Wisconsin became aU.S. territoryfollowing the American Revolution and soon after began attracting settlers looking for work inits mining, lumber and dairy industries. It was admitted to the union as the 30th state in 1848.In the years leading up to the Civil War,Wisconsin was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, with manyslaves passing through the state on their way to freedom in Canada. Today, Wisconsin leads the nation in dairy production and is known for the quality of its cheddar cheese–residents even sometimesrefer to themselves as “cheeseheads.” Famous Wisconsinites include architect Frank Lloyd Wright, magician Harry Houdini andU.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur.
Date of Statehood: May 29, 1848
Population: 5,686,986 (2010)
Size: 65,496 square miles
Nickname(s): Badger State
Tree: Sugar Maple
Flower: Wood Violet
- Wisconsin earned the nickname “Badger State,” not because of its proliferation of badgers, but because its earliest white inhabitants were itinerant lead miners who burrowed into the hills for shelter rather than waste time and resources on a more permanent structure.
- Enraged by the recent passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Alvan Bovay convened a meeting at a schoolhouse in Ripon to create a new political party that would defend against the expansion of slavery. It was during this meeting, on March 20, 1854, that the Republican Party was established.
- The first dairy school in the United States was established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1890. Although only two students attended the first class, enrollment jumped to 75 within a year after Professor Stephen Babcock developed a test that measured the butterfat content of milk. The “Babcock test” provided an incentive to produce high quality milk and allowed farmers to be paid accordingly.
- In 1911, Victor Berger became the first Socialist elected to Congress. After winning election again in 1918, the House of Representatives refused to seat him due to an unresolved legal battle involving his outspoken condemnation of U.S. involvement in World War I. By 1921 the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in his favor and the charges against him were dismissed.
- Each year Milwaukee hosts an 11-day event dubbed the “World’s Largest Music Festival,” which features more than 700 bands on 11 stages along the shore of Lake Michigan. Created by mayor Henry Maier in 1968, Summerfest attracts around one million attendees.
- In 2011, Wisconsin’s more than 1.2 billion dairy cows produced over three billion gallons of milk.
- In October 1871, Wisconsin was the site of the most destructive forest fire in American history: Twelve hundred people were killed and 2 billion trees burned in what became known as theGreat Peshtigo Fire.
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Wisconsin, constituent state of the United States of America. Wisconsin was admitted to the union as the 30th state on May 29, 1848. One of the north-central states, it is bounded by the western portion of Lake Superior and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the north and by Lake Michigan to the east. The state of Illinois lies to the south, and Minnesota and Iowa lie to the west and southwest, respectively. The name Wisconsin is an Anglicized version of a French rendering of an Algonquin name, Meskousing, said to mean “this stream of red stone,” referring to the Wisconsin River. Madison, in south-central Wisconsin, is the state capital.
More than 12,000 years ago the area that is now Wisconsin was covered by enormous glaciers. During the Wisconsin Glacial Stage, when the ice sheet began to melt, it left behind scenic physical features, including outwash plains, terminal and kettle moraines, drumlins, eskers, and low-lying areas that became lakes.
The economy of Wisconsin is diversified, with three major sectors concentrated in specific regions. Wisconsin’s southeastern industrial belt—extending from the state line along Lake Michigan from Kenosha up to and beyond Milwaukee, the state’s largest city—is the primary factor in making Wisconsin one of the largest manufacturing states in the country. In the southern two-thirds of the state, a combination of favourable climate, soil, and topography makes possible dairy agriculture that allows Wisconsin to be the top producer of cheese in the country and one of the top producers of milk and butter. The sparsely settled northern evergreen-hardwood forest and lake country is a centre for tourism and recreational activity. Area 65,496 square miles (169,635 square km). Population (2010) 5,686,986 (2019 est.) 5,822,434.
10 largest cities (2010 est.): Milwaukee, 594,833 Madison, 233,209 Green Bay, 104,057 Kenosha, 99,218 Racine, 78,860 Appleton, 72,623 Waukesha, 70,718 Oshkosh, 66,083 Eau Claire, 65,883 Janesville, 63,575
Geographic center: In Wood Co., 9 mi. SE of Marshfield
Number of counties: 72
Largest county by population and area: Milwaukee, 947,735 (2010) Marathon, 1,545 sq mi.
State parks, forests, and recreation areas: 95
2010 resident census population (rank): 5,686,986 (20). Male: 2,822,400 (49.6%) Female: 2,864,586 (50.4%). White: 4,902,067 (86.2%) Black: 359,148 (6.3%) American Indian: 54,526 (1.0%) Asian: 129,234 (2.3%) Other race: 135,867 (2.4%) Two or more races: 104,317 (1.8%) Hispanic/Latino: 336,056 (5.9%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 76.4 65 and over: 13.7 median age: 38.5.
