Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson

THE STORY: Wisconsin is the land of beer and cheese…and entrepreneurial opportunities? There’s a long list of legendary Wisconsin companies that started with nothing but an idea and a drive—Allis-Chalmers, Shopko, Miller, Menards, OshKosh B’Gosh, Culver’s, Cousins Subs, Kohl’s, Sargento, Kohler, SC Johnson, Snap-on, Jack Link’s, Trek, Trane—the list goes on and on. Most of […]

Native American Tribes

Native American Tribes

THE STORY: Long before the Germans and Norwegians immigrated to Wisconsin, our beautiful lands were inhabited by many different Native American tribes, each with its own dialect, art forms and traditions dating back thousands of years. Some of the earliest known inhabitants of Wisconsin date back to 10,000 BC. As climates changed and time passed, […]

Dahmer and Gein

Dahmer and Gein

THE STORY: Wisconsin has been responsible for so many good things—beer, cheese, the Violent Femmes—that it’s difficult to believe that two of the most gruesome and disturbing serial killers in American history were from America’s Dairyland. First up, Ed Gein. Hailing from Plainfield, WI, he was devoted to his mother. After her death, he began […]

Happy Days

Happy Days

THE STORY: Wisconsin is a magical land and Hollywood must agree, because many a TV family have called this great state home. Some shows were set in fictitious towns—That ’70s Show (Point Place), Life With Louie (Cedar Knoll)…some in real towns—Laverne & Shirley (Milwaukee), Liv and Maddie (Stevens Point)…and some in fictitious versions of real […]

Aztalan

Aztalan

THE STORY: One of the most interesting and mysterious civilizations in history made its home on the banks of the Crawfish River near Lake Mills, WI, over 1,000 years ago. Between AD 600-1400, present day St. Louis was home to Cahokia, a giant Middle Mississippian city. With between 10,000-40,000 people, Cahokia was larger than London […]

All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

THE STORY: Once upon a time, the Midwest was a land filled with Peaches, Belles, Lassies, Comets, Chicks and Daisies…and they could really play some ball! From 1943 to 1954, over 600 women played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Wisconsin was home to three teams; the Kenosha Comets (1943-1951), Racine Belles (1943-1950), and […]

James Doty and the City of Madison

James Doty and the City of Madison

THE STORY: If it wasn’t for a man named James Duane Doty, Madison would not be what it is today. Doty was solely responsible for the creation of Madison and for getting the city selected as the state capital of Wisconsin. Doty first came to Wisconsin in 1820 as part of the Lewis Cass Expedition. […]

The Apostle Islands

The Apostle Islands

THE STORY: One of the most beautiful places that you’ll ever see is located at the northern most point of Wisconsin, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The Apostle Islands consist of 21 islands in Lake Superior, just off of the Bayfield Peninsula. Besides the ultra clear water of Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands are known […]

Farming and Agriculture

Farming and Agriculture

THE STORY: One of the first industries to take hold in Wisconsin during the 19th century was farming and agriculture. Nearly 5,000 farms a year were started during the 1840s. The primary crop on early Wisconsin farms was wheat. From 1840 to 1880, Wisconsin was considered “America’s breadbasket,” growing one-sixth of the country’s wheat. By […]

The Early Indian Wars

The Early Indian Wars

THE STORY: During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Wisconsin was filled with confrontations and battles. Not only were Wisconsin’s Indian tribes trying to fend off the French and British from “settling” their new land, but they were also at war with each other, thanks to the effects of the fur trade. During the 1600s, the […]

The First Flag Day

The First Flag Day

THE STORY: Every June 14th we wave the good old Red, White and Blue in celebration of Flag Day. But Flag Day might not even be a thing if it wasn’t for a Wisconsin teacher who felt that our flag, and what it stood for, needed a day of observance. Bernard J. Cigrand was working […]

Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae

Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae

THE STORY: There are many food and drink items that seem “All-Wisconsin”…the Friday night fish fry, a Brandy Old Fashioned, and of course beer, cheese curds and brats. But there are two everyday “All-American” items that were invented here in our great state…the hamburger and the ice cream sundae. Hard to believe, right? The most […]

Beer Capital of the World

Beer Capital of the World

THE STORY: If there’s one thing that rivals milk and cheese as Wisconsin’s most famous export, it’s beer. Thanks to our German ancestors and the brewing knowledge that they brought with them, our state has been the beer belly of America since the mid 1800s when Milwaukee’s “Big Four” emerged. The first of Milwaukee’s “Big […]

Statehood

Statehood

THE STORY: In 1847, after one failed attempt, a state constitution was approved by residents of the Wisconsin Territory, which enabled Wisconsin to gain statehood. On May 29, 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state to be admitted to the Union. Prior to statehood, Wisconsin’s control had changed hands numerous times. The French were the first […]

The Birth of the Labor Movement

The Birth of the Labor Movement

THE STORY: Workers across the United States owe a lot to Wisconsin’s role in the history of the labor movement. Not only was Wisconsin responsible for the nations first Workers Compensation and Unemployment Compensation laws, the study of labor history itself also began at the University of Wisconsin by economist John R. Commons. Wisconsin’s workers […]

Chris Farley

Chris Farley

THE STORY: Wisconsin has supplied Hollywood with a steady flow of actors over the years. Some of Tinseltown’s most famous Wisconsinites include Orson Welles, Spencer Tracy, Fred MacMurray, Gene Wilder, Tom Wopat, Willem Dafoe, and Heather Graham. But did you know that Robo Cop (Peter Weller), Sloth (John Matuszak), the voice of Howard the Duck […]

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini

THE STORY: The world’s most famous magician, illusionist and escape artist, Harry Houdini, was born in Appleton, WI. At least that’s what he told people his entire life. He was actually born in Hungary in 1874 and moved to Appleton with his family in 1878. Born Erik Weisz, Harry became fascinated with magic as a […]

The Automobile Industry

The Automobile Industry

THE STORY: Detroit may be the automobile capital, but Wisconsin was right there with Michigan in the early years of the automobile industry. Since 1900, Wisconsin has produced more than eighty different makes of vehicles. Wisconsin also claims many major automotive inventions, such as the steering wheel, seat belt, and four-wheel drive. One of the […]

Earth Day

Earth Day

THE STORY: Every April 22, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 192 countries. Events and activities are centered around keeping this beautiful world of ours clean and healthy for generations to come. All of this is because of Wisconsin’s former governor and United States Senator, Gaylord Nelson. Earth Day, which some historians refer to […]

The Logging Industry

The Logging Industry

THE STORY: One of the major industries in Wisconsin’s history came from the forests of the central and northern regions of the state, the logging industry. During the nineteenth century Wisconsin was one of the biggest lumber producing states in the U.S.A.—helping build cities across the Midwest. The areas around the Wisconsin River, Wolf River, […]