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January 2004 Odd Wisconsin

Galloping Gallopavo

Dateline: Down on the Farm, ca. 1910. Or should that caption be Meandering Meleagris? Either way, this young teamster in his Gloucester fisherman's hat and appropriately named Birdsell wagon is ready for "fowl" weather. View the picture from Wisconsin Historical Images....
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Posted in Animals on January 28, 2004

A Paranoid Was After Him

Dateline: Milwaukee, Wis., March 2, 1876. Dr. John Garner has a vivid premonition of his impending murder and is shot dead an hour later when he opens his front door. Find the gruesome story in Wisconsin Local History & Biography Articles...
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Posted in Strange Deaths on January 26, 2004

Was That "Sumo" or "Sushi"?

Dateline: Marinette, Wis., 1939. Seabiscuit had captured America's heart, Joe Lewis was the undisputed heavyweight champ, and DiMaggio and Williams were rising stars. Did these intrepid Wisconsin athletes hope to follow in their wake? Hulk Hogan and Killer Kowalski couldn't have had more courage. View the photo in Wisconsin Historical Images....
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Posted in Bizarre Events on January 23, 2004

"How Should We Know?"

Dateline: Rock Island, summer 1820. Chiefs of the Sauk and Fox nations grow impatient with the foolish questions of their ignorant white interviewer. Their sarcasm goes over his head, and they go out the door. Click "Page & Text" on this American Journeys page to see the original manuscript and its transcription side-by-side. For more information about this exchange, read...
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Posted in Curiosities on January 22, 2004

Gimme shelter

Dateline: Milwaukee, 1952. The U.S. had just invented a fusion bomb, the Soviet Union had obtained atomic secrets from the Rosenbergs, and both nations were racing toward "Mutually Assured Destruction." Did this family really think a little corrugated plastic would save them from Armageddon? (come to think of it, they do look a little worried) View the photo at Wisconsin...
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Posted in Curiosities on January 20, 2004

Carpe ... hmm ...

Dateline: Fox Valley, Wis., 1706. A fearless Menominee woman seizes the moment most remarkably, and liberates a group of her fellow prisoners from French incarceration. This anecdote told to English traveler Jonathan Carver is part of the Society's American Journeys project....
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Posted in Curiosities on January 16, 2004

A Harvest of Rattlesnakes, Ginseng and Solitude

Dateline: Prairie du Chien, Wis., 1931. Sarah Hardwick went into seclusion near the banks of the Mississippi in 1906, supporting herself by gathering herbs and collecting rattlesnake bounties. "But you are lonesome, aren't you?" asked a reporter 25 years later. "I never think about it," she replied. Read the story and see the pictures at Wisconsin Local History & Biography...
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Posted in Odd Lives on January 13, 2004

Never Made It as an Olympic Sport?

Dateline: Prairie du Sac, Wis., 1980. Shot-putting... javelin-throwing... even pumpkin-shooting, maybe. But this recreational activity seems unlikely to be widely adopted, which is too bad since it gives a new connotation to so many ancient expletives. View the photo at Wisconsin Historical Images....
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Posted in Bizarre Events on January 13, 2004

More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

Dateline: Prairie du Chien, Wis., 1848. These enlisted men trying to hoodwink their officers employ a device unlikely to be used today by students sneaking a flask into the football stadium. Read the story at Wisconsin Local History & Biography Articles....
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Posted in Animals on January 12, 2004

Moo'd Music

Dateline: Madison, Wis., 1930. You've probably heard of the Mozart Effect on children's learning, and maybe even about the effect of classical music on house plants. Is this an early example of similar research in the Dairy State? View the photo from Wisconsin Historical Images....
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Posted in Animals on January 12, 2004

Family Values

Dateline: Northern Wisconsin, 1805. A Menominee leader's generous offer of hospitality leads to a frank discussion with Maj. Zebulon Pike. Tolerance and good taste are displayed by all. Read the story at American Journeys....
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Posted in Curiosities on January 12, 2004

And You Think You're Under-employed?

Dateline: Watertown, Wis. 1848. When Karl Marx fled to London to write Das Kapital, other persecuted German intellectuals landed in Dodge County, Wis., and did whatever they could to survive. It's nice to know that today's taxi-driving PhD's had predecessors in small-town Wisconsin. Read the story in Wisconsin Local History & Biography Articles....
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Posted in Odd Lives on January 12, 2004

Spurned Inventor Creates Suicide Machine

Dateline: Kenosha, Wis., 1930 Denied credit, profit, riches, rest or peace, a neglected inventor employs professional skills to make a dramatic exit from his Vale of Tears. Read the sorry tale in Wisconsin Local History & Biography Articles....
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Posted in Strange Deaths on January 12, 2004

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