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May 2013 Odd Wisconsin

Wisconsin Tornadoes

Tornado season has arrived in full force with this week's hot, humid and volatile weather. Click over to Ready Wisconsin to learn how to protect yourself (and see some amazing pictures and video). You can also follow Ready Wisconsin on Twitter for local severe weather alerts as they happen. Many local media outlets will send a text message to your...
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Posted in Curiosities on May 30, 2013

The Story of Memorial Day

Many cities and towns claim to have held the first Memorial Day ceremony. But where did this holiday really begin? And how did it evolve in the public mind from a solemn commemoration of military sacrifices, to a general display of public patriotism, to the unofficial launch of summer, and finally back to its solemn roots? Here's the answer, with...
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Posted in on May 22, 2013

Joliet and Marquette Head into the Wild

"Accordingly, on the 17th day of May, 1673," Fr. Jacques Marquette wrote in his diary, "we started from the mission of St. Ignace at Michilimakinac, where I then was. The joy that we felt at being selected for this expedition animated our courage, and rendered the labor of paddling from morning to night agreeable to us... we joyfully plied our...
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Posted in Odd Lives on May 16, 2013

The Strange Ways of White Folks

In 1828, the Ho-Chunk Chief Dandy was passing through Galena with some companions. White settlers had only recently started moving into the lead region of southwestern Wisconsin, and the Indians were interested in the strange newcomers and their customs. This was before the widespread occupation of Indian lands that would produce the Black Hawk War four years later. "While strolling...
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Posted in on May 8, 2013

Madison's Castle

No, not the UW's Red Gym but a real castle. In 1861, a melancholy Englishman named Benjamin Walker brought his family across the Atlantic to settle on what were then the outskirts of Madison. No one seems to know why he left home or why he chose our capital, but in 1863 he erected a medieval castle on E. Gorham...
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Posted in Madison on May 1, 2013

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