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On This Day: April 7

1845 - First Major Fire in Milwaukee

On this date the first major fire occured in Milwaukee, burning over 2 city blocks and destroying buildings. Damage was estimated at $90,000. [Source: History of Milwaukee, Vol. II, pg. 44]

1846 - First Town Meetings Held in Ozaukee County

On this date, as specified by territorial legislation, organizational town meetings were conducted at 10:00 AM on the first Tuesday of April. The meetings followed identical agendas and were held in the newly established townships of Port Washington, Grafton, and Mequon in Washington County. [Source: Ozaukee County Web site]

1865 - (Civil War) Confederate leaders reach Farmville, Virginia

Union forces briefly caught up with the retreating Confederate army at Farmville, Virginia, late on April 7, 1865. The 36th Wisconsin Infantry fought a skirmish with a Confederate rear guard at a bridge over the Appomattox River. The 5th, 6th, 7th, 19th, 37th and 38th Wisconsin Infantry regiments were also pursuing the Confederate troops.

1891 - Oscar (Happy) Felsch Born

On this date Oscar Emil (Happy) Felsch was born in Milwaukee. In 1920, the world of baseball was stunned to learn that members of the Chicago White Sox colluded with professional gamblers and agreed to throw the previous World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Eight players, including Felsch, were indicted for participating in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Felsch died on August 17, 1964. [Source: Society for American Baseball Research]

1933 - Janesville Proprietors Anticipate 18th Amendment Repeal

On this date it became legal for light beer to be made and sold in the U.S. The news was greeted with enthusiasm around the state. The Janesville Council held a special meeting to grant beer licenses to 29 taverns, hotels and restaurants, eight distributors, and 11 operators. [Source: Janesville Gazette]

1970 - The Milwaukee Brewers' First Game

On this date the Milwaukee Brewers, one of the many organized sports teams in Wisconsin, played their first game against the California Angels in front of 37,237 enthusiastic fans at County Stadium. [Source: Brewers' History page]