This Day in Wisconsin History
On This Day: June 9
1819 - Jeannette Garr Washburn Born
On this date Jeannette Garr Washburn was born in New York City. The daughter of Andrew Sheffield Garr and Elizabeth Morrel Sinclair, her father emigrated to the U.S. from Scotland, and became a shipbuilder and successful attorney. It is unclear when or how Jeannette Garr arrived in Wisconsin but she married Cadwallader Colden Washburn on January 1, 1849 in Mineral Point. Washburn served as Governor from 1872 to 1874. Tragically, Jeannette Garr Washburn never enjoyed the role of first lady of Wisconsin. She developed puerperal fever after the birth of their second daughter in 1852, and became an invalid, spending the next 57 years in a mental institution. Her daughters were raised by Governor Washburn's parents in Maine. She outlived her husband by 27 years. Jeannette Garr Washburn died of diabetes mellitus on March 12, 1909 in Brookline, Massachusetts. She is buried there in Walnut Hills Cemetery. [Source: First Ladies of Wisconsin-The Governors' Wives, by Nancy G. Williams, pg. 70]
1864 - (Civil War) Ninth day at Cold Harbor, Virginia
From May 31-June 12, 1864, more than 160,000 men clashed at Cold Harbor, Virginia, during the Wilderness Campaign. The 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 36th Wisconsin Infantry regiments took part. June 9 was a quiet day for the Iron Brigade, which received newspapers from Richmond.
1915 - Guitar Pioneer Les Paul Born
On this date guitarist Les Paul (aka Lester Polfus) was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Best known for the guitar that bears his name, Les Paul was a country-music guitarist, jazz-pop musician and pioneer in music technology. In 1941, Paul built his first solid-body electric guitar and over the next decade he developed revolutionary engineering techniques such as close miking, echo delay, and multi-tracking. Paul was also well known for recording with his wife, singer Colleen Summers (a.k.a. Mary Ford). Their biggest hits included "How High the Moon" (1951) and "Vaya Con Dios" (1953), both reaching #1. The recordings of Les Paul and Mary Ford were not only popular hits, they also showcased Paul's pioneering use of overdubbing, or the layering of guitar parts one atop another. In 1952, Les Paul introduced the first eight-track tape recorder as well as the solid-body electric guitar he is known for. Built and marketed by Gibson, the Les Paul guitar has been used by such guitarists as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. [Source: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]
1934 - Actor Jackie Mason Born
On this date Jackie Mason was born in Sheboygan. Known as the Jewish Will Rogers and one of the original "Borscht-Belt comics," Mason's first one-man Broadway show, The World According To Me, played to sell-out, standing-room only crowds for two years and was a phenomenal success on its American and European tours. It earned a Tony Award for Outstanding Theatrical Achievement in 1989 as well as Outer Critics Circle Award, Ace Award, Emmy Award and Grammy nomination.
1953 - Janesville Teachers Receive Unequal Pay
On this date the Janesville Board of Education unanimously refused to pay men and women teachers uniformly. Men were paid $300 more annually than women because, the board and administration maintained, "male teachers are expected to work extra hours officiating extra-curricular sports." [Source: Janesville Gazette]