The Wisconsin region was first explored for France by Jean Nicolet, who landed at Green Bay in 1634. In 1660 a French trading post and Roman Catholic mission were established near present-day Ashland.
Great Britain obtained the region in settlement of the French and Indian Wars in 1763 the U.S. acquired it in 1783 after the Revolutionary War. However, Great Britain retained actual control until after the War of 1812. The region was successively governed as part of the territories of Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan between 1800 and 1836, when it became a separate territory.
Wisconsin is a leading state in milk and cheese production. Other important farm products are peas, beans, beets, corn, potatoes, oats, hay, and cranberries.
The chief industrial products of the state are automobiles, machinery, furniture, paper, beer, and processed foods. Wisconsin ranks first among the paper-producing states. The state's mines produce copper, iron ore, lead, and zinc.
Wisconsin is a pioneer in social legislation, providing pensions for the blind (1907), aid to dependent children (1913), and old-age assistance (1925). In labor legislation, the state was the first to enact an unemployment compensation law (1932) and the first in which a workman's compensation law actually took effect. In 1984, Wisconsin became the first state to adopt the Uniform Marital Property Act.
The state has over 14,000 lakes, of which Winnebago is the largest. Water sports, ice-boating, and fishing are popular, as are skiing and hunting. The 95 state parks, forests, and recreation areas take up one-seventh of the land.
Among the many points of interest are the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Age National Scientific Reserve the Circus World Museum at Baraboo the Wolf, St. Croix, and Lower St. Croix national scenic riverways and the Wisconsin Dells.
For several weeks in early 2011, tens of thousands of state employees and teachers staged protests in Madison, Wisconsin, camping out near the Capitol's rotunda. They were protesting Governor Scott Walker's plan to cut collective bargaining rights and workers' benefits in an effort to solve the state's budget problems. The protests received international attention, especially from countries like Egypt, which were involved in their own political uprisings at the same time.
Social Studies Standards
The Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies (2018) were adopted by the Wisconsin State Superintendent for school districts to consider in their work with social studies education programs.
The Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies provide a foundation that identifies what students should know and be able to do in social studies classes.
Additional resources will be added over time to support the implementation of the standards. We encourage you to visit this site often to see what is new. Check the Social Studies Professional Development Calendar and the Professional Learning pages for more information about online and face to face standards sessions.
For information on rollout information, resources, and workshops, visit the Rollout Resources page.
Reinvigorating the civic mission of public education should be the top priority for anyone concerned about the future health of our government and our society. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Social studies prepares our young people to be college, career, and community ready. It has separate content strands, yet is most understandable to students as an interdisciplinary topic.
Social studies is composed of deep and enduring understandings, content, inquiry, concepts, and skills from the fields of geography, history, political science and civics, economics, and the behavioral sciences.
Here are some things to look for in these standards:
The Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies focus on both content and skills. The addition of the Inquiry Practices and Processes strand reflects the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework published by the National Council for the Social Studies.
The Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies are organized by grade bands: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. This allows for some flexibility in instruction and greater differentiation for the support of students over time.
There are 28 social studies standards identified for grades kindergarten through 12. This is a shift from Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Social Studies (the previous state standards), which had dozens of indicators at 4th, 8th, and 12th grades.
Performance indicators within the standards allow for flexibility for educators and school communities to identify more specific elements through their own curricular development.
Social Studies Strands - The six strands differentiated within the standards are:
- Inquiry Practices and Processes
- Behavioral Sciences (which include Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology)
- Political Science
Standard: Broad statement that tells what students are expected to know or be able to do.
Learning Priority: Breaks down the broad statement into manageable learning pieces.
Performance Indicator by grade band: Measurable degree to which a standard has been developed or met.
Grade Bands - K - 2nd (Elementary), 3rd - 5th (Intermediate), 6th - 8th (Middle School), and 9th - 12th (High School)
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has a transparent and comprehensive process for reviewing and revising academic standards. The process involves the wide gathering of ideas from multiple persons including music teachers, administrators, parents, business professionals, music industry and service organizations, and leaders from across the state. The process is outlined within the standards review/revision process link.
The process began with a Notice of Intent to review and a public comment period which began on August 2nd, 2017 for Social Studies. The State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council examined those comments and recommended to revise the standards. The State Superintendent authorized the writing of new Wisconsin Academic Standards for Social Studies.
