1978 in Michigan
|1978 in Michigan|
|History of Michigan|
Events from the year 1978 in Michigan.
- The Great Blizzard of 1978 leaving 400,000 homes and businesses without power;
- The passage of one of three tax proposals on the November ballot—a measure requiring voter approval for new tax increases above authorized levels;
- The reelection of William Milliken as Governor, easily defeating challenger William Fitzgerald, and Carl Levin's defeat of Robert P. Griffin in the election for a U.S. Senate seat from Michigan;
- The ruling of Wexford County Circuit Judge William Peterson dismissing all charges against three defendants in the first PBB lawsuit, a 14-month trial that was the longest in Michigan history;
- The recall of 1.5 million pre-1977 Ford Pintos for modifications to the fuel tanks;
- The passage of a ballot proposal in November increasing Michigan's legal drinking age to 21;
- The implementation of Michigan's deposit law following the 1976 measure banning throwaway bottles and cans;
- Disclosures of patient abuse at Michigan's state mental health facilities beginning with a series of articles published in February in the Detroit Free Press and resulting in the resignation of the state's mental health director;
- The conviction of Congressman Charles Diggs for mail fraud and making false statements in connection with a scheme in which staffers were required to kick back a portion of their pay to Diggs; and
- The passage of $168.5 million in transportation spending funded by an additional two cent per gallon tax on gasoline and increased vehicle registration fees.
The AP also selected the state's top sports stories as follows:
- The 1977–78 Detroit Red Wings season which rebounded from the worst record in the NHL one year earlier and won a berth in the playoffs for the first time in a decade;
- The 1977–78 Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team led by Magic Johnson and Greg Kelser that compiled a 25–5 record, won the Big Ten Conference championship, and advanced to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament;
- Michigan State's upset victory on October 14 over Michigan in football;
- Improvements in the Detroit Lions under head coach Monte Clark;
- The hiring of Dick Vitale as head coach of the Detroit Pistons;
- The selection of Detroit Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker as the American League Rookie of the Year;
- The resignation of Ralph Houk as manager of the Detroit Tigers;
- Rick Leach finishing his four-year career as Michigan's quarterback;
- The Detroit Tigers' signing of Michigan State football star Kirk Gibson; and
- Former Dearborn prep player Gary Danielson taking over as quarterback of the Detroit Lions.
- 1 Office holders
- 2 Population
- 3 Sports
- 4 Music
- 5 Chronology of events
- 6 Births
- 7 Deaths
- 8 References
State office holders
- Governor of Michigan: William Milliken (Republican)
- Lieutenant Governor of Michigan: James Damman (Republican)
- Michigan Attorney General: Frank J. Kelley (Democrat)
- Michigan Secretary of State: Richard H. Austin (Democrat)
- Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives: Bobby Crim (Democrat)
- Majority Leader of the Michigan Senate: William Faust (Democrat)
- Chief Justice, Michigan Supreme Court:
Mayors of major cities
- Mayor of Detroit: Coleman Young
- Mayor of Grand Rapids: Abe L. Drasin
- Mayor of Flint: James W. Rutherford
- Mayor of Lansing: Gerald W. Graves
- Mayor of Ann Arbor: Albert Wheeler (Democrat) / Louis Belcher (Republican)
Federal office holders
- United States Senator from Michigan: Donald W. Riegle Jr. (Democrat)
- United States Senator from Michigan: Robert P. Griffin (Republican)
- United States Representative, District 1: John Conyers (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 2: Carl Pursell (Republican)
- United States Representative, District 3: Garry E. Brown (Republican)
- United States Representative, District 4: David Stockman (Republican)
- United States Representative, District 5: Harold S. Sawyer (Republican)
- United States Representative, District 6: Bob Carr (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 7: Dale Kildee (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 8: J. Bob Traxler (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 9: Guy Vander Jagt (Republican)
- United States Representative, District 10: Elford Albin Cederberg (Republican)
- United States Representative, District 11: Philip Ruppe (Republican)
- United States Representative, District 12: David Bonior (Democrat)
- United State Representative, District 13: Charles Diggs (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 14: Lucien N. Nedzi (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 15: William D. Ford (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 16: John Dingell (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 17: William M. Brodhead (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 18: James Blanchard (Democrat)
- United States Representative, District 19: William Broomfield (Republican)
In the 1970 United States Census, Michigan was recorded as having a population of 8,875,083 persons, ranking as the seventh most populous state in the country. By 1980, the state's population had grown 4.4% to 9,262,078 persons.
