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May 2009 Odd Wisconsin

Debunking Nicolet

We've been told for decades that Jean Nicolet (1598-1642), the first European known to reach Wisconsin, was searching for a route to Asia when he landed near Green Bay in 1634. Artists showed him wearing a Chinese robe as he strode ashore at Red Banks and local historians staged celebrations and erected historic markers where they assumed it happened. But...
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Posted in Curiosities on May 25, 2009

Noise R Us

Smart phones seem to be trivializing social life. The constant stream of Twitter tweets, Facebook status updates, and daily blogs calls to mind Henry David Thoreau's famous comment on the new technology of his own day: "We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important...
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Posted in Curiosities on May 12, 2009

Shooting the Rapids Astride $9,000

John Lawe (1780-1846) was one of the first English-speaking residents of Green Bay, arriving in 1797 to trade for furs. He grew to be one of the village's most respected and affluent residents, building this house (luxurious in its day) and holding various public offices. None of that kept him from bold or impetutous action. This newspaper story recounts how...
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Posted in Bizarre Events on May 7, 2009

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