Wisconsin in History

Historical Events

  • 1809-02-03 Territory of Illinois organizes (including present-day Wisconsin)
  • 1832-08-02 Battle of Bad Axe, Wisconsin: 1,300 Illinois militia defeat Sauk & Fox Native Americans ending the Black Hawk War in the US
  • 1836-04-14 US Congress forms Territory of Wisconsin
  • 1836-04-20 Territory of Wisconsin created
  • 1836-07-04 Wisconsin Territory forms
  • 1846-01-31 After the Milwaukee Bridge War, Juneautown and Kilbourntown unified as the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • 1848-05-29 Wisconsin becomes 30th state
  • 1849-02-04 University of Wisconsin begins in 1 room with 20 students
  • 1855-02-03 Wisconsin Supreme Coutt declares US Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional
  • 1866-07-25 25th US Postmaster General: Alexander W Randall of Wisconsin takes office
  • 1871-10-08 Forest fire destroys Peshtigo, Wisconsin
  • 1883-01-10 Fire at uninsured Newhall Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin kills 71. General Tom Thumb of P T Barnum fame, escapes unhurt
  • 1883-02-10 Fire at un-insured New Hall Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, kills 71
  • 1886-05-05 The Bay View Tragedy occurs, as militia fire upon a crowd of protesters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin killing seven.
  • 1886-07-06 Horlick's of Wisconsin offers 1st malted milk to public
  • 1890-01-03 1st US college-level dairy school opens at University of Wisconsin
  • 1903-05-23 1st direct primary election law in US adopted, by Wisconsin
  • 1903-09-11 The first race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin is held. It is the oldest major speedway in the world.
  • 1911-06-16 A 772 gram stony meteorite strikes the earth near Kilbourn, Columbia County, Wisconsin damaging a barn.
  • 1912-11-05 Arizona, Kansas & Wisconsin vote for female suffrage

MurderMurder of Interest

1914-08-15 A male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright sets fire to the living quarters of the architect's Wisconsin home, Taliesin, murders seven people and burns the living quarters to the ground.

  • 1917-11-24 Nine police officers and one civilian are killed when a bomb explodes at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin police headquarters building.
  • 1922-01-24 -54°F (-48°C), Danbury, Wisconsin (state record)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1925-11-09 Robert A. Millikan confirms the existence of cosmic rays from outer space in a speech to the National Academy of Sciences at Madison, Wisconsin

  • 1932-01-28 1st US state unemployment insurance act enacted (Wisconsin)
  • 1936-07-13 114°F (46°C), Wisconsin Dells, Wisc (state record)
  • 1939-01-19 Ernest Hausen of Wisconsin sets chicken-plucking record-4.4 sec
  • 1941-03-29 3rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Wisconsin beats Wash State 39-34
  • 1954-11-30 20th Heisman Trophy Award: Alan Ameche, Wisconsin (FB)
  • 1964-01-22 World's largest cheese (15,723 kg) manufactured in Wisconsin for New York's World Fair
  • 1966-01-27 Wisconsin State Circuit Court Judge Elmer W Roller rules either the Braves stay in Milwaukee or NL must promise Wisc an expansion team for 1966
  • 1968-04-02 Senator E Mccarthy wins Democratic primaries in Wisconsin
  • 1970-08-24 Bomb kills 1 at U of Wisconsin's Army Math Research Center in Madison
  • 1985-09-06 Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a Douglas DC-9 crashes just after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing 31.
  • 1987-06-20 Chuti Tiu, 17, of Wisconsin, crowned America's Junior Miss
  • 1991-06-02 Three Andrettis finished 1-2-3 in the Miller 200 at Wisconsin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994-11-28 In Portage, Wisconsin, convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is clubbed to death by an inmate in the Columbia Correctional Institution gymnasium.

Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer
Serial Killer
Jeffrey Dahmer
  • 1999-01-02 A brutal snowstorm smashes into the Midwestern United States, causing 14 inches (359 mm) of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 19 inches (487 mm) in Chicago, where temperatures plunge to -13°F (-25°C); 68 deaths are reported.
  • 1999-12-13 65th Heisman Trophy Award: Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (RB)
  • 2005-03-13 Terry Ratzmann shoots and kills six members of the Living Church of God and the minister at Sheraton Inn in Brookfield, Wisconsin before killing himself.
  • 2012-06-05 American gubernatorial recall election is held in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker wins and becomes the first governor to survive a recall election.
  • 2012-08-05 Gunman opens fire on Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin killing six people and committing suicide
  • 2015-04-06 77th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Duke beats Wisconsin 68-63
  • 2015-09-21 Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, pulls out of the Republican US Presidential race
  • 2015-10-29 Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) is elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives, succeeding John Boehner (R-Ohio)
  • 2015-11-10 Fourth Republican presidential candidates debate, sponsored by "The Wall Street Journal", held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 2016-02-11 Sixth Democratic presidential candidates debate, broadcast on CNN and PBS, and held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

