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Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History

Winter 2020, Volume 104, Number 2

Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History | Wisconsin Historical Society
Enlarge                Winter 2020, Wisconsin History Magazine, Aldo Leopold

Featured Story

Aldo Leopold, ca. 1915, fishing in the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was stationed with the US Forest Service. Leopold brought his love of the land to Wisconsin when he moved to Madison with his young family in 1924. UW–MADISON ARCHIVES / ALDO LEOPOLD COLLECTION/NEW MEXICO PHOTO ALBUM, 1913–1930



Table of Contents

EnlargeAldo Leopold writing at the Shack, his family's Sauk County retreat, circa 1946.

Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold writing at the Shack, his family’s Sauk County retreat, ca. 1946. UW–MADISON ARCHIVES SO2029 / ALDO LEOPOLD FOUNDATION

Reading the Landscape: Aldo Leopold’s Use of History

By Matt Blessing

Aldo Leopold was a forester, a professor of wildlife management, and an advocate for wilderness preservation who achieved national standing in each endeavor. Generations of readers have admired the lyrical quality of Leopold’s writing. Despite a wealth of scholarship about A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold’s study and use history has garnered modest attention. In the decades between the world wars, when astonishing advances were made in scientific laboratories, Leopold gravitated to interdisciplinary methods that consistently included historical analysis, blending them into both his teaching and his writing. This approach was particularly important in shaping the emerging disciplines of wildlife ecology and game management, which relied, in part, on baseline studies based on historical sources. Ultimately, Leopold used the craft and content of history to shape his writing for the public, capturing the human relationship to the land and our need to steward it for the future it in compelling, readable prose.

EnlargeNorman Wiard's steam-powered ice boat

Steam-powered Ice Boat

Norman Wiard’s steam-powered ice boat promised to open the Midwest’s 26,000 miles of rivers and lakes during the great North’s winter months. WHI IMAGE ID 148450

The Ice Boat & Mr. Wiard

By Tim Ernst

The year was 1856, and a transportation revolution was coming to the upper Midwest. No longer would winter bring the normal rhythms of life to a halt, trapping western border towns on the edge of civilization and cutting off travel to St. Paul and other river settlements. The upper Midwest’s 26,000 miles of rivers and lakes—long regarded as useless for travel in the frozen months—would provide new avenues to access markets and bring people together. Not only would the towns of the Midwest be connected, or so the promoters claimed, but people would someday be able to travel via frozen river from Wisconsin to the Rocky Mountains and beyond in just over a fortnight. Norman Wiard—the “Wizard of the North” and “Fulton of the West” —had invented an ice boat. Now, he had only to prove that his concept would work.

EnlargeGlad to Be Gay production booth

Glad to Be Gay

Michael Henry, coordinator of Glad to Be Gay on Madison Cable Access Channel 4, directs David Carter and cameraman Jonathan Bader in a January 1979 rehearsal. WHI IMAGE ID 60933

Glad to Be Gay: Gay Cable Access Television in Madison

By Scott C. Seyforth

While there is a tendency to think that most LGBTQ history comes from the coasts, a vibrant tradition of activism emerged in Mid¬western cities in the years following the 1969 Stonewall uprising. During the gay liberation era, efforts were made to bring LGBTQ lives into focus through the media, but the majority of outlets were print newspapers and magazines. One notable exception was a first-of-its-kind program, Glad to Be Gay, which aired on Madison’s public access Channel 4 from 1979 to 1983. Author Scott C. Seyforth takes a close look at the groundbreaking series that offered in-depth LGBTQ content not found elsewhere on local or national television: explorations of lesbian parent¬ing, the local trans community, the 1979 National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights, being out in the workplace, and more.

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