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Michigan is a Midwesternstate of the United States of America. It was named after Lake Michigan, whose name is a French adaptation of the Ojibwe term mishigami, meaning "large water" or "large lake". Michigan is the eighth most populous state in the United States. It has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world, bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair. In 2005, Michigan ranked third for the number of registered recreational boats, behind California and Florida. Michigan has 12,000 inland lakes. A person is never more than six miles (9.7 km) from a natural water source, or more than 85 miles (137 km) from Great Lakes coastline.
The state is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula of Michigan, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is sometimes dubbed "the mitten," owing to its shape. When asked where in Michigan one comes from, a resident of the Lower Peninsula may often point to the corresponding part of his or her hand. The Upper Peninsula (often referred to as The U.P.) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile-wide (8.0 km) channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Upper Peninsula (whose residents are often called "Yoopers") is economically important for tourism and natural resources. The Upper and Lower Peninsulas are connected by the five-mile-wide (8.0 km) Mackinac Bridge, which is the third longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the world. The bridge has given rise to the nickname of "trolls" for residents of the Lower Peninsula, because they live "under" (south of) the bridge.
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (called Michigan or U of M) is a public university. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan which also includes campuses in Flint and Dearborn. Founded in 1817 as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, about 20 years before the Michigan Territory became a state, the university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha), now Central Campus. The university has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings and transformed its academic program from a classical curriculum to one that includes science and research. U of M has one of the world's largest living alumni groups at 460,000. It owns the U of M Health System and has one of the largest research expenditures of any American university, surpassing $1 billion dollars a year. Its athletic teams, called the Wolverines, are members of the Big Ten Conference and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The football team plays in Michigan Stadium, also known as "The Big House," the largest football stadium in the world.
Dearborn is the eighth largest city in the State of Michigan with a population of 98,153. First settled in the late 18th century by French farmers in a series of ribbon farms along the River Rouge and the Sauk Trail, the community grew with the establishment of the Detroit Arsenal on the Chicago Road linking Detroit and Chicago. It later grew into a manufacturing hub for the automotive industry.
The city was the home of Henry Ford and is the world headquarters of the Ford Motor Company. It has a campus of the University of Michigan as well as Henry Ford Community College. Dearborn has The Henry Ford, America's largest indoor-outdoor museum complex and Metro Detroit's leading tourist attraction. Dearborn's large population of Arab Americans adds to the unique culture of the city.