Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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Historical Essay

The Origins of Thanksgiving

Examining the historical evidence documenting the first Thanksgiving.

Historical Essay

Milwaukee Orphanage Shirt

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Shirt given to a child leaving St. Joseph Orphanage, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, c. 1920. (Museum object #2005.82.1)

Read about opposition to and participation in World War I before and during American involvement, as well as anti-German sentiment in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Wild Rice Harvesting

Read about the importance of wild rice as a food staple to the Ojibwe and Menominee Indians in northern Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Soap Box Derby Racer

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Soap box" coaster car operated by Van Steiner in the All-American Soap Box Derby in 1957. (Museum object # 2009.56.1)

Discover the connections Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King had with the Civil Rights non-violent protests in Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Learn about the 17th Wisconsin Infantry, which served from 1862 to 1865 during the Civil War, losing 269 men during that service.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Winning entry for the first Alice in Dairyland dress design, 1948. (Museum object #2005.157.1)
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