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On This Day: December 6

1821 - First Wisconsin Post Office Established

On this date the first Wisconsin post office was established in Green Bay. The first postmaster was John Deane and the office is still in existence. [Source: Wisconsin: Its Territorial and Statehood Post Offices, compiled by Frank Moertl, p.30]]

1864 - (Civil War) 30th Wisconsin Infantry Arrives in the South

The 30th Wisconsin Infantry arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, after spending most of its service enforcing the draft in Wisconsin.

1875 - Alvin Kraenzlein born

On this date Alvin Kraenzlein of Milwaukee was born. Kraenzlein, considered the father of the modern hurdling technique, began his track career in high school, winning five events at the 1895 state meet. He continued competing at the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Pennsylanvia where he won three events and placed second in another at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America track and field meet. At the time, this event was considered the national collegiate championships for the sport. Kraenzlein went on to compete in the 1900 Olympics in Paris where he won four gold medals in individual events, the only track athlete to have accomplished this feat. [Source: USA Track & Field]

1888 - Wisconsin First Lady Madge Goodland Born

On this date Wisconsin first lady Madge Goodland, wife of Governor Walter Goodland, was born. Goodland became governor when Orland Loomis died before taking office. Mrs. Goodland was known as an excellent hostess, entertaining dignitaries such as Wendell Willkie and Lord Halifax during WWII. She was also active in the American Red Cross, American Legion, and the Republican Party. In 1943, she christened the USS-Wisconsin. Madge Goodland became acquainted with Walter Goodland when she worked as his secretary.   [Source: First Ladies of Wisconsin, The Governors' Wives by Nancy G. Williams, p.178-182]

1900 - Agnes Moorehead Born

On this date Agnes Moorehead, best recognized as Endora, Elizabeth Montgomery's overbearing mother on the 1960s TV sitcom Bewitched, was born in Clinton, Massachusetts. A graduate of Muskingum College in Ohio, she went on to earn a master's degree in English at the University of Wisconsin. She continued her studies in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and began appearing on Broadway and radio.  Moorehead performed with Jack Benny, Fred Allen, and Bob Hope. In addition, she was a founding member of Orson Welles' world famous Mercury Theater Players. She followed Welles on to the silver screen, appearing as Kane's mother in the landmark Citizen Kane. She later received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Fanny Minafer in Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons. Moorehead was also nominated for her performances in Johnny Belinda, Mrs. Parkington, All That Heaven Allows, and Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Moorehead died on April 30, 1974. [Source: Oddball Wisconsin by Jerome Pohlen]

1953 - Tom Hulce Born

On this date film and stage actor Thomas Edward Hulce was born in Whitewater. His family later relocated to Plymouth, Michigan. He studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, as well as Booth Bay Harbor, Maine, Sarasota, Florida and England before moving to New York. Hulce is best known for his role in the 1984 award-winning Amadeus, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Hulce lost his Academy Award bid to his Amadeus co-star, F. Murray Abraham. Movie fans also fondly remember Hulce's portrayal of Larry "Pinto" Kroger, a freshman fraternity plege, in Animal House (1978). [Source: Oddball Wisconsin by Jerome Pohlen]

1968 - Ban on Contraceptive Sales Questioned

On this date a legislative subcommittee recommended that Wisconsin drop its 35-year-old ban on the sale of contraceptives, including the relatively new birth control pill and prophylactics, to unmarried people. The law previously classified such contraceptive devices as "indecent articles." [Source: Janesville Gazette, December 7, 1968, p.1]