history

Wisconsin Black Historical Society

The summer of 1967 was violent all across the country. Just as in other cities, black residents in Milwaukee tired of unequal treatment and the lack of opportunity hit their breaking point and a riot ensued.

“The creation of deindustrialization was in full bloom. People don’t have jobs. Things got bad. Depression, unemployment and poverty began to blanket the city so it just exploded,” Clayborn Benson says.

He is the executive director of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.

"Manlife" Documentary

If you’ve ever taken a drive south along I-94, you might remember seeing a roadside sign in Sturtevant - near Racine - that advertised the "University of Lawsonomy." Or you might have seen the painted sign on a barn that says “Study Natural Law.”

The "law" in question is Lawsonomy: a utopian movement that began in 1929 by Alfred Lawson, a British immigrant who, before he started the eponymous Lawsonomy, founded two Wisconsin airplane manufacturers, and is credited as the inventor of the first passenger airliner.

Tafkas / Wikimedia

Growing up, writers Rachel Kadish and Jessica Shattuck learned about World War II from their grandparents, but they heard somewhat different stories.

Alliance Francaise

From Solomon Juneau to Jean Nicolet, there are many French names we recognize in Milwaukee.

Anne Leplae and Mary Emory of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee want Wisconsinites to understand the French history and culture that permeates in Wisconsin beyond this week’s Bastille Days celebration.

Penguin Random House

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the official entry of the United States into the First World War. The US had been fighting wars along the Mexico border and in Cuba before it entered the European conflict in 1917.  But it took WWI to turn the United States into the global military power it has become.

Esther Nisenthal Krinitz / Art and Remembrance

The current refugee crisis is by no means the first the world has confronted.  Over the years, waves of refugees have come from places as varied as Bosnia, Somalia, Vietnam and, 70 years ago, World War II caused mass displacement in Eastern Europe.

Esther Nisenthal Krinitz was one of those refugees.  She escaped Poland as a teenager during the Nazi occupation, and eventually settled in the United States. It was years after she came to the U.S. that she took the story of her childhood and turned it into unique artwork made from fabric.

Doug Bradley, Craig Werner

The Vietnam War marked a turning point in American history. The war took place during a time of turbulent social change – the 1960s and early 70s saw huge strides in women’s rights and civil rights. The country also witnessed the assassinations of a president, a presidential hopeful, a civil rights icon and the killing of unarmed protestors at Kent State by National Guardsmen.

Wisconsin LGBT History Project

 *Original airdate: 08/25/16

For decades, LGBT culture was – out of necessity - hidden and unspoken of in daylight. But three-quarters of a century has brought a lot of social change in America.

For a smaller industrial city with German roots, you may not have expected Milwaukee to be a spot for gay and lesbian culture to thrive; but it did.

Penguin Random House

Winston Churchill was the prime minister of the United Kingdom during the dark days of World War II. This was during a time when Britain seemed to stand alone against Nazi Germany. Churchill’s leadership is largely credited for keeping up the spirit of the British people, especially during the German air blitz and the allied defeat at the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940.

Courtesy of Mark Speltz

There are many images associated with the modern Civil Rights Movement: crowds of people holding signs, policemen attacking children with dogs and fire hoses, or students sitting at lunch counters with jeering crowds behind them.

But nearly all of the photos in popular culture depict incidents that happened in southern states. For many Americans these images form our view of that time period, and frame the fight for civil rights as a largely southern issue.

Maskot / Fotolia

In our plugged-in world, we all can forget to take time for face to face conversation. But as our family members age, those conversations about family memories and our shared history become ever more important. Hearing the stories can help us connect with our relatives in a more profound way, and asking the questions can help us understand ourselves better too.

And when it comes time to commemorate the lives of those we’ve lost, those stories become a bridge between the living and the dead.

Penguin Random House

Presidents are often remembered for their accomplishments in office. George Washington led us in the wake of the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson expanded the United States territory, Abraham Lincoln emancipated the slaves. The list goes on.

One president that perhaps isn’t given much credit in the history books is Herbert Hoover. Hoover is known for being president as we slid into the Great Depression, and little else.

One local author wants to change that.

Wisconsin Historical Images / Wisconsin Historical Society

In retelling the stories of the 1930s, most history books focus on a retrospective look at the Great Depression. A time of great suffering, when Hoovervilles littered America’s largest cities and poverty afflicted people from all walks of life.

But the hardship of the 1930s also created the New Deal, and with it came some interesting programs like the Federal Writers Project.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Many cities have different versions of a block club, but in Chicago, they're generally a group of neighbors who get together to solve small issues affecting the neighborhood, like garbage pickup or loud neighbors.

number1son, flickr

For more than a hundred years, the Basilica of St. Josaphat has been a landmark on Milwaukee’s South Side.

The building has been central to the spiritual life of the largest Polish Catholic parish in Wisconsin. But it has also been a tourist destination – drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.

But as the years have passed, time and weather have deteriorated the Basilica's unique architecture. And this summer, an ambitious restoration project got underway on the building’s exterior.

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