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On This Day: June 6

1622 - Jean Claude Allouez Born

On this date Jean Claude Allouez was born. As a Jesuit missionary, Allouez founded several missions in the Green Bay area and left a journal describing his travels as well as the peoples and wildlife of Wisconsin in the mid 1600s. [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography, SHSW 1960]

1822 - Shooting Leads to Medical Experiments

On this date Alexis St. Martin was accidentally shot in the stomach at Mackinac Island. St. Martin was treated by Dr. William Beaumont, who saved his life but left an open wound in the young man's side. Over many subsequent years, Dr. Beaumont conducted experiments through the opening in St. Martin's stomach. Beaumont and the St. Martin family moved to Prairie du Chien for a period, where the doctor conducted 238 scientific experiments on St. Martin's exposed stomach with only a spool of thread, a scissors, various foods, and a thermometer. Beaumont's important discoveries about digestion were published in 1833 in "Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion." His experiments proved to be crucial to a scientific understanding of how human digestion works. More information on military physician William Beaumont and The Voyageur with the Hole in his Side is available elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org.  [Source: "Badger Saints and Sinners" by Fred L. Holmes, p. 136-150]

1864 - (Civil War) Sixth day at Cold Harbor, Virginia

From May 31-June 12, 1864, more than 160,000 men clashed at Cold Harbor, Virginia, during the Wilderness Campaign. The 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 36th Wisconsin Infantry regiments took part. During the first week of fighting, Union forces had lost 1,705 men, 9,042 were wounded, and 2,406 were captured. The Confederates had lost roughly the same.

1921 - Wisconsin VFW Organized

On this date the Wisconsin department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was organized. The organization is open to any honorably discharged veteran who served as an officer or enlisted soldier in any foreign war, insurrection, or expedition. The official organ of this group is the Wisconsin Veteran. [Source: Wisconsin Blue Book]

1996 - U.S. House of Representatives Passes W-2

On this date the U.S. House of Representatives voted 289-136 to approve H.R. 3562, the Wisconsin Only bill. This bill authorized the state of Wisconsin to implement its statewide welfare reform demonstration project, Wisconsin Works, or W-2. [Source: Thomas]