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On This Day: March 7

1811 - Increase Allen Lapham Born

A pioneer naturalist and noted author, Increase Allen Lapham was instrumental in establishing the Milwaukee public high school program. He was one of the founders of Milwaukee Female Seminary in 1848 and served as president of the State Historical Society from 1862 to 1871. Lapham came to Milwaukee in 1836 to serve as chief engineer and secretary for the Rock River Canal Company. He was one of the first authors and map makers in Wisconsin. Among approximately 80 titles in his bibliography, most notable was his Antiquities of Wisconsin, the first book length investigation of Wisconsin's Indian mounds. Lapham also served as chief geologist for Wisconsin from 1873 to 1875. He founded many educational, civic, and scientific organizations in Wisconsin. You can see many of his writings, letters, maps, and drawings, at Turning Points in Wisconsin History by typing "Lapham" into the search box. [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography, SHSW 1960, pg. 221]

1859 - U.S. Supreme Court Defends Fugitive Slave Law

On this date, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney overturned a Wisconsin decision involving the fate of abolitionist Sherman Booth. Booth and his followers had released Joshua Glover, a captured fugitive slave, from a Milwaukee jail on March 11, 1854. Authorities accused Booth of aiding and abetting a fugitive, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court found him innocent and declared the federal Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional in Wisconsin. The case caught the attention of lawmakers nationwide over the next six years, as federal and state authorities wrangled over Booth's fate. On March 7, 1859, the U.S. Supreme Court gave judgment reversing that of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The case finally ended when President Buchanan pardoned Booth in March, 1861, just before leaving office. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes, pg 185-202]

1863 - (Civil War) 27th Wisconsin Infantry Mustered In

The 27th Wisconsin Infantry mustered in at Camp Sigel in Milwaukee. It would go on to participate in the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas. At the end of the war, it would fight in the campaign against Mobile, Alabama, including the siege of Spanish Fort and the assault and capture of Fort Blakely. The regiment lost 259 men in a little more than two years. Twenty-two enlisted men were killed in combat, and five officers and 232 enlisted men died from disease.

1940 - Daniel John Travanti Born in Kenosha

On this date, actor Daniel J. Travanti was born in Kenosha. Travanti played the Emmy Award-winning role of Captain Frank Furillo on NBC's "Hill Street Blues" from 1981 to 1987. Travanti graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he attended as a General Motors Scholar. He also attended Yale University School of Drama from 1961-1962 and earned an MA from Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. Some of his early TV credits include "Route 66", "The Patty Duke Show", "East Side/West Side" and "Gidget." [Source: Internet Movie Database]

1969 - Golda Meir Nominated as Prime Minister of Israel

On this date, Golda Meir was nominated by the Labor Party to be Prime Minister of Israel. Born in Kiev, Russia, she moved to Milwaukee with her family in 1906. In 1915 she joined the Labor Zionist Party. In 1917 she married Morris Meyerson and together they moved to Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1921. She was Prime Minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. Prior to holding this office, she was the Foreign Minister from 1956 to 1965. She retired from political life in 1974. [Source: History Today]