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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The Birth of the Badgers

Discover the history of lead mining in Wisconsin, and the origin of Badgers.

Learn about the women of Wisconsin, and their lives during the Civil War.

Historical Essay

Harley-Davidson Knucklehead

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

1941 Model FL motorcycle manufactured by the Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1941. (Museum object #2003.19.1)

A New Vision for the United States

Discover how a few key political issues in the 1850s gave birth to the Republican Party

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Oldest known surviving license plate in Wisconsin, issued to a Mount Horeb man, 1905. (Museum object #1966.493.1)

Historical Essay

The Vietnam War

America's Longest, Most Expensive War

Discover the history of America's longest, most expensive war and the incredible events that happened in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Hardanger Fiddle

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Mid-nineteenth century violin converted into Hardanger fiddle by Knute Hellund, c. 1893. (Museum object #1973.56)

Historical Essay

1930s UW Gym Suit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

University of Wisconsin student gym suit worn by George Williams, 1933-1934. (Museum object #2005.144.1.1-2)

Historical Essay

The Origins of Thanksgiving

It's not What You Might Think

Discover the historical evidence of the first Thanksgiving.

A Warrior Prepared to Die is Disappointed

Discover the story of a Ho-Chunk warrior who surrenders and is grieved at receiving a fair trial.
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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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