The following is a list of cities in Michigan with a population of at least 70,000 based on 1970 U.S. Census data. Historic census data from 1960 and 1980 is included to reflect trends in population increases or decreases. Cities that are part of the Detroit metropolitan area are shaded in tan.
|City||County||1960 Pop.||1970 Pop.||1980 Pop.||Change 1970-80|
|10||St. Clair Shores||Macomb||76,657||88,093||76,210||−13.5%|
The following is a list of counties in Michigan with populations of at least 120,000 based on 1970 U.S. Census data. Historic census data from 1960 and 1980 are included to reflect trends in population increases or decreases. Counties that are part of the Detroit metropolitan area are shaded in tan.
|County||Largest city||1960 Pop.||1970 Pop.||1980 Pop.||Change 1970-80|
|15||St. Clair||Port Huron||107,201||120,175||138,802||15.5%|
- 1978 Detroit Tigers season – Under manager Ralph Houk, the Tigers compiled an 86–76 record and finished fifth in the American League East. The team's statistical leaders included Ron LeFlore with a .297 batting average, Jason Thompson with 26 home runs, Rusty Staub with 121 RBIs, Jim Slaton with 17 wins, and John Hiller with a 2.34 earned run average (ERA).
- 1978 Detroit Lions season – The Lions, under head coach Monte Clark, compiled a 7–9 record and finished in third place in the NFL's Central Division. The team's statistical leaders included Gary Danielson with 2,294 passing yards, Dexter Bussey with 924 rushing yards, David Hill with 633 receiving yards, and Benny Ricardo with 92 points scored.
- 1978 Michigan Wolverines football team – Under head coach Bo Schembechler, the Wolverines compiled a 10–2 record and were ranked No. 5 in the final AP Poll. The team's statistical leaders included Rick Leach with 1,283 passing yards and 72 points scored, Harlan Huckleby with 741 rushing yards, and Ralph Clayton with 546 receiving yards.
- 1978 Michigan State Spartans football team – Under head coach Darryl Rogers, the Spartans compiled an 8–3 record and were ranked No. 12 in the final AP Poll. The team's statistical leaders included Ed Smith with 2,226 passing yards, Steve Smith with 772 rushing yards, and Kirk Gibson with 806 receiving yards.
- 1977–78 Detroit Pistons season – Under head coaches Herb Brown and Bob Kaufman, the Pistons compiled a 38–44 record and finished fourth in the NBA's Midwest Division. The team's statistical leaders included Bob Lanier with 1,542 points and 715 rebounds and Chris Ford with 381 assists.
- 1977–78 Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team – Under head coach Jud Heathcote, the Spartans compiled a 25–5 record and won the Big Ten Conference championship. The team's statistical leaders included Greg Kelser with 531 points and 274 rebounds and Magic Johnson with 222 assists.
- 1977–78 Detroit Titans men's basketball team – The Titans compiled a 25–4 record under head coach Smokey Gaines.
- 1977–78 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team – Under head coach Johnny Orr, the Wolverines compiled a 16–11 record.
- 1977–78 Detroit Red Wings season – Under head coach Bobby Kromm, the Red Wings compiled a 32–34–14 record and finished second in the National Hockey League's Norris Division. Dale McCourt led the team with 33 goals and 72 points, and Reed Larson led with 41 assists. The team's regular goaltenders were Jim Rutherford and Ron Low.
Albums and singles by Michigan artists or centered on Michigan topics that were released or became hits in 1978 include the following:
Chronology of events
- January 26 - Corina Morariu, tennis player and winner of Wimbledon women's doubles title in 1999, in Detroit
- September 18 - Kendra Lust, pornographic actress and director, in Madison Heights, Michigan
Gallery of 1978 births
- April 24 - Heartley "Hunk" Anderson, native of Calumet, Michigan, American football player and coach (1918-1945), and College Football Hall of Fame inductee, at age 79 in West Palm Beach, Florida
- August 5 - Dutch Clark, American football player and coach (1926-1953), 6× first-team All-Pro, led Detroit Lions to 1935 NFL championship, and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, at age 71 in Cañon City, Colorado
- August 28 - Bruce Catton, historian known for his books about the Civil War, at age 78 in Frankfort, Michigan
- November 23 - George Wilson, NFL player and coach (1937-1969) and Detroit Lions head coach (1957-1964), at age 64 in Detroit
Gallery of 1978 deaths
- "Brutal blizzard was year's top story in Michigan". The Lansing State Journal. December 26, 1978. p. B7 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Red Wings' playoff berth selected top sports story". The Times Herald. December 31, 1978. p. 3C – via Newspapers.com.
- "1978 Detroit Tigers Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "1978 Detroit Lions Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "1978 Michigan Wolverines Stats". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "1978 Michigan State Spartans Stats". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- "1977–78 Detroit Pistons Roster and Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "1977–78 Michigan State Spartans Roster and Stats". SR/CBB. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
- "1977–78 Detroit Titans Roster and Stats". SR/CBB. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "1977–78 Michigan Wolverines Schedule and Results". SR/CBB. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "1977–78 Detroit Red Wings Roster and Statistics". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2017.