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On This Day: September 17

1851 - North Hall Constructed on UW-Madison Campus

On this date North Hall, the first building on the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison campus, was erected. It opened as a dormitory for men. The cost of construction was $19,000. [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride, p. 87]

1862 - 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers

On this date the 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers, the majority of whom were German speaking immigrants, were mustered in. They enlisted in August of 1862, drilled at Camp Sigel in Milwaukee, and were placed in the 11th Corps. Major General Franz Sigel, also a German immigrant, took command of the entire 11th Corps and the 26th Wisconsin regiment fell under the Division of Major General Carl Schurz and the Brigade of Colonel Wladimir Krzyzanowski. [Source: The 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers]

1862 - (Civil War) Battle of Antietam

September 17, 1862, was the bloodiest day in U.S. military history. More than 125,000 troops faced off and over 24,000 were killed, wounded or missing as Union forces stopped the first Confederate invasion of the North. The 2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin Infantry regiments were in the thickest of the fighting. The 6th Infantry led a charge that killed or wounded 150 of its 280 men. Of the 800 officers and men in the Iron Brigade who marched out that morning, 343 were wounded or killed.

1935 - Wisconsin Ballplayer Killed in Accident

On this date Len Koenecke, who played outfield for the Brooklyn Dodgers, was killed aboard a small, private plane flying near Toronto, Canada. After starting a fight in the cockpit, Koenecke, a native of Baraboo, was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher by the pilot. [Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

1945 - MacArthur Square Named in Milwaukee

On this date MacArthur Square was named to honor General Douglas MacArthur for his leadership of Allied forces during World War II. MacArthur as well as his father and grandfather were residents of Milwaukee. [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride, p.31]