The first draft was released on January 31, 2018 for public review and provided to the education committees of the legislature. Public hearings took place on February 12th in Oshkosh (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.) and February 13th in Madison (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.). The writing team met in early March to review all public comment.
The draft standards were presented to the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council on March 23, 2018, where after they recommended the state superintendent formally adopt the draft. State Superintendent Tony Evers formally adopted the Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies on May 29, 2018.
This work is made possible through the efforts of a dedicated team of educators, administrators, higher education staff, and industry professionals. The Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies were shaped by this team’s expertise and generous nature, with the goal of creating a tool that could be used by fellow educators, parents, community members, and the learners in their care, to build skills and knowledge in all social studies areas. Members of the writing committee donated numerous hours and shared their expertise in the development of the social studies standards document. These members include:
- Che Kearby, Kenosha Unified School District
- Dr. Corey Thompson, Cardinal Stritch University
- Jacob Bertagnoli, Lincoln High School, Wisconsin Rapids
- Sandra Brauer, North Woods International School, La Crosse
- Kimberly Cade, Viroqua Elementary School
- Carrie Carlson, North High School, Eau Claire
- Joel Chrisler, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac
- Craig Clauson, Edgewood High School, Madison
- Tony DeVine, Dr. Rose Minoka-Hill School, Green Bay
- Lyman Elliott, Madison Metropolitan School District
- Matt Fry, Lancaster Middle School
- Tom Fugate, Homestead High School, Mequon
- E-Ben Grisby, West High School, Green Bay
- Dr. Jennifer Hafer, UW-River Falls
- Anne Hasse, Wakanda Elementary School, Menomonie
- Pam Kaiser, Osceola High School
- Mike Ketola, Northwestern Middle School, Poplar
- Todd Kornack, Chippewa Falls High School
- Sara Kreibich, Somerset High School
- Emily Lovell, Holmen Middle School
- Jodi Mallak, Wittenberg Elementary School
- Andrew Martin, James Madison Academic Campus, Milwaukee
- Matthew Mauk, Oshkosh West High School
- Parisa Meymand, Central High School, Salem
- Sherri Michalowski, Wisconsin Hills Middle School, Brookfield
- Connie Michaud, Fairview School, Milwaukee
- Jennifer Morgan, West Salem Middle School
- David Olson, James Madison Memorial High School, Madison
- Erin Patchak, Bay View Middle School, Green Bay
- Kevin Podeweltz, Riverside Elementary School, Ringle
- Vicki Porior, Carl Traeger Middle School, Oshkosh
- Andy Riechers, Belmont Junior/Senior High School
- Amber Seitz, Wisconsin Bankers Association
- Kyle Smith, Superior High School
- Chuck Taft, University School of Milwaukee
- Ann Viegut, John Muir Middle School, Wausau
- Jen Wachowski, Mishicot High School
- Michelle Wade, Milwaukee Public Schools
- Paul Walter, Slinger Middle School
- Rhonda Watton, Templeton Middle School, Sussex
- Michael Yell, Hudson Middle School
- Brent Zinkel, Wausau East High School
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) facilitator:
Explore Old World Wisconsin
For centuries, people left old worlds for a new life in Wisconsin. They faced unfamiliar landscapes and languages, learned to establish farms and communities, and blended the old with the new. Welcome to the world they created. Welcome to Old World Wisconsin.
Through stories of perseverance, explore the lives of those who called this place home. At the core of the storytelling is the understanding that history is about the past, present, and future, and is a story we tell together.
- March 12, 1909 Wisconsin Motor was incorporated by Charles H. John and Arthur F. Milbrath. By 1912 they employed about 300 people.
- 1937 Wisconsin Motor merged with Continental Motors Company but retained a separate identity. 
- 1940 V series V4 engines introduced
- 1965 Ryan Aeronautical bought 50 per cent of Continental Motors Corporation
- 1969 Teledyne Technologies bought Continental Motors Corporation
- 1971 Fuji Heavy Industries, owner of Subaru, appointed Teledyne Wisconsin Motor US agents for their Robin engines
- 1992 Teledyne Total Power sold out to Nesco Incorporated 
- 2010 Hydrogen Engine Center, Inc. and Wisconsin Motors Sign a Joint Venture 
- September 30, 2017 Subaru Corporation ended production of small engines. 
