Midwest History

The breadbasket of the country, and the industrial heartland. Derided for its plainness and praised for its moderation. The Midwest has long been the moral and economic anchor of the nation.

Detroit History -- "French Detroit 1701-1760"

The city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by an enterprising French colonial officer named Antoine de le Mothe Cadillac.

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  • c.10000 B.C. - First American Indians arrive in what is now the Midwest.
  • c.1200 - Monks Mound at modern-day Cahokia, Illinois is completed. Marks the height of the Mississippian culture in that area.
  • 1673 - Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explore the Midwest and Mississippi River. Most of the region becomes part of New France until 1763.
  • 1787 - After the region east of the Mississippi passes to the United States, the Northwest Ordinance is passed to organize the settlement and governance of the area.
  • 1803 - Louisiana Purchase places the Midwest east of the Mississippi under U.S. control. Lewis and Clark launch their expedition in 1804.
  • 1808-1812 - Tecumseh creates an Indian Confederation to unite against white settlers in the Midwest.
  • 1837 - John Deere develops a steel plow that is well-suited for cutting the Midwestern sod.
  • 1847 - Cyrus McCormick begins producing mechanical reapers in Chicago and sells them to Midwestern farmers.
  • 1858 - Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas debate seven times in their U.S. Senate campaign. Although Lincoln loses that fall, he defeats Douglas (and several others) in the 1860 Presidential election.
  • 1872 - Montgomery Ward produces its first mail order catalog and develops a business that serves millions of rural and small town consumers.
  • 1890 - The Union Stockyards in Chicago slaughter 9 million animals in a year. Chicago becomes known as the "hog-butcher of the world".
  • 1908 - Henry Ford introduces the Model T automobile, revolutionizes transportation and industrial production.
  • 1959 - Motown Records is founded in Detroit. This label features the Supremes, the Temptations, and numerous other soul groups.
  • 1973 - The Sears Tower is completed and becomes the world's tallest building for over two decades.