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On This Day: July 2

1832 - Abraham Lincoln Passes through Janesville

On this date Private Abraham Lincoln passed through the Janesville area as part of a mounted company of Illinois militia during the Black Hawk War. [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride, p. 117]

1861 - Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry Organized

On this date the Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry was organized as the 4th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment at Camp Utley, Racine, Wisconsin, and mustered into the service of the United States. In September 1863, the regiment was equipped as a cavalry regiment, by order of the War Department. After this time, the Fourth was actively and continually engaged in scouting, picketing and accompanying expeditions of various points in Louisiana and Mississippi. In July 1865 the Fourth was transferred with other troops to Texas, near the Rio Grande. [Source: 4th Wisconsin Volunteers]

1863 - (Civil War) Second day at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Fighting at Gettysburg began in the afternoon on July 2 and lasted until after dark as Union forces repulsed a series of attacks. That night, Union Major General George Meade held a council of leaders to decide what to do next. Lieutenant Frank Haskell, of Madison, was present when they voted to "allow the Rebel to come up and smash his head against [their position] to any reasonable extent he desired, as he had to-day. After some two hours the council dissolved, and the officers went their several ways."

1927 - Milwaukee's Oriental Theater Opens

The Oriental Theatre, a movie palace lavishly decorated in East Indian themes, opened in Milwaukee July 2, 1927, one of a chain of theaters built by Tom and John Saxe. Operating solely as a movie theater until 1972, it served as a venue for live performances in the 1970's and 80's but now shows only films. It hosts the longest running film engagement, having shown the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" as a midnight film since January 1978. [Source: Landmark Theaters]

1995 - First Lady Charlotte McAleer Kohler Dies

On this date the wife of Wisconsin Governor Walter Jodok Kohler, Jr died. Born in October, 1912 in Philadelphia, Charlotte Kohler studied acting in New York City and even performed "Death Takes a Holiday" on Broadway. She came to Wisconsin with her second husband, Walter Kohler, whom she met in Philadelphia. As First Lady of Wisconsin Kohler busied herself caring for Walter's two children from his previous marriage, as well as becoming very active in the American Red Cross and Mendota State Hospital. [Source: First Ladies of Wisconsin, The Governors' Wives by Nancy G. Williams, p. 190-193]