2016-04-06 US primary elections: Wisconsin won by Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Ted Cruz

US Senator Bernie Sanders
US Senator
Bernie Sanders

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 139

  • 1855-06-14 Robert Marion La Follette, Wisconsin, presidential candidate (Progressive)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1856-08-10 Edward L. Doheny, American oil tycoon, born in Fond du lac, Wisconsin

Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny
Oil Tycoon
Edward L. Doheny
  • 1857-04-14 Edgar Stillman Kelley, Sparta Wisconsin, composer (Gulliver)
  • 1859-01-09 Carrie Chapman Catt, Ripon, Wisconsin, American women's suffrage leader and founder (League of Women Voters)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1859-06-12 Thomas J. Walsh, United States Senator (Montana), born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Lawyer and Politician Thomas J. Walsh
Lawyer and Politician
Thomas J. Walsh
  • 1867-02-07 Laura Ingalls Wilder, author (Little House on Prairie), born in Pepin, Wisconsin (d. 1957)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1867-06-08 Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect (Guggenheim) recognized as "the greatest American architect of all time", born in Richland Center, Wisconsin (d. 1959)

  • 1872-04-18 Bernard Ogilvie Dodge, Mauston, Wisconsin, USA, American botanist and pioneer researcher on heredity in fungi
  • 1881-10-12 William Nigh, American director (Ape, Doomed to Die, Mr Wong), born in Berlin Wisconsin (d. 1955)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1887-11-15 Georgia O'Keeffe, American sculptor/painter (Cow's Skull), born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (d. 1986)

Painter and Sculptor Georgia O’Keeffe
Painter and Sculptor
Georgia O’Keeffe
  • 1889-08-01 John Friend Mahoney, American physician who pioneered the treatment of syphilis with penicillin, born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (d. 1957)
  • 1893-08-19 Alfred Lunt, Broadway actor (Emmy 1965), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1897-08-31 Fredric March, American actor (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Best Years of Our Lives), born in Racine, Wisconsin (d. 1975)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1898-04-09 Curly Lambeau, First coach of the Green Bay Packers, born in Green Bay, Wisconsin (d. 1965)

NFL Head Coach Curly Lambeau
NFL Head Coach
Curly Lambeau

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1899-06-08 Noel Wien, American aviation pioneer (Wien Air Alaska), born in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin (d. 1977)

Aviation Pioneer Noel Wien
Aviation Pioneer
Noel Wien
  • 1899-07-08 David Eli Lilienthal, US government organizer (Wisconsin)
  • 1899-11-11 Pat O'Brien, actor (Knute Rockne, Angels with Dirty Faces), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1900-06-15 Otto Clarence Luening, composer (Sonority Canon), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1901-05-27 Conrad Elvehjem, McFarland, Wisconsin, USA, American biochemist and nutrition scientist (discovered niacin)
  • 1902-02-14 Ray "Crash" Corrigan, cowboy (Crash Corrigan's Ranch), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1902-05-22 Al Simmons, American baseball outfielder (A's), lifetime batting avg of .334 (d. 1956), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1902-10-31 Eduard Franz, actor (Zorro), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1904-02-16 George F Kennan, US ambassador (to Moscow), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1905-09-25 Red Smith, sportscaster/columnist (Fight Talk), born in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1906-08-27 Ed Gein, American serial killer (inspired Psycho & The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), born in La Crosse County, Wisconsin, (d. 1984)

Murderer and Body Snatcher Ed Gein
Murderer and Body Snatcher
Ed Gein
  • 1908-03-13 Walter Annenberg, publisher (Triangle-TV Guide)/Amb to GB, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1908-05-23 John Bardeen, American physicist, electrical engineer and co-inventor of the transistor (Nobel 1956, 1972), born in Madison, Wisconsin (d. 1991)

