On March 12, 2013, the Historical Society for the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan presented "Thank God for Michigan," a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Western District of Michigan. Over 380 people attended the event at the Ambassador Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. Among the highlights were:
- Reception and presentation of colors by the Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry Company
- Civil War era music provided by the Fifth Michigan Regimental Band
- Introduction by Chief Judge Paul L. Maloney of the mini-documentary "Thank God for Michigan"
- Remarks by "President Abraham Lincoln" about the nomination of Solomon Withey, our first district judge
- Invocation by the Reverend Mark Gurley, the great-great grandson of President Lincoln's pastor, the Reverend Phineas D. Gurley
- Keynote address by nationally-recognized presidential historian Richard Norton Smith
Commemorative "Challenge Coins" celebrating the 150th anniversary were given to all those in attendance. The event was extremely well received and a fitting tribute to our district's 150th anniversary.© 2014 Varnum LLP