1996 – 25 years ago

Michigan now has an official state reptile. Gov. John Engler signed into law a bill naming the painted turtle as the official state reptile during ceremonies in Lansing. John Marazita III and Lacy Hutchings are fifth graders at Brandywine Elementary School in Niles who pushed for the legislation. Engler recorded a videotaped message to be shown to Brandywine students telling them they had witnessed “democracy in action.”