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On This Day: February 9

1849 - First Newspaper in Oshkosh

On this date Oshkosh's first newspaper, the Oshkosh True Democrat, began publishing. [Source: Oshkosh Public Library]

1865 - (Civil War) Skirmish at Binaker's Bridge, South Carolina

The 25th and 32nd Wisconsin Infantry regiments fought in a skirmish at Binaker's Bridge on the South Edisto River in South Carolina.

1870 - National Weather Service Authorized

On this date President Ulysses S. Grant signed a joint resolution authorizing a National Weather Service, which had long been a dream of Milwaukee scientist Increase Lapham. Lapham, 19th-century Wisconsin's premier natural scientist, proposed a national weather service after he mapped data contributed over telegraph lines in the UpperMidwest and realized that weather might be predicted in advance. He was concerned about avoiding potential disasters to Great Lakes shipping and Wisconsin farming, and his proposal was approved by Congress and authorized on this date. [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers, edited by Sarah Davis McBride]

1950 - Joseph McCarthy Makes First Communist Accusations

On this date Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy claimed, for the first time, to possess a list of 205 names of known communists working for the State Department. He made this allegation during a speech to the Republican Women's Club at the McClure Hotel in Wheeling, West Virginia. [Source: History department, University of San Diego]