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The Way It Was

The Way It Was — Esther Gordy, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder

1998Esther Gordy Edwards, the sister of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, stands on the steps of the Motown Museum with Michael Jackson and Stevie...

The Way It Was — Coleman A. Young’s Oath of Office

1974 A half-century ago on Jan. 2, former state Sen. Coleman A. Young was administered the oath of office as Detroit’s first Black mayor by...

The Way It Was — Christmas at Hudson’s

1952 Five-year-old Skip Shaw was one of thousands of children over several generations who would relish cherished memories of meeting Santa Claus in the 12th-floor...

The Way It Was — Civil War Veterans Marching at Campus Martius

1891 Although Veterans Day has long been observed on Nov. 11, an earlier significant acknowledgment of the sacrifices of military personnel began at the end...

The Way It Was — Charlie Chaplin at Michigan Central Station

1923 On Oct. 15, 1923, world-renowned silent-film star Charlie Chaplin made a whirlwind visit to the Motor City, arriving at Michigan Central Station to...

The Way It Was — Iconic Detroit Athletes

1963 Sixty years ago, on Sept. 8, The Detroit News published a cover story in its Sunday pictorial magazine that featured these future Hall of...

The Way It Was — Eastern Market

1937 For 132 years, farmers like the ones shown here on Aug. 14, 1937, working tirelessly at the crack of dawn, have hauled tons...

The Way It Was — Suwanee Steamboat

1958 For several decades, a favorite summer pastime for visitors at Greenfield Village in Dearborn was taking a ride on the Suwanee steamboat that...

The Way It Was — Navin Field

Of all the visitors who came to Detroit in the first half of the 20th century, perhaps none was more famous than the New...

The Way It Was — Trumbull General Hospital, 1967

The medical center opened in the 1940s and was one of several area hospitals that cared for Black patients then

The Way It Was — General Motors Co. Headquarters

1923One hundred years ago, General Motors Co. completed construction on its massive 15-story headquarters on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. It soon became an...

The Way It Was — Highland Park Market

1933 In the late 1800s, Syrian and Lebanese merchants began slowly filtering into Detroit. By the end of the Roaring Twenties, thousands of immigrants from Arabic...

The Way It Was — The Detroit Pistons at Olympia Stadium

1958 Sometimes sharing a space with another tenant just isn’t easy. For their first four seasons after moving from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in...

The Way It Was — Rosa Parks and a Friend at The Detroit Zoo

1948  A few of Southeast Michigan's cultural institutions have proven than the 125-acre Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, which opened 95 years ago. One...

The Way It Was — Queen Elizabeth II On The Detroit River

1951  She reigned as the United Kingdom's Monarch for so long that it’s hard to think of her title as anything other than Her...

The Way It Was: Christmas Shopping in Downtown Detroit

1952 In today's mercantile world of Amazon, Wayfair, eBay, and other e-tailers, it’s easy to forget that shopping once meant a sensory experience, not just...

The Way It Was — Joseph Campau

1957 Looking south from the corner of Joseph Campau and Caniff, this photo shows Hamtramck’s main business artery, Joseph Campau, a busy hub...

The Way It Was — D.M. Ferry & Co.

1943Detroit once had a seedy reputation, but not in the derogatory sense. The city was home to the world’s largest seed company, D.M. Ferry...
Detroit Civic Center 1959

The Way It Was — Detroit’s Changing Face

1959 If one had to assign a title to this image, “Detroit’s Confluence of the Old and New” would be as fitting as any. The...

The Way It Was – Michigan State Fair

Miss Michigan State Fair Lila Verslype poses with a calf called Playboy

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