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On This Day in Wisconsin History

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On This Day: October 5

1846 - First State Constitutional Convention Meets
On this date Wisconsin's first state Constitutional Convention met in Madison. The Convention sat until December 16,1846. The Convention was attended by 103 Democrats and 18 Whigs. The proposed constitution failed when voters refused to accept several controversial issues: an anti-banking article, a homestead exemption (which gave $1000 exemption to any debtor), providing women with property rights, and black suffrage. The following convention, the Second Constituitional Convention of Wisconsin in 1847-48, produced and passed a constitution that Wisconsin still very much follows today. [Source: The Convention of 1846 edited Milo M. Quaife]

1864 - (Civil War) Battle of Allatoona Pass, Georgia
The 18th Wisconsin Infantry and 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery were among the outnumbered Union troops who held Allatoona Pass outside Atlanta, Georgia, when  attacked by a larger Confederate force.

1892 - Gardner Robert Withrow Born
On this date Gardner Robert Withrow was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He was elected to the Wisconsin assembly in 1926 and 1927 and went on to be elected as a Republican to the Seventy-second and Seventy-third Congresses and as a Progressive to the Seventy-fourth and Seventy-fifth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1931 to January 3, 1939. Wthrow was later elected as a Republican to the Eighty-first and to the five succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1949 to January 3, 1961. He died in La Crosse on September 23, 1964. [Source: Biographical Directory of United States Congress]

1918 - Allen Ludden Born
On this date Allen Ludden was born in Mineral Point. Ludden hosted the TV gameshow Password and was married to Betty White of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Ludden died in 1981. [Source: Oddball Wisconsin by Jerome Pohlen, p.211]

1926 - Milwaukee County Airport Approved
On this date Milwaukee County approved the purchase of a new airfield, abandoning the small Butler Airport. The land was owned by Thomas Hamilton, a local aviator who operated a propeller manufacturing business and small airport. The first airport terminal, the Hirschbuehl Farmhouse, opened on the Hamilton Airport site in July of 1927. Between 1938 and 1940, a new two-story terminal building was constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In 1941 the airport was renamed to honor Milwaukee aviator, General William "Billy" Mitchell. [Source: General Mitchell Airport]

1943 - Steve Miller Born
On this date Steve Miller was born in Milwaukee. Memorable Steve Miller Band recordings include The Joker (1973), Fly Like an Eagle (1976), and Jet Airliner (1977). [Source: Oddball Wisconsin by Jermone Pohlen, p.190]

1945 - Janesville POW Arrives Home
On this date Marine Sgt. David Timpany, 24, returned to Janesville after being held prisoner by the Japanese longer than any other Janesville resident--since the day after the war started, Dec. 8, 1941. In 1941, Timpany was stationed at a U.S. embassy in China when he was captured by the Japanese. [Source: Janesville Gazette]

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