“The 51st State?” exhibit showcases U.P. history

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN)- Have you ever wondered why the Upper Peninsula isn’t its own state? The new “The 51st State?” exhibition at the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center answers that question.

The grand opening for the exhibit was held October 11 for the public with Yooper hors do’oeuvres and refreshments.

The exhibit showcases the process it took for Michigan to reach statehood and the initiative to separate the Upper Peninsula from the Lower Peninsula to try to create the 51st state.

“[The exhibit explores] what efforts have people made to make it it’s own state and what is the reality of it being its own state today? So I just think you get a lot out of it and learn something very new about the region and maybe even answer questions that they always had,” said Daniel Truckey, the director at Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center.

You can explore how the U.P., originally the homeland of the Anishinaabek, was acquired by the U.S., as well as the financial and cultural realities of statehood in the 21st century.

“The 51st State?” will be on display in the Beaumier Center gallery in Gries Hall at Northern Michigan University until March 28, 2020.

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