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Detroit, Michigan - Overview and Essential Travel Information
by cctraveler2 at TravelPost

Detroit's population has fallen below the 1,000,000 mark to 970,000, 48 percent below its 1950 peak of 1,850,000. It is now the 10th largest city in the United States. From 1905 to 1924 immigrants rushed to Detroit, making it one of the most diverse cities in the Midwest. Detroit is home to more Arab-Americans than any other city in the United States. It also has a high population of Albanians, Belgians, Maltese, and Poles. Detroit, with its 75% African-American population, is recognized as a national center of African-American culture. Mayor Dennis Archer replaced the combative Colman Young in 1994 and has helped the city start its revival in housing, commerce and arts. Detroit celebrated its 300th year aniversery in 2001. The current Mayor, Kwame M. Kilpatrick has picked up where Archer left off.

Mayor Kilpatrick is the youngest mayor in the history of the City of Detroit. Before his election as mayor, Kilpatrick was the first African American in the history of Michigan to lead any party in the Legislature. Serving as the Leader of the Democratic Caucus, Kilpatrick has earned praise from across the state for his ability to form coalitions to get things done.

Detroit is the automotive capital of the world and the auto industry continues to dominate the city's economy. Many of the attractions in and around Detroit have to do with the role Detroit plays in the car manufacturing industry. In Dearborn visitors can find the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Henry Ford Museum, while Flint has the Sloan Museum with its many historic automobiles.

Detroit has a fascinating cultural scene as well. The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the world's top art museums. Other popular Detroit attractions include the Hart Plaza, Renaissance Center, Greektown & Trappers Alley, Eastern Market, Fox Theater, Museum of African American History, the New Detroit Science Center, Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, and the People Mover.

Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village and IMAX Theatre (now called 'The Henry Ford') is a great place to spend a summer day! Start off in The Henry Ford Museum and take a look at America's cultural history, from JFK's limo, the chair Lincoln was shot in, the bus Rosa Parks refused to move to the back in, as well as other artifacts of Americana. Then move on to Greenfield Village and step into the past. Visit period homes moved from across the US to Dearborn. Homes like Daniel Webster's residence, Thomas Edison's laboratory, Henry Ford's birthplace, The Wright Brother's workshop, and more are all here for you to explore. Also, the village contains a real, working, farm tooled with period farming impliments and workmanship. In the evening, catch a movie in Detroit's only 3-story IMAX screen.

SIGHTS

Automotive Hall of Fame

The purpose of the hall of fame is to recognize and celebrate accomplishments made by individuals in the motor vehicle industry.

The Detroit Institute of Arts

Over 60,000 pieces of artwork are located in this museum. The museum is the sixth largest museum in the United States. Artwork includes paintings, sculptures, graphics, decorative arts and more. Through out the year there are many events and exhibitions that take place.

Sloan Museum

This museum combines a historical automobile and hands-on museum. Explore the 19th century with their great interactive activities. See over 80 automobiles built in flint. There is a Cafe located in the building, which offers snacks and cold drinks.

Museum of African American History

In the best of possible worlds, there wouldn't be a need for a separate Museum of African American History. However,in the world we live in, its existence is extremely important. The voices and achievements of African Americans need to be heard and remembered. The Museum of African American History was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1965 by a physician named Charles Wright. Its mission is to educate the public about the history, life and culture of Black America. The museum's new location, which opened in 1997, features 25,000 square feet of gallery space. It houses classrooms, a research library and a 317-seat theater. The main exhibit, 'Of the People: The African-American Experience,' encompasses the history of Blacks in America, from its beginnings, as represented by a reproduction of a 70 foot slave ship. The exhibition continues through post-Civil War Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance and the struggle for equality. Dr. Mae Jemison's flight suit, which she wore on the space shuttle Endeavor serves as a reminder of how far, literally and figuratively, African-Americans have gone to serve their country. Along with the main exhibit, revolving exhibitions will be shown in two other galleries. 'Africa: One Continent, Many Worlds,' a collection of African artifacts culled from a permanent collection of Chicago's Field Museum, will be on display from June 7 through September 7.

Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village

Learn the history behind the famous car inventor, Henry Ford. There are over nine acres of exhibits and millions of artifacts. Their exhibits revolve around transportation, manufacturing, home life, entertainment and technology. An IMAX Theatre is situated in the museum.
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