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Michigan Legal Milestones
10. 1961–1962 Constitutional Convention

1961–1962 Constitutional Convention—The Michigan Constitution we live under today was written at the Lansing Civic Arena. The Michigan Legal Milestone plaque was first dedicated in 1989, at the Arena at the corner of Walnut and Washtenaw streets. That building has since been demolished.

The plaque was rededicated and placed June 15, 2007, at Constitution Hall in Lansing.

Michigan Bar Journal

June 2007




Complete Text on Milestone Marker

1961–1962 Constitutional Convention

On October 3, 1961, 144 delegates from every walk of life assembled at the Lansing Civic Center to draft a new Constitution for Michigan.

The delegates' task was difficult. Michigan's existing Constitution, which had been amended 70 times, no longer suited the dynamic national industrial leader the state had become. For eight months, the delegates listened, proposed, debated, and compromised. The document they produced greatly changed the workings of Michigan's executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Significant revisions were also made in the powers granted to local government, the administration of public education, and the terms of office for elected officials. The new Constitution revitalized the guarantee of civil rights to every Michigan citizen and established a civil rights commission to safeguard those rights.

The Constitution was approved by the voters in a close election on April 1, 1963. Despite their many differences, the delegates produced a charter that has stood the test of time and served the people of Michigan well.

Placed by the State Bar of Michigan and the Ingham County Bar Association, 1989.