Detroit Historical Society commemorates 100 years: ‘Celebrating Detroit Through the Decades’

The Detroit Historical Society honored four local legends including George Blah, Lomas Brown, Amyre Makupson and Ben Wallace. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

Detroit — I am honored to be a part of the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Detroit Historical Society.  Detroiters founded the Detroit Historical Society in December 1921 with historian, Clarence M. Burton as its first president.  We are celebrating the 100th year (minus two years delayed due to Covid).  Detroit has endured the most tumultuous of times, but we have survived.  The theme of this event is “Celebrating Detroit through the Decades.”  There was a strolling dinner and dessert reception along with drinks, a silent auction, raffle and music.

The VIP kicked off at 6:30 p.m. with a special ceremony honoring Detroit’s legends such as:  Detroit Pistons Ben Wallace, Detroit Lions Lomas Brown, Sports broadcasters George Blaha and Ken Daniels and anchorwoman Amyre Makupson.  These legends placed their handprints and signature in cement for display at the Legends Plaza in front of the Museum.

Ben Wallace was the first to place his hands in cement.  He is regarded by many as the greatest undrafted player in NBA history.  He won the NBA defensive Player of the Year Award four times.  On January 6, 2016, the Pistons retired Wallace’s No. 3 jersey.

Next came George Blaha, who was the voice of the Detroit Pistons.  He often used players’ nicknames such as “The Worm” for Dennis Rodman, “The Microwave” for Vinnie Johnson and “Big Ben” for Ben Wallace.  In addition to the Pistons responsibilities, Blaha was the radio voice of the Michigan State Spartans football team.

Journalism legend, Amyre Makupson was next.  She is best known for anchoring WKBD-TV newscast from 1985-2002.  She has won six local Emmy Awards including Best Anchor, Best Interview/Discussion Program and three for Best Commentary.

Ken Daniels is a Canadian sportscaster.  Currently he is the play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Red Wings.  In October 2017, he published his first book, “If these walls could talk: Detroit Red Wings.”  Daniels is co-founder of the Jamie Daniels Foundation dedicated to ending the shame and stigma that surrounds drug addiction.  “On the way to this event, I saw a car in front of me with the license plate that read ‘Jamie,’ so I know my son is looking down on me today,” said Daniels.

Lomas Brown, former Lions offensive tackle was the sixth overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 1985 NFL draft.  He played 18 seasons with the Lions.  Since his retirement from the NFL, he is currently a color analyst for Lions radio broadcasts on WXYT 97.1 The Ticket and commentator for ESPN.  He is also the CEO of LBJB Sports, a sports marketing firm in Detroit.

Cynthia Canty was the emcee for the event.  First she introduced Elana Rugh, the President and CEO of the Detorit Historical Society who announced this was our final celebration for our centennial.  She presented the Moving Forward Award to the Hudson-Webber Foundation.  This award honors our past as well as the present.  “We salute and honor this vision of moving the Detroit Historical Society forward.”

The DHS has collected and preserved artifacts from our 100 years and will continue to collect in the future to preserve this great city’s history.  I am proud to be a Detroiter and so proud of this institution and hope it will thrive the next 100 years.

The Detroit Historical Museum is located at 5401 Woodward Ave. in the cultural district in midtown Detroit.  In 2019, the museum announced it would resume charging admission due to a $297,000 deficit the prior year.  The admission for adults is $10 with reduced rates for children, seniors and active military.

For tickets and more info about the Detroit Historical Museum, visit:

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