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#11 Ann Arbor Stories: The Great Meteorite Heist

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 5:00am

It's a story 50,000 years old. Sort of. A 60-pound meteorite is stolen from the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. There are no signs of a break-in. No clues to follow. No video cameras to catch the robbers in the act. How did Detective Kevin McNulty of the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety crack the case?

Music by Mux Mool, made possible by Gholicense.

Further reading at AADL's Old News, including a photo.

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#10 Ann Arbor Stories: Ann Arbor Invents the Cubicle

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 5:30am

The cubicle. The three-walled cliche, surface to which so many Hang In There kitty cat posters are affixed, was invented in Ann Arbor. That’s right - the yoke around the neck of white collar workers everywhere was conceived and birthed in Ann Arbor. On State Street, no less. Here's the story of its invention and proliferation and how it came to be in Ann Arbor.

Music by Stepdad.

Further reading and photos from AADL's Oldnews

Birth of the Cube Farm from Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now.

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#9 Ann Arbor Stories: It's Lovely to Die Together

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 5:30am

(This episode is for mature audiences only)

The two girls were peculiar, even for Ann Arbor in 1971. They looked college aged, maybe they were hippies. Nothing outwardly weird, but something definitely strange. They stood a few feet apart, face to face on the corner of State and Liberty. Some said they were looking at the moon. Others said they just stared at each other. Stared for hours and hours that cold November night. This is the story of those two peculiar girls. And one tragic night in November in 1971.

Music by Diego and the Dissidents

Further reading and photos from AADL's Old News

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#8 Ann Arbor Stories: The Suicide Sub Comes to Ann Arbor

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 5:30am

See 38 and a half tons ... 81 feet of fanatical fiendishness. See one of the ships in which two of our enemies volunteer to accept death in order to blow up their objectives. See this Japanese suicide submarine and realize what a vicious, tricky, desperate enemy our boys are fighting in the pacific. Let’s hit them harder. Let’s depth-bomb them to the bottom of the sea - let’s show them what an aroused, all-out America can do.

On that Saturday, July 17, 1943, this honest to goodness captured Japanese suicide sub would roll through the streets of Ann Arbor in one of the weirdest parades in city history.

Music by Hollow & Akimbo

Further reading and photos from AADL's Old News

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#7 Ann Arbor Stories: The Legendary Weed Contest of 1975

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 5:30am

The Legendary Weed Contest of 1975 wasn’t just any contest. It was more than just a sweepstakes where the grand prize winner received one full-scale pound of Columbian smoking marijuana. It was a statement. A call to revolution. A brilliant marketing plan hatched during a smoke-filled discussion among the braintrust of the Ann Arbor Sun, looking for a way to increase the paper’s circulation.

Music by Chris Bathgate

Further reading and photos from AADL's Old News:

Contest winners announced
Legendary Weed Contest of 1975 ad
Prosecutor's Effort Fails to Halt Pot Giveaway
Prosecutor in court to halt pot contest

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#6 Ann Arbor Stories: Ghost in the Attic

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 6:30am

For a town as old as Ann Arbor, it has surprisingly few ghost stories. But in the late 1950s, the congregation of the First Methodist Church in Ann Arbor was pretty convinced they had a spirit on their hands. Caretakers sometimes heard footsteps late at night, but never spotted anyone in the church. Until the early morning hours of August 30, 1959, when they made a chilling discovery.

Music by People Get Ready

Further reading from AADL's Old News:
Initial Story
Bill of Health
Lim Gets Aid
Going Back to School
Graduating Saturday
Hit by Car
10-year retrospective
Retrospective after Cheng's Death

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#5 Ann Arbor Stories: Ann Arbor's Oldest Gay Bar

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 6:00am

It started on April 30, 1949, when Cupid Bar rebranded itself as The Flame Bar, turning a popular downtown student watering hole into a slightly more popular downtown student watering hole. Almost 50 years later, The Flame would close, shuttering an Ann Arbor institution. It wasn’t Ann Arbor’s first gay bar, and certainly not its last, but The Flame played a major role in the lives of many among Ann Arbor’s LGBT community - for good and ill.

Music by Lightning Love

Further reading from AADL's Old News:
The Flame bar review
Death of Harvey Blanchard
The Flame Bought
The Flame Reopens on Liberty

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#4 Ann Arbor Stories: The Birth of Iggy Pop

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 5:30am

Muskegon claims him because he was born there. Ypsi claims him because, for most of his childhood, he lived in a trailer park on the outskirts of town. But it’s Ann Arbor - along with cocaine, meth, acid, booze, pills, AND ambition - that deserve the credit for turning James Newell Osterberg into Iggy Pop.

Music by FAWNN

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#3 Ann Arbor Stories: Martian Madness

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 7:41pm

On the night of March 20,1966, Frank Mannor’s six dogs started barking like they’d never done before. He went outside to shut them up and that’s when he saw what he saw. Something flying through the night sky. At first it looked like a shooting star, then it slowed. It changed color. And it landed in the woods a few hundred yards from his Dexter farmhouse.

Music by Diego & The Dissidents and The Dead Bodies.

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#2 Ann Arbor Stories: Death of a Policeman

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 11:27am

Crime was never a big problem in Ann Arbor in 1935. There were occasional break-ins, robberies, stolen vehicles, assaults, a riot or protest or two, but Prohibition was over and the gangsters and bootleggers had moved on. An Ann Arbor police officer had never been killed in the line of duty, nor even died from a horse, car, or motorcycle accident while on duty. Not even a random heart attack. Until March 21, 1935.

Music by Ben Benjamin, and Aeroc made possible by Gholicense. Additional music by Chris Bathgate.