Nearly 350 attendees came together in the Michigan Historical Museum on May 25, 2006 as the first twelve inductees to the Michigan Walk of Fame were honored at a gala celebration.
Helen Thomas kicked off the evening with an unforgettable press conference filled with the quips for which she''''s known. Thomas noted, "I''''m in incredible company and I don''''t know if I belong." Audience members disagreed, giving the long-time Presidential reporter a standing ovation.
Jeff Daniels made a surprise visit, accepting his plaque outside the museum''''s 1920s theatre. Daniels proudly spoke about being a "Michigan actor" rather than a Hollywood or New York actor. The critically acclaimed Daniels is a Michigan cheerleader: promoting Michigan actors, producers, directors and creative professionals.
Stevie Wonder capped the evening with a special performance on a piano donated from the Michigan School for the Blind. Guests agreed, hearing Wonder sing was an incredible experience. Like Daniels and Thomas, Wonder spoke of his love for Michigan.
Also honored were Gerald Ford, represented by his brother Dick Ford; Rosa Parks, represented by family members; E. Genevieve Gillette, represented by family members; Henry Ford, represented by Henry Ford Museum Special Assistant to the Director George Moroz; Thomas Edison; Herbert Henry Dow; Fannie Richards; and Will Keith Kellogg, represented by Kellogg Company officials and Tony the Tiger.
As the first induction celebration, organizers feel strongly, this event sets as high a standard for those to come as the first honorees set for future inductees.