New exhibit looks at the history of the U.P. and its bid for statehood

“The 51st State?” will explore how the Upper Peninsula became part of the state of Michigan and attempted initiatives to separate it from the Lower Peninsula. (Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center Photos)
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A new exhibit at Northern Michigan University is highlighting the superior state. It's called the "51st state?" and it looks at the history of the Upper Peninsula and several attempts to gain independent statehood.

The exhibition includes dozens of photographs, maps, artifacts and documents showing different statehood attempts through the decades. It also includes graphs illustrating the economic ties the U.P. has to Michigan, making a bid for statehood difficult.

"This is something that's been seriously discussed since the 1840s, and there have been serious efforts over time to make it happen, but also it's fed into this relationship that we have, a kind of cultural divide that there is between the two peninsulas," said Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center Director, Dan Truckey.

The exhibit is on display at the Beaumier Center gallery in Gries Hall now through March 28.

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