In the America that we have today, it seems that there are only two parties you can count on being elected for president, which are the Democratic and Republican parties. Although there are other political parties out there, it’s quite clear all the money and corporate backing go to these two parties, basically making it a two-party system.

But the truth is America has had 94 political parties many of which you may have never heard of. Names, such as the Silver Party, the American Vegetarian Party, the Anti-Masonic Party, the Anti-Monopoly Party, and the Nullifier Party are just some of the names and political affiliations that are long gone. But the interesting thing is that one of the longest-running, the Republican Party has maintained dominance above all of these and was started in Michigan.

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Before being started in Jackson, the origins of the republican party can be traced back to 1854 and the anti-Nebraska movement at a schoolhouse in Rippon, Wisconsin, where the name Republican was first thought up. It has its influence from Thomas Jefferson‘s Democratic-Republican Party, as the Wikipedia for the party details:

The first official party convention was held on July 6, 1854, in Jackson, Michigan. The party emerged from the great political realignment of the mid-1850s, united in pro-capitalist stances with members often valuing Radicalism. Historian William Gienapp argues that the great realignment of the 1850s began before the Whigs' collapse, and was caused not by politicians but by voters at the local level.

Did you know the party was started here in Michigan? Strange that it would be a swing state though, don't you think?

The Michigan Man Who Killed President McKinley

Michigan's President Gerald Ford's UFO Papers

In June of 1966, following a number of unidentified flying objects spotted in Southern Michigan and other parts of the country, then United States Congressman Gerald R. Ford took the United States Air Force to task for trying to dismiss his constituents' sightings as the result of swamp gas. Here are the papers, courtesy of the Gerald R Ford Presidential Library & Museum.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow