Residents all over Michigan, and especially in the state’s upper peninsula, were aghast at a recent slight against the U.P. that was inadvertently done by the Pepsi-Cola Company through it’s “DEW”nited States campaign, which featured all 50 states on select bottles of Mountain Dew.
The bottled featured a map of the United States highlighting them in vibrant colors, and each state is outlined on the map. There is only one problem with the map, however; Michigan’s upper peninsula is clearly featured on the map as part of Wisconsin.
This caused Yoopers, who were sore about how their part of Michigan was represented on a pop bottle, to reach out to Mountain Dew in complaint. Twitter handle The Upper Peninsula (@UpperPeninsula) was vocal, and stated “Dear @MountainDew, I AM NOT WISCONSIN. Fix this, or send a free case to all my residents. Your call. Sincerely, America’s Peninsula”
Mountain Dew was inundated with Tweets asking for the mistake to be fixed, and people went as far as to alter the DEWnited States map to correctly show the upper peninsula.
Mountain Dew heard the Twitter call and responded with an apology and a promise.
“Hey, Upper Peninsula: we hear you, and we’re sorry for misplacing you on our #DEWnited map. Give us a chance to right our wrong. Help us fill this special edition label by telling us all of the things you love about the Upper Peninsula (note to self: located in MICHIGAN),” as stated in the Tweet from @MountainDew.
This might seem like silly nitpicking on the part of Michigan residents, and one could argue that Pepsi-Cola took this opportunity to get good public relations, and sell people another bottle of Mountain Dew, this time with the upper peninsula of Michigan featured, but I’m glad they are correcting the mistake.
It’s nice to see our state band together on something, even if it is as trivial as a bottle of pop (which is the name of the carbonated beverage both the U.P. and L.P. can agree on, calling it soda is just strange as a Michigander). The trolls, those who “live under the bridge,” and Yoopers – a term of endearment for upper peninsula residents, which has always made me envision them as white-tail deer-chasing Molson chugging, good old boys – can all agree that even though we have our differences in location, weather and lifestyle, we’re all residents one amazing state.
But how the heck did Michigan even end up with two halves to one amazing state in the first place? It all had to do with a patch of land between the Michigan/Ohio border known as the Toledo Strip, which pitted us in a brief, and bloodless war between those aforementioned states called “The Toledo War.”
According to the history books, the war was a bound dispute between the state of Ohio, and the Territory of Michigan, which was working to become a state.
Because of poor understanding of the time of the layout of the region, the state and then Territory of Michigan both claimed a 468-square-mile sliver of land along the northern border of Ohio, called the Toledo Strip.
“The situation came to a head when Michigan petitioned for statehood in 1835 and sought to include the disputed territory within its boundaries,” according to a Wikipedia article on the subject. “Both sides passed legislation attempting to force the other side’s capitulation, while Ohio’s Governor Robert Lucas and Michigan’s 24-year-old ‘Boy Governor’ Stevens T. Mason helped institute criminal penalties for citizens submitting to the other’s authority.”
Eventually both the Ohio and the Territory of Michigan deployed militias along either side of the Maumee River, where men taunted each other and fired weapons into the air. The war had no casualties, and in 1836 Congress proposed a compromise.
The compromise had Michigan giving up claim to the Toledo strip, in exchange for a huge section of the upper peninsula. Eventually, Michigan resident acquiesced and the upper peninsula became one half of Michigan. At first residents were none too thrilled to have the land as part of the state, but that changed with the discovery of copper, iron ore and other mineral deposits which helped boost the state’s economy and make the state an industrial center.
Compromise worked out well for Michigan, and although many in Michigan know how the U.P. became one giant peninsula of Michigan, most of the United States does not. The next time I pick up a “Dew,” it would be pretty great to see a little snippet of Michigan history on the side of the bottle.