Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History | Wisconsin Historical Society

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Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History

Winter 2016 Issue, Volume 100, Number 2

Table of Contents

A Oaxacan Conductor in Wisconsin

EnlargeWMH Winter 2016

Diego Innes

Diego “Jimmy” Innes, a native of the Oaxaca region of Mexico, was associate conductor of Milwaukee’s Wisconsin WPA Symphony Orchestra, established by the Works Project Administration, from 1940 to 1942. MILWAUKEE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

By Charles Heath

For almost thirty years between World War I and World War II, a musician from the Oaxacan state in Mexico, Diego “Jimmy” Innes, conducted orchestras in Milwaukee, including the WPA Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra (WSO) of the New Deal’s Federal Music Project. In the years leading up to World War II, Latin America and its culture came to be seen as provocative, thrilling, and desirable to its North American neighbors. During the era of the Good Neighbor, the WSO orchestra, with Innes at its helm, represented Latin America for audiences in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. The story of Innes’s years in Milwaukee reveals the life of a professional musician at the intersection of art and labor and the fluid identity of a Mexican immigrant and eventual US citizen in the Midwest during the first half of the twentieth century.

Securing Due Process: Wisconsin's Dark and Disturbing Era of Juvenile Injustice

EnlargeWMH Phelps

On March 2, 1978, Rep. Richard Flintrop, lead sponsor of the bill to amend the Children’s Code, was on his feet for eight straight hours successfully defending efforts to amend it. AB-874 passed the Wisconsin Assembly that same day with a bipartisan vote, bringing much needed change to Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system. WHI IMAGE ID 125701

By Richard J. Phelps

In 1974, Wisconsin had the highest number of juveniles in adult jails in the nation. Wisconsin statutes were ambiguous when it came to the juvenile justice system, simply stating the state must do what was in “the best interests” of the children. Without a clear law to follow for juvenile offenders, thousands of children were neglected. This neglect ranged from being jailed without having committed criminal offenses, checked into mental institutions involuntarily, and being held in juvenile detention indefinitely. Lawyer Richard Phelps was working for the Dane County Juvenile Defender Program at the time, and noticed the alarming abuse of Wisconsin’s youth. He founded the Youth Policy and Law Center, where he fought for years to overhaul Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system. This article is a firsthand account of his battle with Wisconsin lawmakers to create new legislation to ensure fair treatment and due process for Wisconsin minors.

Greetings in Wartime: The Greeting Card Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society

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This whimsical greeting card, printed in 1943, mixes traditional Valentine’s Day and military symbolism. WHI IMAGE ID 125696

By Simone Munson

Each year at Valentine’s Day and Christmas, research archivist Simone Munson selects examples from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s collection of greeting cards to share with staff and patrons in a popular one-day exhibit. In this article, she showcases greeting cards that were sent to and from Wisconsinites during times of war, with particular focus on World War I and World War II. The image essay offers an overview of the history of greeting cards and the criteria used for collecting  “ephemera”— “materials, usually printed documents, created for a specific, limited purpose, and generally designed to be discarded after use”—from personal collections in the archives.

"Thy Word is a Lamp to my Feet": The Lamp and Wisconsin's Welsh Christian Endeavors

EnlargeWMH humphries

The front cover of Y Lamp (The Lamp) incorporated the initials “CE,” standing for Christian Endeavor, in its design. Y LAMP, JANUARY 1900

By Robert Humphries

From 1897 to 1903, the Lamp, a bilingual religious magazine for the Welsh “youth of America,” was published by the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church of Wisconsin. The magazine reflected the Americanization of the Welsh ethnic community, in particular during the Spanish American War and the beginning of American overseas expansion. The ideals reinforced in the pages of the Lamp indicate the extent to which many first- and second-generation Welsh immigrants in Wisconsin at the turn of the century found themselves embodying multiple identities: seeing themselves as enthusiastic American citizens, devout Christians, and proud Welsh speakers.


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