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flag  History of Wisconsin, USA

Journey back in time to Wisconsin, USA

Visit Wisconsin, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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 Wisconsin, USA -

Wisconsin is the dairy capital of the United States.

"Derived from Meskousing, the name applied to the Wisconsin River by the Algonquian-speaking tribes in the region. The French explorer Jacques Marquette recorded the name in 1673, and the word was eventually corrupted into Ouisconsin, anglicized to its modern form during the early 19th century, and its current spelling made official by the territorial legislature in 1845. Modern linguists had been unable to find any word in an Algonquian language similar to the one Marquette recorded, and now believe that the tribes borrowed the name from the Miami meskonsing, or “it lies red,” a reference to the reddish sandstone of the Wisconsin Dells."

There is MUCH more to discover about Wisconsin, USA. Read on!

Wisconsin Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Wisconsin, USA

(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois

Wisconsin, USA

Main Street, Spooner, Wisconsin

Wisconsin, USA

Main Street, Union Grove

Wisconsin, USA

Soo Line Depot, Waupaca, Wis.

Wisconsin, USA
Flag of Wisconsin
Adopted May 1, 1981

Discover Wisconsin: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
  • 1820s - Henry Schoolcraft, James Doty, and Lewis Cass explore Wisconsin. U.S. settlers arrive in southwestern region of Wisconsin and begin mining for lead. kids/ tl1.asp
  • 1832 - Black Hawk War

  • 1836 - Congress creates the Territory of Wisconsin. President Andrew Jackson appoints Colonel Henry Dodge as governor of the new territory. kids/ tl1.asp
  • 1848 - Wisconsin joins the Union as the thirtieth state. Large-scale German immigration to Wisconsin begins. kids/ tl1.asp
  • 1854 - Wisconsin
    Wisconsin, one of the recently settled states of the American confederacy, is bound ed on the N. by Minnesota, Lake Superior, and the northern peninsula of Michigan, (from which it is separated in part by the Mennemonee and Montreal rivers,) on the E. by Lake Michigan, S. by Illinois, and W. by Iowa and Minnesota Territory, from the former of which it is separated by the Mississippi, and from the latter (in part) by the St. Croix river. It lies between 42° 30' and 46° 55' N. lat., (if we exclude some small islands belonging to the state in Lake Superior,) and between 87° and 92° 50* W. Lon., being about 286 miles in extreme length from N. to S.. and about 255 in its greatest breadth from E. to W., including an area of about 63,924 square miles, or 34,511,860 acres, of which 1,045,499 were improved in 1850...
    A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
  • News  1854 - February 28 – The Republican Party (United States) is founded in Ripon, Wisconsin.
    February 28, 1854
  • 1865 - 96,000 Wisconsin soldiers serve in Civil War, and 12,216 of them die in the conflict. kids/ tl1.asp
  • 1871 - The Peshtigo fire results in more than a thousand deaths. kids/ tl1.asp
  • 1899 - The lumber boom peaks in northern Wisconsin, with 3.4 billion board feet harvested in one year. kids/ tl1.asp
  • News  1899 - June 12 – New Richmond Tornado completely destroys the town of New Richmond, Wisconsin, killing 117 and injuring more than 200.
    June 12, 1899
  • 1901 - The Wisconsin legislature organized the first county agricultural high schools. resources/ state-facts/ wisconsin.html
  • 1915-1920 - Carrie Chapman Catt, born in 1859 in Ripon, leads the national movement to gain women the right to vote. After the passage of the nineteenth amendment in 1920, she founds and serves as the first president of the League of Women Voters. kids/ tl1.asp
  • 1917 - Large numbers of African Americans from the rural South begin moving to Wisconsin communities, including Racine, Beloit and Milwaukee.
    The U.S. enters World War I. Wisconsin becomes first state to meet draft requirements; 120,000 soldiers serve in the military, and almost 4,000 die in the war. kids/ tl1.asp
  • 1918 - Wisconsin established the first statewide numbering system to direct highway traffic, using odd numbers for state trunk highways running north-south and even numbers for those going east-west. resources/ state-facts/ wisconsin.html
  • 1921 - Wisconsin passed the first law eliminating all legal discrimination against women. resources/ state-facts/ wisconsin.html
  • 1932 - Wisconsin enacts first unemployment-compensation law in the nation. kids/ tl1.asp
  • 1933 - Wisconsin became the first state to prohibit the use of race or national origin as factors in hiring teachers. resources/ state-facts/ wisconsin.html
  • 1965 - Wisconsin became the first state to ban hiring discrimination based on disabilities. resources/ state-facts/ wisconsin.html
  • 1970 - Wisconsin became the first state to prohibit the sale and distribution of DDT, a powerful pesticide also toxic to fish, mammals, and birds. resources/ state-facts/ wisconsin.html
  • News  1970 - April 22 - The First Earth Day
    Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was disturbed that an issue as important as our environment was not addressed in politics or by the media, so he created the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970. An estimated 20 million people nationwide attended festivities that day. It was a truly astonishing grassroots explosion, leading eventually to national legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
    April 22, 1970
  • 1982 - Wisconsin became the first state to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public places of accommodation or amusement on the basis of sexual orientation. resources/ state-facts/ wisconsin.html

  • 2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Wisconsin:
    Visit Milwaukee: Milwaukee is Wisconsin's largest city and offers a vibrant urban experience. Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum, take a brewery tour (it's known as the "Brew City" for a reason), and enjoy the scenic Milwaukee Riverwalk.

    Tour the Harley-Davidson Museum: Harley-Davidson is an iconic American brand, and their museum in Milwaukee is a must-visit for motorcycle enthusiasts. Learn about the history of these legendary bikes and see some incredible vintage models.

    Milwaukee County Zoo: If you're traveling with family, the Milwaukee County Zoo is a great place to spend a day. It's home to a wide variety of animals and offers educational programs for kids.

    Door County: Known as the "Cape Cod of the Midwest," Door County is a picturesque peninsula jutting out into Lake Michigan. Enjoy charming small towns, beautiful shoreline, and outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and cherry picking.

    Wisconsin Dells: This waterpark capital of the world is perfect for families... Read MORE...

Discover Your Roots: Wisconsin Ancestry

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Updated: 9/18/2023 7:32:00 PM

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