In 1935-36 season was a very special one for sports in Detroit.
The season saw the rise of mighty Joe Louis in boxing, baseball’s Detroit Tigers winning their first World Series, football’s Detroit Lions winning their first NFL championship (this was pre-Super Bowl), and hockey’s Detroit Red Wings winning their first NHL championship.
It’s a rare honor Detroit holds to have all three sports team win championships at basically the same time.
To commemorate this, the Day of Champions in Michigan, a special day to celebrate the success of our sports teams was created in 1936. There was a massive banquet at the iconic Masonic Temple. The Governor of Michigan at the time, Frank Fitzgerald, issued a proclamation. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt got in the action and would call Detroit the “City of Champions,” along with all 48 governors at the time.
For a city that was dealing with the Great Depression, where auto production fell by three-quarters in three years, the victory of the sports teams was a welcome sight. The conversion of factories to war production for World War II was still years away.
Now, Champions Day still exists, but maybe not as celebrated. There are a some events here and there, for sure.
Now that we’ve done the setup, here’s what’s happening today.
To throw back to a little history, the folks at DNA Apparel released a new “City of Champions” shirt. It has a bit of a Gatsby feel with multiple icons highlighting the different sports.
“When we found Detroit was the only city to ever win three Championships in one season we thought this was an amazing fact that many people may not even be aware of. One of our company goals is to ignite local pride through designs that are inspired by Detroit culture,” said Matthew Maletzke of DNA Apparel. “We feel it is important as Detroit continues to rebuild to also look back and recognize some of the great achievements the city was built on.”
The shirts are available on the DNA Apparel website here. They’re cotton and run $27.99.