Physicist and Electrical Engineer John Bardeen
Physicist and Electrical Engineer
John Bardeen
  • 1908-05-31 Don Ameche, actor (Cocoon, Trading Places), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • 1908-12-20 Dennis Morgan, American actor (Kitty Foyle), born in Prentice, Wisconsin (d. 1994)
  • 1909-01-14 Joseph Walton Losey, Wisconsin, director (Damned, Accident)
  • 1909-04-01 Abner Biberman, director/actor (Imhook-Kodiak), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1909-11-14 Joseph McCarthy, American Senator, (Rep - Wisconsin) who claimed anti-communists had infiltrated the US government, born in Grand Chute, Wisconsin (d. 1957)

US Senator Joseph McCarthy
US Senator
Joseph McCarthy
  • 1910-12-24 Mitchell Ayres, orchestra leader (Hollywood Palace), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1911-11-01 Donald William Kerst, American Physicist who developed the betatron (device to accelerate electron beams), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1913-06-10 Thor Johnson, Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin, conductor (Cin Symph 1958)
  • 1913-06-10 Wilbur J. Cohen, American pioneer of social security, worked on the New Deal, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1914-02-09 Ralph Herman, orchestra leader (Circus Time), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1914-02-18 Pee Wee King, country vocalist (Pee Wee King Song), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1915-05-06 Orson Welles [George], American actor (Citizen Kane, War of the Worlds), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin (d. 1985)

Actor and Director Orson Welles
Actor and Director
Orson Welles
  • 1915-06-09 Les Paul, American jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter and inventor (solid-body electric guitar), born in Waukesha, Wisconsin (d. 2009)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1919-05-16 Liberace [Wladziu Valentino], American pianist (Liberace Show, Evil Chandell-Batman), born in West Allis, Wisconsin (d. 1987)

Pianist Liberace
  • 1919-06-24 Al Molinaro, actor (Murray-Odd Couple, Al-Happy Days), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin (d. 2015)
  • 1921-02-16 Esther Bubley, Phillips, Wisconsin, American photographer
  • 1921-02-25 Andy Pafko, Boyceville, Wisconsin, MLB player (Chicago Cubs), (d. 2013)
  • 1922-05-06 Pat Harder, NFL fullback (Cardinals, Lions), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1922-07-13 Lois Kibbee, American actress (Edge of Night), born in Rhinelander, Wisconsin (d. 1993)
  • 1924-01-24 Robert Kastenmeier, Politician (Rep-D-WI, 1959-91), born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
  • 1925-08-07 Felice Bryant, rock writer (Bye Bye Love), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1926-02-17 Lee Hoiby, composer (1957 Arts & Letters), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1926-04-22 Charlotte Rae, actress (Edna-Facts of Life), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1927-01-27 Nancy Dickerson, pioneering American radio and TV journalist (NBC, CBS), born in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (d. 1997)
  • 1927-02-26 Donald Gramm, bass-baritone, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1928-05-03 Dave Dudley, American country singer (Six Days on the Road), born in Spencer, Wisconsin (d. 2003)
  • 1928-07-14 Nancy Olson, actress (Absent-Minded Professor, Pollyanna), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1930-06-19 Gena Rowlands, American actress, born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1930-11-23 Robert Easton, actor (Someone Up There Likes Me), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1933-03-15 Cecil Perceval Taylor, composer/jazz pianist (U of Wisconsin)
  • 1933-06-11 Gene Wilder, [Jerome Silberman], actor ( Blazing Saddles, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2016)
  • 1934-06-05 F Curtis Michel, LaCrosse Wisconsin, astronaut
  • 1935-01-26 Bob Uecker, catcher/actor (Mr Belvedere), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1935-02-07 Herb Kohl, (Sen-D Wisconsin)
  • 1935-05-08 Salome Jens, actress (From Here to Eternity), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1936-02-12 Paul Shenar, actor (Carrington-Roots), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1936-05-12 Tom Snyder, newscaster (Tommorow, NBC Weekend News), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1938-03-09 Charles Siebert, actor (One Day at A Time, Trapper John), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • 1938-10-03 David R Obey, (Rep-D-Wisconsin, 1969- )
  • 1938-10-10 Tobias A Roth, (Rep-R-Wisconsin, 1979- )
  • 1938-10-29 Peter Stampfel, musician and songwriter (The Holy Modal Rounders), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1940-03-07 Daniel J Travanti, actor (Frank Furillo-Hill St Blues), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • 1940-03-12 Al Jarreau, American jazz singer (Moonlighting), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2017)
  • 1940-04-18 Ed Garvey, American labor leader (NFL Players Association), born in Burlington, Wisconsin (d. 2017)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1941-05-16 Aldrich Ames, CIA officer and spy for the Soviet Union, born in River Falls, Wisconsin

