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Detroit, MI (Population: 871,121)

Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan and a major port city located north of Windsor, Ontario, on the Detroit River. Detroit has a long, rich history, from the original Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potowatami Indians who hunted, fished, traveled and lived along the rivers and lakes in the region to the founding of the modern day city in 1701 by the Frenchman Antoine de Cadillac. The city was named after the French, "le détroit du Lac Erie" which refers to "the strait of Lake Erie," linking Lake Huron and Lake Erie. During the French and Indian War (1760), British troops gained control and shortened the name to Detroit. Several tribes led by Chief Pontiac, an Ottawa leader, launched Pontiac's Rebellion (1763), including a siege of Fort Detroit. Partially in response to the Indian-European conflicts, the British Royal Proclamation of 1763 included restrictions in remaining Indian territories. The territory of Michigan and subsequently, Detroit, became part of the United States under the Jay Treaty.

Detroit's many Gilded Age mansions and buildings arose during the late 1800s. The city was referred to as the "Paris of the West" for its architecture. Strategically located along the Great Lakes waterway, Detroit emerged as a transportation hub. The city had grown steadily from the 1830s with the rise of shipping, shipbuilding, and manufacturing industries. In 1896, a thriving carriage trade prompted Henry Ford to build his first automobile in a rented workshop on Mack Avenue, and in 1904, the Ford Motor Company was founded. Ford's manufacturing — and those of automotive pioneers William C. Durant, the Dodge brothers, and Walter Chrysler—reinforced Detroit's status as the world's automotive capital.

Detroit is often used as a synonym for the United States' automobile industry. Detroit is also known as Motor City and Motown in the music and entertainment industries, and is synonymous with soul, jazz, and popular rock bands and record labels. In 2006, Detroit ranked as the United States' eleventh most populous city, with 871,121 residents. At its peak, the city was the 4th largest city in the country, but has steadily declined in population since the 1960's. The city is also known for its location on the Canadian-U.S. border, with the Windsor-Detroit area being a critical commercial link.

Over the years, Detroit has suffered from many different political and economic downturns and controversies. Labor disputes in the 1930s between auto workers and car makers, which fueled the popularity of labor unions and brought national attention to union leaders like Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther. The gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 shook the U.S. auto industry as foreign automakers found demand for their smaller, more fuel efficient cars. Workers were laid off and some plants closed due to the slump in demand for current models. The boom times between downturns has helped to sustain the city with varying degrees of success.

In the 1990s, the city began to enjoy a revival that centered mainly in the downtown area. In 1992, the Comerica Tower at Detroit Center was added to the city's skyline and the economy was further boosted by the approval and opening of three casinos: the MGM Grand Detroit, Motor City Casino, and Greektown Casino, all of which have made additions and improvements to services over the years. New downtown stadiums were constructed for the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions in 2000 and 2002, respectively; this put the Lions' home stadium in the city proper for the first time since 1974. The city hosted the 2005 MLB All-Star Game and the 2006 Super Bowl XL, both of which prompted many improvements to the downtown area. The city's riverfront is the focus of much development; in 2007, the first portions of the Detroit River Walk were laid, including miles of parks and fountains. More accelerated urban development in Detroit is a mainstay in the city's efforts to reinvent itself through tourism, neighborhoods, and economic activity.

Detroit's architecture is well known as some of the country's finest with many of the city's architecturally significant buildings listed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as among America's most endangered landmarks. The city also contains one of the nation's largest surviving collections of late 19th and early 20th century buildings. The city has an active community of professionals dedicated to urban design, historic preservation, architecture, and investment in the city. A number of downtown redevelopment projects — of which Campus Martius Park is one of the most notable — have revitalized parts of the city. In 2006, a state-of-the-art cruise ship dock was added to Hart Plaza.

Live music has defined Detroit's nightlife since the late 1940s and has brought the city worldwide attention. The metropolitan area boasts two of the top live music venues in the United States: the DTE Energy Music Theatre and The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Detroit Theatre District is the nation's second largest with venues that include the Fox Theatre, Masonic Temple Theatre, the Detroit Opera House, Orchestra Hall, and the Fisher Theatre. In the 1940s, Detroit's blues scene saw the long-term residency of John Lee Hooker. During the 1950s, the city became a center for jazz, with stars performing in the Black Bottom neighborhood. Berry Gordy, Jr. founded Motown Records, which rose to prominence during the 1960s and early 1970s with acts such as Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross & The Supremes, and Marvin Gaye. For a short time, beginning in 1972, Gordy moved Motown Records to Los Angeles but the company has since returned to Detroit. Many music events are held each year throughout the city that include the Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, the Motor City Music Conference (MC2), the Urban Organic Music Conference, the Concert of Colors, and the hip-hop Summer Jamz festival.

Many of the area's prominent museums are located in the historic cultural center neighborhood around Wayne State University. These museums include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Science Center, and the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Other cultural highlights include Motown Historical Museum, Tuskegee Airmen Museum, Fort Wayne, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), and the Belle Isle Conservatory. Important history of Detroit and the surrounding area is exhibited at the The Henry Ford, the nation's largest indoor-outdoor museum complex. The Eastern Market farmer's distribution center is the largest open-air flowerbed market in the United States and has more than 150 foods and specialty businesses. Other sites of interest are the Detroit Zoo and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle.

Some Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Detroit include General Motors, DTE Energy, Compuware, and Little Caesars. Downtown Detroit has major offices for Electronic Data Systems, Visteon, Delphi, Ford Motor Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte Touche, KPMG, the Jeep and Dodge Truck arm of DaimlerChrysler, GMAC, and OnStar. Other major industries include advertising, law, finance, chemicals, and computer software. One of the nation's largest law firms, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C., has offices in both Windsor and Detroit.