Lansing /ˈlænsɪŋ/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.
The city site, on the Grand River at its junction with the Red Cedar River, was a wilderness when the state capital was moved there from Detroit (about 85 miles [140 km] southeast) in 1847. At first called Village of Michigan, in 1849 it assumed the name of the township in which it was located. (Lansing township was named for Lansing, N.Y.) The Michigan State Capitol (erected 1872–78) stands in a 10-acre (4-hectare) park in the centre of the city; the capitol underwent extensive restoration in 1989–92. Connected by plank road to Detroit in 1852 and to out-of-state areas by railroad in the 1870s, the city grew industrially after 1887 with the establishment of several vehicle manufacturers, most notably the Olds Motor Works (in 1899) and the Reo Motor Car Company (in 1904) by Ransom Eli Olds; it is now a major automobile production centre and also produces a wide range of other manufactures (including textiles, auto parts, metal products, and glass).
Lansing Community College (1957) is located there, as are a number of museums dedicated to the history of Michigan and of the transportation industry. A riverfront greenbelt and system of trails along the Grand River offer recreational opportunities within the city; Lake Lansing (7 miles [11 km] northeast) and Fitzgerald Park (10 miles [16 km] west) are popular destinations in the surrounding area. Adjacent East Lansing is the home of Michigan State University (1855). Lansing is the birthplace of journalist and essayist Ray Stannard Baker, botanist David Grandison Fairchild, basketballstar Magic Johnson, and biologist A.D. Hershey; it was also the boyhood home of Malcolm X.
The Lansing metropolitan area’s major industries are government, education, insurance, healthcare, and automobilemanufacturing. Being the state capital, many state government workers reside in the area.
General Motors has offices and a hi-tech manufacturing facility in Lansing and several manufacturing facilities immediately outside the city, as well, in nearby Lansing and Delta townships. The Lansing area is headquarters to four major national insurance companies: Auto-Owners Insurance Company, Jackson National Life, the Accident Fund, and Michigan Millers Insurance Company. Other insurers based in Lansing include Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan.
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