Flint is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit. According to the 2010 census, Flint has a population of 102,434, making it the seventh largest city in Michigan.
Flint is best known as the birthplace of General Motors (GM), and also the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936–37 that played a vital role in the formation of the United Auto Workers. Flint is also home to the headquarters of Citizens Republic Bancorp. Bishop International Airport is also considered to be part of the city.
In 1819, Jacob Smith, a fur trader on cordial terms with both the local Ojibwas and the territorial government founded a trading post in Flint itself. On several occasions, Smith negotiated land exchanges with the Ojibwas on behalf of the U.S. government, and he was highly regarded on both sides. Smith apportioned many of his holdings to his children. As the ideal stopover on the overland route between Detroit and Saginaw, Flint grew into a small but prosperous village, and incorporated in 1855.
For the last century, Flint's history has been dominated by both the auto industry and car culture. During the Sit-Down Strike of 1936–1937, the fledgling United Automobile Workers triumphed over General Motors, inaugurating the era of labor unions. The successful mediation of the strike by Governor Frank Murphy, culminating in a one page agreement recognizing the Union, began an era of successful organizing by the UAW.The city was a major contributor of tanks and other war machines during World War II due to its extensive manufacturing facilities. For decades, Flint remained politically significant as a major population center as well as for its importance to the automotive industry.
A freighter named after the city, the SS City of Flint was the first US ship to be captured during the Second World War in October, 1939. The vessel was later sunk in 1943.
The eighth deadliest tornado on record in the United States struck Beecher, just north of Flint, on June 8, 1953, killing 115 people, injuring 844. Known as the "Beecher Tornado", after the North Side community which the tornado devastated. On the next day the same weather system spawned the worst tornado in New England in Worcester, Massachusetts, killing another 94 people.
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