Skip to main content

Michigan in Perspective: Local History Conference

The largest of HSM's three annual conferences, this event focuses on the history of the metro Detroit area. 

Explore the history of Southeast Michigan

Join Us in 2024 at the Oakland Center in Rochester, Michigan

We'll see you in person at Oakland University's Oakland Center in Rochester on March 22-23, 2024. Watch this space for more information later this year!

2023 Michigan in Perspective: Local History Conference Booklet Cover

The 65th Annual Michigan in Perspective: Local History Conference - March 24-25, 2023

Suburban Collection Showplace - Novi, Michigan

Our largest conference, this event weekend hosted hundreds of attendees, speakers, sponsors, vendors, and more, all gathered to explore the history of Southeast Michigan.

The 2023 Conference Content

From keynotes to breakout sessions, this grand weekend filled with history was a true treat to the history buff and historian alike. Samples of our content are below, followed by in-depth descriptions of our five keynotes.

LHC Motown Keynote

Hitsville USA: The Motown Museum Story

The Motown Museum encapsulates the history of the renowned record label founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1959. This keynote featured a vibrant history of the museum and its ongoing expansion efforts.

LHC Session - The Question of Power: Pioneer-Era Motorcars

The Question of Power: Pioneer-Era Motorcars

During the pioneer era of the motorcar, the biggest question was how the invention would be powered. Between cars fueled by steam, electricity, and gasoline, the latter was the worst seller of the group. How and why did gas cars become the standard? 

LHC Event - Mill Race Village Reception

An Evening at Mill Race Village

Attendees stepped into the past at the Northville Historical Society’s Mill Race Village for our casual evening reception, where people networked and mingled with old friends, new acquaintances, and other conference attendees.

The 2023 Keynotes

Hitsville USA: The Motown Museum Story

Motown Keynote - 2023 LHC

The Motown Museum encapsulates the history of the renowned record label founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1959. “The Little House That Rocked the World” stands today as a testament to the authentic, humble beginnings of Motown—as well as its breakthrough as the “Sound of Young America” and lasting musical impacts. This keynote will detail not only the history of the museum but also its ongoing expansion efforts. 

In Conversation: Governor Rick Snyder

Former Governor Rick Snyder in Conversation with Chuck Stokes

Join us for a luncheon as Rick Snyder—the forty-eighth governor of Michigan—shares a retrospective of his time serving the state and its people in an interview with Chuck Stokes, WXYZ’s director of editorial and public affairs. From 2011 to 2019, the former  governor navigated various issues and policies that affected Michiganders. Follow the path of Snyder’s tenure as he reflects on his time as the Head of State.

A Cultural Caretaker: The Life of Linda Woods

Linda Woods

Join us as Linda Woods recounts her life—from Detroit to Peshawbestown and beyond, through service to her country and her community as a social worker and culture consultant, to life following retirement. Learn how she was presented with an eagle head, Migizi, to create a healing eagle staff for women veterans and their families, as she travels to tribal communities throughout Michigan, the United States, and even other countries to share her story.

Frank Murphy: Darkness and Sunshine in Detroit

Frank Murphy

Although perhaps best known for his time on the U.S. Supreme Court, Frank Murphy contributed years of public service to his home state of Michigan. This keynote will offer a new look at the former governor’s days in Detroit. Serving as mayor of the city from 1930 to 1933, Murphy guided Detroiters through the early years of the Depression—when his progressive philosophy garnered the attention of President Franklin Roosevelt. 

An Unseen Enemy: The PBB Crisis

The PBB Crisis

In early 1974, the Michigan Department of Agriculture quarantined more than 500 farms following a catastrophic mistake at Michigan Chemical Corporation, whereafter a fire retardant was accidentally mixed into animal feed at a Farm Bureau Services co-op. While the agricultural and economic impacts were immediately apparent, it took decades to demonstrate the long-term health implications for exposed Michiganders. This keynote examines the history and memories of the PBB disaster, as well as what we’ve learned 50 years later.

Calling all Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Michigan Vendors!

Are you a Michigan-based entity with a passion for supporting Michigan's culture or history? Are you a Michigan business looking to reach history enthusiasts and active Michiganders? Join the Historical Society of Michigan's largest annual conference as a sponsor, exhibitor, or vendor. There are many different types of partnerships available. Please click on the Become an Exhibitor link below to sign up or call (800) 692-1828 to speak with a member of our team today. 

Women standing at an exhibit at a conference
Book signing by Shabazz Women standing at an exhibit at a conference Crown of people at a conference dinner 2023 LHC sponsors
Michigan History and Chronicle magazine

Get the most out of Michigan's history

If you're considering attending one of our conferences, or are already an attendee, we encourage you to check out our HSM membership program. With significant discounts to all of our conferences and events, the membership is a great way to save and enjoy all of our additional history content. All HSM members receive conference discounts, free access to weekly History Hounds® live lectures and previously recorded lectures, both Michigan History and Chronicle magazines, and more. 



We'd love to help! Reach out to our HSM staff today at or by calling us at (517) 324-1828.