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February 2004 Odd Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Own Oscars

Dateline: Madison, 1940. There's Oscar Mayer, whose early refridgerator truck shown here appears to owe something in its design to Milwaukee's Brooks Stevens. And Oscar Morris, a Republican state senator who also who ran the Milwaukee Sentinel, and Oscar Rennebohm, of drugstore fame. And of course there are the many real Oscar winners documented in the collections of the Wisconsin...
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Posted in Curiosities on February 27, 2004

Rock-a-bye Kitty

Dateline: Watertown, Wis., 1905. Worn out after a tough day chasing mice and entertaining the young humans, this frazzled feline takes a break. View the photo in Wisconin Historical Images....
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Posted in Animals on February 23, 2004

Republican Party Born in Wisconsin

Dateline: Ripon, Wis., 1854. Our own state can take credit for bringing the G.O.P. into the world long ago. Read the recollections of one its founders and see a photograph of the humble school house where it was born in Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles. Search the word "Republican" at WLHBA for many more contemporary sources on the birth...
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Posted in Curiosities on February 17, 2004

Wisconsin Democrat Switches Vote

Dateline: Oshkosh, Wis., Nov. 8, 1910. After voting Democratic for more than six decades, 110-year-old James Grinnell declared "I like that man La Follette" and voted the straight Progressive Republican ticket. Despite his advanced age, Grinnell walked to the polling place that chilly November day; he could still dance an Irish jig, too. See his photo and discover more about...
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Posted in Curiosities on February 17, 2004

Democrats on Wheels

Dateline: Monroe Co., Wis., 1972. Thirty years ago no tuxedos, spin doctors, $1,000-a-plate dinners, or chartered jets were required in Wisconsin local politics. A little rustic hospitality sufficed. And after the election-night drama, just run the headquarters up highway 51 for a little R&R beside that lake in the north woods. View the photo in Wisconsin Historical Images....
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Posted in Curiosities on February 13, 2004

Democrats Hustle for Wisconsin Votes

Dateline: Milwaukee, Oct. 25, 1892. Today it's done with cellphones and databases, but a century ago oiling the party machine required lots of pencils and paper. This internal party form was distributed to activists so they could record the names of the loyal and faithful and (follow the asterisk) reward them appropriately if needed. It's from Wisconsin Local History and...
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Posted in Curiosities on February 12, 2004

Waited 106 Years to Vote

Dateline: Milwaukee, Nov. 1, 1920. As soon as Wisconsin women secured the right to vote, they turned out in large numbers. This centenarian's understated comment - - "I've waited a good many years for this opportunity" - - represented the feelings of thousands of new voters. Discover her story and see pictures of other women who voted for the first...
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Posted in Curiosities on February 11, 2004

Dangerous Radicals

Dateline: Watertown, Wis., ca. 1912. With a resolution banning gay marriage just introduced and primary elections on tap for next week, it's worth remembering that extremism is nothing new in Wisconsin politics. This poster attempts to halt a dangerous "Menace to the Home, Men's Employment and to all Business!" Our question is: if women's suffrage doubled the irresponsible vote, who...
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Posted in Curiosities on February 10, 2004

Topsy-Turvy World

Dateline: Milwaukee, 1988. We're told that John Stuart Mill could read Greek at age five, but we bet he couldn't do it upside-down. This precocious child tries to figure out why her parents treat her the way they do at Wisconsin Historical Images...
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Posted in on February 9, 2004

He weighed 450 lbs., too

Dateline: Mineral Point, Wis., 1840. The "Scotch Giant" could twirl a plow over his head and carry a dozen eggs in one hand, but it's his shoes that have come down through history. Shaquille O'Neal's size 22 Reeboks are only an inch longer. Find out what else the Giant could do in Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles (FYI, a...
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Posted in Odd Lives on February 6, 2004

Dam Fanaticism

Dateline: Medina, Outagamie Co., Wis., 1903. Faith has been said to move mountains. Here's an instance where it blasted away the pleasures of a whole village of boys who insisted on swimming and fishing on the sabbath. Only a muddy gravel pit remains there today. Discover the storyin Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles....
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Posted in Odd Lives on February 3, 2004

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