Those not favoring the move believe that the State Historical Marker Program will lose its connection to the State Historic Preservation Office and to ties with other important programming including historical tax credits. Dissenters also believe that non-profit foundations have different goals than a state agency. Michigan has more than 1,600 historical markers and the first, dedicated in 1955, was at MSU in honor of the universityâ€™s founding. A marker on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Lansing recognizes the home of Malcolm X. (Read more about Malcolm X in Lansing by clicking here.)
Mt. Hope Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 38,000 persons, including three former MSU presidents and numerous war heroes, and political and business luminaries including R.E. Olds. The 77-acre site, established in 1874, also holds many less fortunate, including the 61 boys who died while at the Boys Vocational School in Lansing. It was only this past year that their burial sites were recognized with a marker.
ÂAlso interred at the cemetery are victims of the Bath School Bombing, a survivor of the sinking of the Lusitania, two Civil War soldiers who served in the 54th Massachusetts of â€œGloryâ€ fame and the first African American graduate of MAC, a former slave named Lucy Karney who died when she was 117 years old. Two-time Medal of Honor winner and Civil War surgeon Dr. George Ranney, along with Lieutenant Luther Baker who helped capture John Wilkes Booth, are also buried at Mt. Hope. In its heyday, the Ku Klux Klan used the cemetery as a marshaling location for Klan marches.Â
Jessie Lasorda, a local historian and consultant who worked on the project, said the Karney grave is without a marker, but an effort will start next year to raise funds to provide one. The historical marker was purchased by the city for $3,100.