-year-old governor, Stevens T. Mason, decided to fight for it, sending a 250-person militia into the area to start the Toldeo War. Though shots were fired, no one was killed.
The war ended when Congress told Michigan it could only be a state if it allowed Ohio to have Toledo. In exchange, the government would give Michigan the western three quarters of the Upper Peninsula and grant statehood.
The Upper Peninsula proved to be 9,000 square miles containing the most valuable timber, iron and copper in the nation.
Today, Michigan is the 10th most populous state in the U.S. It is home to more than 11,000 inland lakes and is the only state made up of two peninsulas, featuring 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline.
To learn more about Michigan and its history, visit Michigan.gov.