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On This Day: February 11

1832 - George Edwin Bryant Born

On this date George Edwin Bryant was born in Baldwinsville, Mass. In 1856 he moved to Madison and practiced law. During the Civil War, he served as captain in the 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry from 1861-1862 and served as colonel of the 12th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry from 1862-1864.  He led this regiment through campaigns in Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Atlanta. After the war, he participated in politics and worked on his cattle-breeding farm in Blooming Grove. After serving as a Dane County judge from 1865-1877, he served in the Wisconsin State Senate from 1875-1876 and was quartermaster general from 1876-1882. He also served as Madison postmaster from 1882-1886 and 1890-1894. He supported Robert M. La Follette and was state superintendent of public property from 1901-1907.

1842 - Shooting in the Legislature

On this date the Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin met in Madison, only to be interrupted by the shooting of one member by another. The legislature was debating the appointment of Enos S. Baker for sheriff of Grant County when Charles Arndt made a sarcastic remark about Baker's colleague, James Vineyard. After an uproar, adjournment was declared and when Arndt approached Vineyard's desk, a fight broke out during which Vineyard drew his revolver and shot Arndt. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes]

1862 - (Civil War) Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, Begins

The 3rd Wisconsin Artillery fought in the Battle of Fort Donelson on the Tennessee River.

1962 - Tammy Baldwin Born

On this date U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin was born in Madison. A graduate of Madison West High School, Baldwin began her career in elective office as a member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors in 1986. In the same year, she served briefly on the Madison City Council, filling an aldermanic vacancy. Baldwin served four terms as a Dane County Supervisor (1986-1994), while also running for, and winning, a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly in November 1992. She served as a State Representative for the 78th Assembly District comprising central and south Madison from January 1993 to January 1999. She has served as a member of Wisconsin Citizen Action, Access to Independence, the ACLU of Wisconsin, National Women's Political Caucus, and the state bar of Wisconsin. She was elected to the House of Representative in 1998 and has served on the Budget and Judiciary Committees. In her first term, Congresswoman Baldwin was a leader in the successful effort to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and authored a bill that would enable states to provide health care coverage for their uninsured. The first openly gay person to be elected to Congress as a non-incumbent, Tammy Baldwin is a forceful supporter of civil rights.