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On This Day: January 29

1851 - Ripon College Incorporated

On this date Ripon College, originally chartered as Brockway College, was incorporated. [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers, edited by Sarah Davis McBride]

1865 - (Civil War) Engagements in South Carolina

The 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery fought a skirmish at the Combahee River on the coast of South Carolina, and the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry fought another one 50 miles west at Robertsville, South Carolina.

1873 - Charles Henry Mills Born

On this date Charles Henry Mills was born in Nottingham, England. He attended the Guildhall School of Music in London. Between 1894 and 1907, he was the organist for various churches in England, Wales and Scotland. He was also conductor of the Aberdeen Operatic Society from 1898 to 1900. Charles Henry Mills came to the United States in 1907 as professor of the history and theory of music at Syracuse University in New York. In 1908 he accepted the position of professor of music and director of the School of Music at the University of Illinois, where he remained until 1914. From 1914 until his death in 1937, Charles Mills was a professor of music and the director of the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. One of his most noted accomplishments in this position was implementing "the Wisconsin plan" which promoted the acceptance of music courses for entrance credit by the University of Wisconsin on an equal basis with other recognized academic subjects. When he arrived at UW-Madison,the School of Music offered only a two-year course leading to a certificate. During his tenure here, it evolved to a four-year course leading to a Bachelor's degree, and Master's and Doctoral programs were introduced. Mills was also an accomplished pianist and organist, and a composer of choral and instrumental works. He served as president of the Wisconsin Music Teachers' Association. He designed a number of organs in Madison, including a four-manual concert organ at Music Hall, a three-manual concert organ for the Masonic Temple Auditorium and an organ for one of the smaller lodge rooms there, and organs for Calvary Luther and St. Andrew's Episcopol churches. The Mills Music Library on UW-Madison campus is named in honor of Charles Henry Mills. [Source: Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians by Theodore Baker]

1970 - Heather Graham Born

On this date film actress Heather Graham was born in Milwaukee. Graham's filmography includes roles in Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Boogie Nights (1997), and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999). [Source: Oddball Wisconsin, by Jerome Pohlen, pg. 190]

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