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October 2010 Odd Wisconsin

Monkey Business at the Capitol

You've probably heard of Old Abe, the eagle that accompanied Wisconsin troops during the Civil War. But how about Joe the Monkey, a regimental mascot during World War Two? David Mackin of Milwaukee won the pet monkey from French sailors during a crap game in North Africa. Joe tagged along as Mackin's unit moved across Africa and then north through...
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Posted in Animals on October 21, 2010

The Giant Rat
of Fond du Lac

Back in 1879, a saloon-keeper in Fond du Lac exploited a customer's weakness in order to save him from bad habits. According to the press, a prominent citizen of that city had been coming into the bar a bit too often for his own good. The owner of the tavern appreciated the patronage but thought that his friend ought...
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Posted in Animals on October 14, 2010

A Circus Every Day

In 1936, residents of Manitowoc had the unique privilege of seeing a circus every day. No, it wasn't a permanent encampment of a show, nor even an extended visit from the famous Ringling Bros. or Barnum and Bailey troupes. It was a training school for the professional big top that the Wisconsin State Journal called, "the only one of its...
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Posted in Curiosities on October 7, 2010

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