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On This Day: February 20

1827 - Edward Stuyvesant Bragg Born

On this date Edward Stuyvesant Bragg was born in Unadilla, New York. Bragg was a soldier, politician, and diplomat. He moved to Fond du Lac in 1850 where he practiced law and held several political offices. He recruited a company of infantry and was commissioned captain of the 6th Wisconsin Volunteers in 1860. By 1863 he was made a full colonel and was appointed commander of the "Iron Brigade" in June 1864. In that month, he led assaults on Petersburg and his troops captured a Confederate post while under enemy fire. After the war, he returned to Fond du Lac and continued to practice law. He was elected to Congress and served from 1877-1883, and again from 1885-1887. He served as minister to Mexico from 1888-1889, Cuba in 1902, and consul to Hong Kong from 1903-1906. Bragg died on June 20, 1912. [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography, SHSW 1960, pg. 46]

1863 - (Civil War) Sharpshooters Begin Training in Madison

Company A of the 10th Wisconsin Infantry began training as sharpshooters in Madison, Wisconsin. The 10th Infantry would go on to see action in the battles of Perryville, the Georgia Campaign, Chickamauga, the siege of Chattanooga, and Kennesaw Mountain.

1871 - Sarah Collins Doty Dies

On this date Sarah Collins Doty died in Oshkosh. She was born in 1800, in Whitesboro,  New York. The daughter of Oliver Collins and Catherine Kellogg, she married James Duane Doty on April 14, 1823 in Whitesboro, New York. The Dotys lived briefly in Detroit where James served as first federal judge for the western Michigan Territory. They relocated to Prairie du Chien, Green Bay, and finally Fond du Lac County as Doty advanced in his legal career. Doty was appointed Territorial Governor in 1841 and served until 1844. During his tenure, the Dotys resided on Doty Street in Madison. Sarah Collins Doty gave birth to four children, all of whom lived to adulthood. After her husband died in 1865, she lived with her daughter in Oshkosh until her own death in 1871. Sarah Collins Doty is buried in Riverside Cemetery. [Source: First Ladies of Wisconsin - The Governors' Wives, by Nancy G. Williams, pg. 11]

1887 - Federated Trades Council Founded

On this date the Federated Trades Council was founded in Milwaukee for the purpose of organizing the craft unions in the city. The Federated Trades Council was founded by Frank J. Weber, Wisconsin labor leader and champion of union causes. [Source: A Labor Anthology, pg. 29]

1943 - All-American Girls Baseball League Formed

On this date what was to become known as the All-American Girls Baseball League was formed with franchises in Kenosha and Racine. [Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

1945 - Andrew Bergman Born

On this date Andrew Bergman, Hollywood writer, director, and producer, was born. Bergman attended the University of Wisconsin where he earned master's and doctoral degrees in American history. His dissertation, a study of Depression-era Hollywood films, was published by NYU Press under the title We're In the Money: Depression America and Its Films in 1971 and subsequently reprinted in paperback by Harper and Row. He wrote screenplays for the following films: Blazing Saddles, Fletch, and The In-Laws. He directed The Freshman, Honeymoon in Vegas, and It Could Happen to You. [Source: Internet Movie Database]

1950 - McCarthy Delivers Allegations to Senate

On this date, in a six-hour speech delivered before the U.S. Senate, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed he had the names of 81 U.S. government officials actively engaged in Communist activities, including "one of our foreign ministers." [Source: Internet Archives]