Royal Oak, Michigan

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Royal Oak is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 60,062. It should not be confused with Royal Oak Charter Township, a separate community located nearby. It is the 5th largest city in Oakland County and the 18th largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan.



Royal Oak was incorporated as a village in 1891, and as a city in 1921. The city's name originates in 1819, from one of Territorial Governor Lewis Cass' expeditions surveying land. A tree located near the present day intersection of Crooks, Rochester, and Main reminded Cass of the Royal Oak tree within which King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester.

In the 1920s, Charles Coughlin became Father of Shrine of the Little Flower, a prominent landmark in the city. In 1926, the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross on the lawn of the original wooden church, and Coughlin used the incident to launch radio broadcasts on station WJR. Through this publicity he raised enough money to build the current limestone complex and tower from which he aired his radio show thereafter. He built a large following; however, in the late 30s Coughlin's broadcasts became increasingly controversial eventually leading to his removal from the air in 1939.[4]

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