20th Century Historical Significance

Livonia was a mostly a rural township even into the 20th century. It wasn’t until General Motors and Ford built a couple car part plants in the 1940s that industrial jobs started to become more prevalent. In 1949, Livonia Township built a thoroughbred horse racetrack, at the cost of millions of dollars. This was important as to fully benefit from Michigan’s only thoroughbred racetrack, the citizens would have to vote to become a city. This is exactly what happened the next year and in 1950, the City of Livonia was created. While Livonia was growing by since it was even a township, what really spurred the city’s growth were the events happening in Detroit. White Flight from Detroit led to a population boom for Livonia. From just 18,000 people from 1950, to 66,000 in 1960 and even 110,000 in 1970. Because of the building of highways, people could easily move out to the suburbs of Detroit. (Hatfield, S.)