Soviet Union Spy Aldrich Ames
Soviet Union Spy
Aldrich Ames
  • 1941-11-19 Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Governor of Wisconsin
  • 1943-03-27 Milton Robert Carr, (Rep-D-Michigan, 1975-81, 83-95), born in Janesville, Wisconsin
  • 1943-06-14 F James Sensenbrenner, (Rep-R-Wisconsin)
  • 1943-07-03 Kurtwood Smith, New Lisbon, Wisconsin, American actor (That '70s Show, Robocop)
  • 1943-10-05 Steve Miller, rocker (Abracadabra, Space Cowboy), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1943-11-10 George Sauer, Jr., Sheboygan, Wisconsin, AFL player (New York Jets), (d. 2013)
  • 1944-12-27 Tracy Nelson, American singer, born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1945-02-12 Joe Schermie, bassist (3 Dog Night-Joy to the World), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1945-07-03 Michael Cole, actor (Pete-Mod Squad), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1946-02-21 Tyne Daly, actress (Cagney & Lacey, Angel Unchained), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1947-05-28 Leland Sklar, musician and bass guitarist, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1947-10-16 David Zucker, director (Airplane, Naked Gun, Top Secret), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1947-10-31 Deidre Hall, actress (Days of our Lives, Our House), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1949-02-21 Jerry Harrison, rock keyboardist (Talking Heads), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1950-03-11 Jerry Zucker, director (Airplane, Naked Gun), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1950-08-21 Arthur Bremer, American criminal who shot George Wallace in May 1972 leaving him paralyzed, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1950-10-25 John Matuszak, NFLer (Raiders)/actor (Hollywood Beat), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1951-09-09 Tom Wopat, Lodi, Wisconsin, American actor and singer (The Dukes of Hazzard, One Life to Live)
  • 1953-03-05 Russel D Feingold, (Sen-D Wisconsin)
  • 1956-07-06 John Jorgenson, singer (Desert Rose Band-Love Reunited), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1956-11-13 Christopher Noth, US actor (Law and Order, The Good Wife), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1957-02-26 Connie Carpenter-Phinney, 79k cyclist (Oly-gold-1984), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1957-09-22 Mark Johnson, NHL forward (Olympic-gold-1980, Pitts, NJ), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1958-06-14 Eric Heiden, US speed skater (5 Olympic gold medals 1980), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1959-03-16 Stan Thorn, singer (Shenandoah-Sunday in the South), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • 1959-06-30 Stephanie Farwig, golfer (1994 LPGA Corning Classic-2nd), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1959-09-27 Beth Heiden, 3000m speed skater (Olympic-bronze-1980), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1960-01-04 Cory Everson, American body builder (6X Ms Olympia), born in Racine Wisconsin

Famous Weddings

  • 1884-05-01 "Poems of Passion" author Ella Wheeler Wilcox (33) weds Robert M. Wilcox in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

HeartWedding of Interest

1911-04-11 Actress Mae West (17) weds fellow vaudevillian Frank Wallace (21) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Actress Mae West
Mae West

HeartWedding of Interest

1919-08-16 NFL player Curly Lambeau (21) weds high school sweetheart Marguerite Van Kessel in Green Bay, Wisconsin

NFL Head Coach Curly Lambeau
NFL Head Coach
Curly Lambeau
  • 1984-12-03 Oldest groom - Harry Stevens, 103, weds Thelma Lucas, 83, in Wisconsin
  • 1996-06-23 Five-time Olympic speed skater gold medalist Bonnie Blair (32) weds four-time Olympian Dave Cruikshank (27) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1996-07-14 "Green Bay Packer" quarterback Brett Favre (26) weds Deanna Tynes (27) at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • 2006-07-01 "Hi-5" actress and singer Jennifer Peterson-Hind (26) weds recording artist Tom Korbee in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 2012-12-17 Minnesota Vikings football quarterback Christian Ponder (25) weds ESPN reporter Samantha Steele (27) in Hudson, Wisconsin

Famous Deaths

  • 1862-04-19 Louis Powell Harvey, US governor of Wisconsin, drowns
  • 1889-07-21 Nelson Dewey, American politician, 1st Governor of Wisconsin (b. 1813)
  • 1947-06-24 Emil Seidel, Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (b. 1864)
  • 2005-12-15 William Proxmire, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (b. 1915)