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On This Day: December 4

1842 - Waukesha Civil War Hero Born

On this date William B. Cushing was born in Delafield. In October, 1864 Cushing led a small group of soldiers in the sinking of the Confederate ironclad ram, the Albermarle. The crew exploded a torpedo beneath the ship and then attempted to escape. The Albermarle imposed a blockade near Plymouth, North Carolina and sunk or removed many Union vessels while on the watch. Cushing's plan was a success, although his ship sank and most of the crew either surrendered or drowned. Cushing and one other man swam to shore and hid in the swamps to evade Confederate capture. Cushing received a "vote of thanks" from the U.S. Congress and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. He died in 1874 of ill health and is buried in the Naval Cemetery at Annapolis, Maryland. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes, p.274-285]

1864 - (Civil War) Battle of Waynesborough, Georgia

The Wisconsin 10th Light Artillery fought in the Battle of Waynesborough, Georgia.

1933 - Janesville Council Denies Prohibition End

On this date the Janesville Council drafted a "drastic liquor control law" that prohibited serving liquor. The law prohibited distilled spirits, but not beer, at bars, and limited liquor service to tables. Backrooms and "blinds" (closed booths) were also prohibited. The only place where packaged liquor was allowed to be sold was at municipal dispensaries. Further, bars were prohibited from selling packaged liquor. The next day, the city was uncommonly quiet as the 18th Amendment was repealed. For nearly 14 years, the 18th Amendment (the Prohibition Amendment), outlawed the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages within the U.S. [Source: Janesville Gazette, December 5, 1933, p.1]]