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Detroit's significance to the history of the automobile is inarguable, and that makes it the only metropolis in America that we care to note when another candle is added to its cake. Today, the town that's known as both the Motor City and Motown celebrates its 311th birthday. It was founded on July 24, 1701 by French explorer Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, whose name was later immortalized as General Motors' luxury car brand.

What began as a French fort and fur-trading settlement grew to become this country's hub of manufacturing in the 20th century, but now Detroit finds itself in a process of recalibration. The globalization of the auto industry has deflated the city's population to its lowest level in 100 years – some 713,777 inhabitants – down from a high of 1.85 million in 1950.

Where it goes from here is up for debate, but we don't expect its identity as America's, if not the world's, Motor City to be threatened any time soon.

Happy Birthday, Detroit.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Detroit, you've aged like the tanning lady.
      • 2 Years Ago
      worst city in america
        • 2 Years Ago
        I disagree, but hey, I gotta give you a thumbs up for creativity. You ever considered a career in journalism?
      Nick M
      • 2 Years Ago
      Happy Birthday, Detroit! Now let's burn it to the ground and start over.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love my city, flaws and all.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "BUY one, get one FREE" crack pipes all week long - Better hurry!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      From fur trading to race baiting! Happy Birthday Detroit!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not really a birthday so much as a memorial.
      Mel @ aWingThing.COm
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love going on a Man-cation every year to Detroit. It looks like its 622 years old. Haha. Seriously though it has a certain charm. Not sure I could ever live there though.
      • 2 Years Ago
      311, already? Wow. Doesn't look a day over 250...
      • 2 Years Ago
      To bad so much work and the steel is from China now.
      • 2 Years Ago
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