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On This Day: June 20

1816 - Troops Arrive at Fort Crawford

On this date troops arrived at Fort Crawford. After the War of 1812, the United States Congress approved a plan to erect a chain of forts along the Fox-Wisconsin-Mississippi waterway. In 1816 Fort Crawford was erected on a mound behind the main village of Prairie du Chien. It was a four-sided enclosure made of squared logs, set horizontally. At the two opposing corners stood a blockhouse. Soldiers' quarters formed the walls of the fort, faced the parade ground, and accommodated five companies. By the middle of the year, the 8th Infantry had established three posts on the east bank of the Mississippi: Fort Edwards, Fort Armstrong and Fort Crawford, the latter named for the Secretary of War. [Source: The History of Wisconsin, Volume 1, SHSW 1973, page 97]

1865 - (Civil War) 42nd Infantry mustered out

(Civil War) On June 20, 1865, the 42nd Wisconsin Infantry mustered out. It had been organized only nine months earlier in Madison and moved to Cairo, Illinois, between September 20-22, 1864. It spent its short term of service on post and garrison duty at various points around Illinois.

1911 - Italian Working Men Strike

On this date Italian working men, employed by Andrus Asphalt Company in Madison, went on strike and threatened to kill their foreman if they did not receive an increase in wages for laying pavement. The men demanded a 25-cent (a day) raise, from $1.75 to $2.00. To learn more about strikes and the labor movement visit our Birth of the Labor Movement page in Turning Points. [Source: Bishops to Bootleggers: A Biographical Guide to Resurrection Cemetery, pg. 184]

1926 - Governor Lee Dreyfus Born

On this date former Wisconsin governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dreyfus studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison earning his bachelor's degree in 1949 and his Doctorate in 1957. He taught speech at the university before serving as associate professor at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. Having returned to Wisconsin 10 years later, Dreyfus was appointed chancellor and later president of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Lee Dreyfus served as Wisconsin's governor from 1979 until 1983 when he declined to run for another term. [Source: First Ladies of Wisconsin, The Governors' Wives byNancy Greenwood Williams; pp. 236, 264]