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August 2004 Odd Wisconsin

Wisconsin's First Poet

Dateline: Hazel Green, Grant County, May 2, 1856. On this day died one of Wisconsin's great eccentrics, the poet and scientist James Gates Percival. Utterly lacking in ambition and confidence, the outcast scholar mastered a dozen languages and the emerging science of geology while huddled in seclusion among his books. Named the first state geologist in middle age, he spent...
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Posted in Odd Lives on August 16, 2004

Sweet Greeting for Nixon

Dateline: Oshkosh, ca. 1958. This weekend marks the thirtieth anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation from the presidency, after the Watergate scandal. Long before that vice president Nixon visited Wisconsin and was greeted at the airport by our state's governor and "Honey Queen." See more pictures of the ill-fated president at Wisconsin Historical Images, including one of the vice president driving...
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Posted in Bizarre Events on August 6, 2004

Black Hawk Upstages the President

Dateline: Near Viroqua, Aug. 2, 1832. On this date the Black Hawk War ended when American troops, who had ignored repeated white flags of surrender, opened fire from land and water on Black Hawk and his civilian followers as they tried to retreat across the Mississippi. This brutal show of force effectively ended Indian military resistance in Wisconsin, but it...
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Posted in Curiosities on August 2, 2004

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