Michigan in the 60’s

Michigan in the 1960’s often gets referred to as a firecracker. This is due to educational, economic, and constitutional advances. The population increased by 13 percent, new car purchases reached record levels, and schooling was booming. Michigan was exploding with new population and with that brought the need to expand and improve in all areas.

First of all, the importance of the 1960’s has a lot to do with its immense economic growth. Due to the car industry putting forth record numbers Michigan was able to reduce its unemployment rate from a blaming 10 percent in 1958, down to a respected 4.7 percent by 1967. Michigan’s production was so exceptional that by 1966 its Gross Product  stomped the Gross National Product of all countries in the world. Agriculture also contributed to the states growth by ranking fifth or better in all twenty farm-production categories. Next we give credit to all of the advances made for the educational system in the state of Michigan. The “baby boomers” were in full effect and elementary schools in the state were excelling at an average rate of $800 per pupil, in aid. Although the expansion caused several perplexing issues, and didn’t overall mean a better, more rounded education… it did advance the system in a way we deem fit today. The Constituent drafted to solve displeasure with the one previous also administered order, and organization amongst our states legal system.

In my opinion one of the most important and interesting topics discussed in this weeks reading was that of the advances in our economic growth. It is so intriguing to me to become more and more educated on the car industry that our state of Michigan takes so much pride in. To be shown, and have records of the intense jump in production, and its effect on the states unemployment rate is awesome. It makes me wonder where our state would be today if it wasn’t for the automotive advances that were made in the sixties.



Grimm, Joe. Michigan Voices: Our State’s History in the Words of the People Who Lived It. Detroit Free Press, 1987.


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