American history

Arts & Culture
11:09 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'Take a Walk!': How Pedestrianism was America's First Spectator Sport

Pedestrianism was America's first spectator sport.
Credit Matthew Algeo Collection

The Milwaukee Brewers drew more than three million fans to Miller Park a couple years ago, as they made their most recent playoff appearance. The numbers have dropped a little in more recent times, but baseball is still a popular ticket through the summer here - and around the country.

But turn back the clock to the 19th Century, and the hottest ticket in town, as far as sports were concerned, was the sport of pedestrianism.  Watching people walk, around a track, often for days at a time.

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History
8:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Analyst: Reagan's Cold War Legacy Endures, While Gorbachev Loses Popularity

U.S. President Ronald Reagan speaks with then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev at the Reykjavík Summit in 1986.
Credit White House Photo Office

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich moderates a forum on U.S. foreign policy in the 1980s.

The 1980s were a pivotal decade for the world. As the decade opened, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and set up what proved to be one of the last showdowns of the Cold War.

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Politics & Government
1:24 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Essay: 50 Years After His Assassination, JFK's Legacy Survives

A wreath-laying ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery at U.S. President John F. Kennedy's grave marker. This rose was left by family members.
Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr reflects on the anniversary of JFK's assassination.

Shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, CBS commentator Eric Sevareid noted the principal legacy of the murdered leader might well be an ‘attitude,’ a contagious spirit that all things are possible if only we have the vision and will.

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History
12:38 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Seven Facts You Didn't Know About the Gettysburg Address

A depiction of President Abraham Lincoln delivering the "Gettysburg Address."
Credit Library of Congress

Lake Effect's Stephanie Lecci interviews Civil War contributor Thomas Martin Sobottke about the Gettysburg Address.

One-hundred fifty years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the "Gettysburg Address."

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History
10:33 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Essay: The Horror, Not Honor, of the Civil War

A Civil War re-enactment in Pennsylvania
Credit dfbphotos/Flickr

As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of noted Civil War battles, one form of commemoration – re-enactments – generally leave me with a feeling of discomfort.

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Arts & Culture
3:07 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Historian: Northern Free Blacks 'Spearheaded' Lead Up to Civil War

As we mark the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, we've heard a lot about the battles, the heroes, the death tolls.

But what we don't hear often enough is about the people who had the biggest stake in the war's outcome: African-Americans - both slaves and free persons.

University of Wisconsin historian Steve Kantrowitz argues that we often overlook the role of Northern free blacks in the lead up to the civil war. 

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Arts & Culture
10:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

North Point Lighthouse Brings Maritime History Alive

The North Point Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters
Credit North Point Lighthouse

The North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee's Lake Park neighborhood is a treasure trove of maritime history set off the beaten path of Milwaukee tourist destinations.

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Arts & Culture
10:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

A Short Bright Flash: French Physicist's Lens Revolutionized Lighthouses

Point Reyes Lighthouse in San Francisco, Calif.
Credit vtsr/Flickr

As we mark National Lighthouse Day, we hear about the technology that saved lives and built empires.

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Arts & Culture
7:37 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Letter of a Wisconsin Civil War Soldier Inspires Song

The envelope from a letter written by a Civil War soldier
Credit The Civil War Letters of Mack and Nan Ewing Collection

Madison band Count This Penny plays a song inspired by the words of a Wisconsin soldier fighting in the American Civil War.

As we remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, we've been hearing about the experiences of Wisconsin soldiers fighting in the American Civil War.

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Arts & Culture
7:18 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Wisconsinites Make Last Stand at Gettysburg

Barlow's Knoll after the first day of battle at Gettysburg
Credit Wiki Media Commons

Lake Effect's Civil War historian Thomas Martin Sobottke tells the story of Wisconsin soldiers fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg.

One hundred fifty years ago, over the first 3 days of July, one of the fiercest and most important battles of the American Civil War was fought.

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