1. The unsinkable Sarah E. Ray

    In 1945, Sarah Elizabeth Ray was denied passage on a ferry on the Detroit River because she was Black. She fought the injustice, became a civil rights activist, and her case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, her legacy is being preserved in a collection coming to the Bentley Historical Library.

  2. When ‘Red Emma’ came to town

    In the 1910s, anarchist, writer, and provocateur Emma Goldman, described by J. Edgar Hoover as ‘the most dangerous woman in America,’ paid regular visits to Ann Arbor. She described one rowdy U-M crowd as ‘pampered parasites, not one of them with enough backbone to fight a flea.’

  3. Life at Prettyman’s

    Horace and Jennie Prettyman’s sprawling manse on North University was Ann Arbor’s best-known boarding house, serving more than a million meals to students from 1875 to 1914 — including Fielding Yost’s varsity football players, who ate there nightly.

  4. ‘These young Americans’

    The first Japanese American workers arrived on the U-M campus in 1943. When they were willing to wash dishes and stock shelves, the University opened its doors. When they applied as students, the doors closed.

  5. From Hopwood to Hollywood to joy in the morning

    She fled the tenements of Brooklyn in the 1920s to follow her boyfriend to the U-M Law School. She got married, struggled to blend in with the coeds, and sought refuge in the library when things went awry. Then, Betty Smith, the future author of ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ met playwright and professor Kenneth Thorpe Rowe. His mentorship set her on a path that produced the bestselling novel of 1944.

  6. Rebel in the multiversity

    As a Michigan Daily reporter/editor who helped unseat Regent Eugene Power in 1966, Roger Rapoport, BA ’68, was persona non grata among the U-M administration till he graduated. How surprising then that in June 1967 he celebrated the modern-day “multiversity” in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly.

  7. Adieu, Elbel Field

    This nondescript patch of land in the heart of Ann Arbor has been home base for varsity athletes, amateur players, marching musicians, and many others during the last seven decades. In August, the field will move to make space for a $500-million complex of student residence halls.

  8. No women allowed

    Originally conceived as a ‘clubhouse’ to centralize campus life, the Michigan Union opened its doors to students in 1907 – with one key caveat. For decades, women were barred from entering through the front door.

  9. How the Michigan Union came to be

    As with most things in life, there is more to the Michigan Union than meets the eye. Its architectural style and embellishments, recently remodeled for a 21st-century community, represent the physical remnant of an early-1900s movement to forge a new ethos for the – ahem — “Michigan Man.”