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On This Day: August 30

1862 - (Civil War) Wisconsin troops rest at the White House lawn

The 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Wisconsin Infantry regiments fought in the Second Battle of Bull Run. By the end of this third day, more than 18,000 soldiers had been killed or wounded and Union forces had been pushed back to Washington, D.C. When the Wisconsin regiments arrived in Washington, they rested on the White House lawn. According to historian Frank Klement, "President Lincoln came out with a pail of water in one hand and a dipper in the other. He moved among the men, offering water to the tired and thirsty. Some Wisconsin soldiers drank from the common dipper and thanked the President for his kindness."

1908 - Fred MacMurray Born

On this date stage, screen, and television actor Fred MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois. MacMurray was raised in Madison and Beaver Dam. Originally a traveling-band saxophonist, MacMurray began work in the silent films of the late 1920s. He went on to star in such notable films as Double Indemnity (1944), The Egg and I (1947), Caine Mutiny (1954), The Shaggy Dog (1959), and The Absent-Minded Professor(1961). He also starred in the long-running television series My Three Sons from 1960 to 1972. Fred MacMurray died on November 5, 1991. [Source: Wisconsin Film Office]

1936 - Janette Serrec Appears in Janesville

On this date nationally known lecturer Janette Serrec started a four-day "charm school" at Janesville's Apollo Theater. The event was sponsored by the Janesville Gazette and WCLO radio station. The presentation was augmented by Serrec's "Charm Chat," broadcast on WCLO and hosted by the radio station's "stylist" Villette Du Cray. In her presentation, Serrec urged women to "dare to be your age. No woman need ever be ugly, withered and old. Age should be only a ripening, not a withering of the beauty of a woman." [Source: Janesville Gazette]

1939 - Wisconsin First Lady Elaine Schreiber Born

On this date the wife of Wisconsin Governor Martin Schreiber, Elaine Ruth Thaney Schreiber, was born. She earned a degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as a graduate degree in early childhood education. The couple was married in Milwaukee in 1961, having met in high school. The Schreibers lived in the mansion for only a year and a half after Governor Lucey resigned to be the ambassador to Mexico. Elaine Schreiber spent much of her life raising her children, writing newpaper articles, and teaching kindergarten. [Source:First Ladies of Wisconsin, The Governors' Wives by Nancy G. Williams, p.228-232]

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