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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Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Garnet velvet evening gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Charlotte McAleer Kohler to President Eisenhower's 1953 Inauguration Ball. (Museum object #1960.211

Historical Essay

Fugitive Slave Collar

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Iron collar removed from a fugitive slave by Wisconsin soldiers in 1862. (Museum object #1961.73)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Collage featuring likeness of civil rights activist Father James Edmund Groppi by artist Gloria Adair of Milwaukee, 1966. (Museum object #1993.37.1)

Historical Essay

Robert M. La Follette

Governor and Progressive

Discover how Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and the Progressive Movement reformed state government and the Republican Party.

Historical Essay

Punch Card Voting Device

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Votomatic punch card voting device used in Walworth County, Wisconsin, until 2000. (Museum object #2006.24.1)

Learn about Robert M. La Follette's significant role in establishing the direct primary elections in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

CCC Trunk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Trunk used by Werner Brunner while working on Civilian Conservation Corps projects in La Crosse County, Wisconsin, 1934-1935.(Museum object #1990.165.26,A)

Read an account of the history of recall elections in Wisconsin. This article also includes a Wisconsin recall timeline and citations of scholarly sources.

Historical Essay

Milwaukee Sewer Socialism

How Wisconsin Became America's Most Socialist State

Discover how Milwaukee, Wisconsin became America's first Socialist city.

Historical Essay

Lottery Ball Drawing Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ball drawing machine used by the Wisconsin Lottery for Daily Pick 3 and Daily Pick 4 games, 1992-2000. (Museum object #2001.83.16.1A-B)
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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