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December 2011 Odd Wisconsin

The Bartender Who Saved Christmas

The Christmas of 1874 in Medford, Wisconsin, looked pretty dismal. The Panic of 1873 had spawned hard times rather like our own. Around the country, more than 18,000 businesses failed and unemployment reached 14%. Merchants up north in rural Medford were unable to obtain toys and treats to be stocked for Christmas. As winter locked down the town, shelves in...
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Posted in Curiosities on December 21, 2011

Cats, Cats, and More Cats

Media around the globe reported this week on a cat named Daniel who saved a Milwaukee area animal shelter. Daniel was born with 26 toes, and when the shelter needed funds to keep its door open this fall, its staff requested donations of $26. As reported in this video, more than $100,000 was donated in about six weeks. So Daniel...
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Posted in Animals on December 15, 2011

A Quick Stop to the Music

This weekend marks the anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1862. Union troops, including several hundred from Wisconsin, were trying to advance on the Confederate capital at Richmond. To get there, they had to cross the Rappahannock River, march through the town, and climb over a steep hill. Bureaucratic boondoggles delayed their crossing so long that Confederate...
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Posted in Strange Deaths on December 8, 2011

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