On this day in 1998 President Bill Clinton declared some 10,000 square miles of Michigan the Automobile National Heritage Area. The site commemorates the role of the automobile in U.S. history. The location received designation largely because of metro Detroit‘s primary role in the promotion and production of the automobile. Since renamed MotorCities National Heritage Area, it covers covers parts of 16 Michigan counties.
To quote www.motorcities.org, “We tell the story of how southeast and central Michigan “Put the World on Wheels.” MotorCities links the world’s largest collection of cultural and labor organizations, museums, archives, factories, auto collections and events to preserve the story of how tinkerers became titans and how auto and labor helped build the middle class while transforming manufacturing worldwide. We are proud to promote this story to advance the region economically and culturally.”
A US National Heritage Area is a site designated by the United States government that is intended to encourage historic preservation of the area and an appreciation of the history of the site(s). As of posting there are 55 National Heritage Areas.