Small air-cooled engines Edit
Wisconsin's fame came from its small air-cooled engines, such as AEH (used on generators, garden tractors, skidsteers tractors), AEN, and VF4.  In the 1950s they were able to claim they were the world's largest manufacturer of heavy-duty air-cooled engines. All Wisconsin's products were 4-cycle and they had power outputs from 2.4 to 65.9 horsepower (2 to 49 kW). There were single, inline two, V-two, and V-four cylinder models. The engines were designed for outdoor field service in industries including agriculture, construction, marine, oil-field equipment and railway maintenance.  There are a wide range of variations in each engine family, including displacement, vertical and horizontal crankshafts, power ratings, and fuel used. Fuels can be gasoline, heating oil, kerosene, LPG, and CNG.
Wisconsin - HISTORY
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The tune was composed in 1909 by William T. Purdy as "Minnesota, Minnesota," with the intention of entering it into a competition for a new fight song at the University of Minnesota.
Carl Beck, a former Wisconsin student, convinced him to withdraw it from the contest at the last minute and allow his alma mater to use it instead. Beck then wrote the original, football-oriented lyrics, changing the words "Minnesota, Minnesota" to "On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!"  (The eventual winner of the competition became known as the Minnesota Rouser.)
The lyrics were rewritten for the state song in 1913 by Judge Charles D. Rosa and J. S. Hubbard. The song was widely recognized as the state song at that time but was never officially designated. Finally in 1959, "On, Wisconsin!" was codified in Chapter 170, Laws of 1959, and is incorporated in Section 1.10 of the statutes.
"On, Wisconsin!" was regarded by John Philip Sousa as "the finest of college marching songs".   It has become one of the most popular fight songs in the country, with some 2,500 schools using some variation of it as their school song.  There have been persistent rumors that the rights to the song are owned by Paul McCartney or Michael Jackson.  The song is actually in the public domain in the United States.  The international rights are unclear. 
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball right down the field, a touchdown sure this time.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Fight on for her fame,
Fight! Fellows! Fight! Fight, fight, we'll win this game.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Stand up, Badgers sing!
'Forward' is our driving spirit loyal voices ring.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame
Stand, fellows, let us now salute her name! 
"On, Wisconsin!" was the cry that Arthur MacArthur Jr. used in the Battle of Chattanooga at Missionary Ridge during the American Civil War. He seized the regimental colors, and rallied his regiment with "On, Wisconsin!", for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. 
In the early 1980s, subsequent to the purchase of Edwin H. Morris & Company, lawyers working for Paul McCartney attempted to claim copyrights for several well known songs, including On Wisconsin. The entire catalogue was later sold to Michael Jackson [ citation needed ] . When the copyright claim was initially made public outcry demanded the copyright be deeded over to the State of Wisconsin as the copyright holders were demanding royalties for performance. The matter was resolved quietly, however rumors persist McCartney or Jackson's estate hold the claim. The song remains in the public domain.  
Professor Ramírez Receives Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Grant
Congratulations to Professor Marla Ramírez on receiving a Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Grant ($120,000 over 3 years) for her project, “Retrofitting Latinxs into the Wisconsin Historical Narrative.” The Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment is a competitive grant program that honors the legacy &hellip
Professor Mary Lou Roberts Publishes New Book
Professor Mary Lou Roberts has a new book titled, Sheer Misery: Soldiers in Battle in WWII (University of Chicago Press, 2021). According to the publisher’s website, “Sheer Misery trains a humane and unsparing eye on the &hellip
Professor Ashley Brown Writes About Tennis Player Althea Gibson
Professor Ashley Brown was recently interviewed by Smithsonian Magazine for an article about Althea Gibson, the subject of her upcoming book (in progress). In the year 1950, at age 23, Althea Gibson was the first &hellip
History Majors Selected for Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowships
History majors Sophia Clark and Julia Derzay have been selected to receive 2021 Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowships! The Hilldale Fellowships are generously funded by grants from the Hilldale Foundation and the Wisconsin State Legislature, and &hellip
Volume 24 of ARCHIVE Now Available Online
ARCHIVE, the UW-Madison Undergraduate Journal of History, has published their 24th volume! Under the supervision of faculty advisor Professor Sarah Thal, Editor-in-Chief Madeline Brauer and Editorial Board members Julia Derzay, Haley Drost, Taylor Madl, Thomas &hellip
For public programming in 2021
Pendarvis remains closed for public programming for the 2021 season due to temporary staff reassignments to help the frontline efforts of COVID-19 for the state of Wisconsin. While our teams continue to focus on helping communities and families affected by COVID-19, we will continue to care for and invest in the physical infrastructure and collections at our historic sites. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2022.
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The patience and flexibility of our guests and supporters is what will allow the Wisconsin Historical Society to continue collecting, preserving, and sharing stories for generations to come.