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On This Day: July 11

1839 - First patent issued to Wisconsin resident

On this day Ebenezar G. Whiting of Racine was issued patent #1232 for his improved plow, the first patent issued to someone from Wisconsin. Whiting's improvements consisted of making the mold-board straight and flat which, when united in the center with the curvilinear part of the mold-board, would require less power to drag through the dirt. Whiting went on to serve as Vice President of the J.I. Case Plow Company and received another patent for a steel plow in 1876. [Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office]

1853 - Immigrant Railway Workers Demand Wages

On this date between 300 and 400 German railway laborers converged on Milwaukee to demand payment of back wages. Their contractor, a Mr. Schultz, reneged on his promise of payment for labor. The laborers, who had been working on the La Crosse and Milwaukee Railroad, congregated at the company headquarters on Water and Spring Streets. Tempers flared and a riot broke out. Law enforcement and city officials were called out to control the situation. Milwaukee mayor George H. Walker was hit over the head with a shovel blade. After the fire department turned their hoses on the angry mob, rioters responded by throwing brickbats at law enforcement. To quell the violence, the mayor issued a proclamation, in German, that the company would pay workers out of money due to the contractor. This is a very early example of the labor movement in Wisconsin. [Source: A Labor History Anthology, p. 14]

1865 - (Civil War) 5th Wisconsin Infantry musters out

The 5th Wisconsin Infantry mustered out after fighting in the battles of Williamsburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness, and participating in the surrender of General Robert E. Lee. The regiment lost 329 men during service. Fifteen officers and 180 enlisted men were killed. Two officers and 132 enlisted men died from disease.

1921 - Nation's First Equal Rights Law Signed

On this day Governor John J. Blaine signed into law the nation's first legislation guaranteeing women the same legal privileges, rights and protections as men. [Source: WLHBA]

1992 - Miller Park Design Revealed

On this date the Milwaukee Brewers organization unveiled their plans to build a "turn-of-the-century" designed ballpark. [Source: Nielsen Building Systems]