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Michigan became the 26th state to join the Union on January 26, 1837. Michigan’s first two senators, Lucius Lyon and John Norvell, took office on that day. Michigan’s longest-serving senator is Carl Levin, who served for 36 years, from 1979 to 2015. Among those who rose to leadership positions are Lewis Cass and Arthur Vandenberg, both of whom served as the Senate’s president pro tempore. As vice president, Gerald Ford presided over the Senate as its constitutional president or presiding officer. Ford went on to become president of the United States when Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.