DEARBORN – The enduring impact of Henry Ford and the 150th anniversary of his birth will be celebrated with the declaration of “Henry Ford Day” by the state of Michigan, a community-wide event and official transfer of ownership of the home of Henry and Clara Ford.
Henry Ford’s life and legacy will be celebrated at a free community event – Coming Together: A Celebration of Henry Ford’s 150th Birthday – held on Saturday, July 27 at Henry and Clara Ford’s historic home, Henry Ford Estate/Fair Lane in Dearborn, Mich
Recognizing Henry Ford’s vast accomplishments and innovations, the Michigan legislature also declares Tuesday, July 30 “Henry Ford Day” in the state of Michigan, marking the official 150th anniversary of the founder of Ford Motor Company’s birth.
Both the Michigan House and Michigan Senate adopted resolutions earlier this year to acknowledge Henry Ford’s impact on the automotive industry and on society at large. The resolutions note, “He is recognized for his pioneering spirit and innovation that put the world on wheels, and we honor his contribution to significant social and economic progress.”
The resolutions will be presented to Bill Ford and Edsel Ford II by representatives of the Michigan House and Michigan Senate as part of the community celebration.
“What my great-grandfather established, especially his legacy of innovation, continues to inspire us today in the products we develop and the communities we serve,” said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “We are putting unexpected levels of technology within reach of millions of people, accelerating the development of new products, creating jobs and bringing the freedom of mobility to the world.”
Henry Ford’s legacy – a community celebration
The community event will be open to the public on July 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A short program will be held at 11:30 a.m. with key members of the Ford family and representatives from the Michigan legislature, Henry Ford Estate and University of Michigan. Henry Ford Estate/Fair Lane is located at One Fair Lane Drive in Dearborn.
Henry Ford’s introduction of the automobile into the mass market transformed agricultural economies in the United States and around the world into prosperous industrial and urban economies. Many historians credit Henry Ford with creating a middle class in America. His high minimum wage – revolutionary at the time – set a precedent for fair distribution of company wealth that influenced later management practices.
The community event will celebrate Henry Ford’s multifaceted passions – automobiles, music, dancing, farmers and artisans. Key activities include:
•Live music and dance instructors will give guests a unique chance to experience the traditions that were so important to the Fords
•A special farmers market will commemorate Clara and Henry’s avid interest in agriculture and support for local farming
•Food from locally sourced vendors will be available to share with friends and family outdoors as Henry did with the famous Vagabonds – Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs
•Vehicles and displays that represent the most influential innovations from Henry’s time throughout the history of Ford Motor Company
A new era for Henry Ford Estate
Henry Ford Estate Inc, also is announcing the official transfer of Henry Ford Estate/Fair Lane from the University of Michigan to the newly formed entity. This nonprofit education organization shares governance with Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.
“Bringing together the estates of Henry Ford and his only child Edsel offers a multitude of new opportunities for the community,” said Kathleen Mullins, president of both Henry Ford Estate and Edsel & Eleanor Ford House. “Henry Ford inspired a remarkable story of innovation, philanthropy and responsibility – a story that will be more effectively shared with the coming together of these important properties.”
The transfer is the first step in a new era for the estate, which will be restored and reimagined to appeal to the next generation of those interested in the unique life and times of Henry Ford.