Wisconsin (/wɪˈskɒnsɪn/ (listen)) is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state by total area and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties.
Wisconsin's geography is diverse, having been greatly impacted by glaciers during the Ice Age with the exception of the Driftless Area. The Northern Highland and Western Upland along with a part of the Central Plain occupies the western part of the state, with lowlands stretching to the shore of Lake Michigan. Wisconsin is second to Michigan in the length of its Great Lakes coastline.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European settlers entered the state, many of whom emigrated from Germany and Scandinavia. Like neighboring Minnesota, the state remains a center of German American and Scandinavian American culture.
Wisconsin is known as "America's Dairyland" because it is one of the nation's leading dairy producers, particularly famous for its cheese. Manufacturing, especially paper products, information technology (IT), cranberries, ginseng, and tourism are also major contributors to the state's economy.
|State of Wisconsin|
|State song(s): "On, Wisconsin!"|
|Largest metro||Milwaukee metropolitan area|
|• Total||65,498.37 sq mi |
|• Width||260 miles (427 km)|
|• Length||311 miles (507 km)|
|• % water||17|
|• Latitude||42° 30' N to 47° 05′ N|
|• Longitude||86° 46′ W to 92° 54′ W|
|• Total||5,795,483 (2017 est.)|
|• Density||105/sq mi (40.6/km2)|
|• Median household income||$55,425  (28th)|
|• Highest point||Timms Hill|
1,951 ft (595 m)
|• Mean||1,050 ft (320 m)|
|• Lowest point||Lake Michigan|
579 ft (176 m)
|Before statehood||Wisconsin Territory|
|Admission to Union||May 29, 1848 (30th)|
|Governor||Tony Evers (D)|
|Lieutenant Governor||Mandela Barnes (D)|
|• Upper house||Senate|
|• Lower house||State Assembly|
|U.S. Senators||Ron Johnson (R)|
Tammy Baldwin (D)
|U.S. House delegation||5 Republicans|
3 Democrats (list)
|Time zone||Central: UTC −6/−5|
|Abbreviations||WI, Wis., Wisc.|
|Wisconsin state symbols|
|Insect||Western honey bee|
|Soil||Antigo silt loam|
|State route marker|
Released in 2004
|Lists of United States state symbols|
The word Wisconsin originates from the name given to the Wisconsin River by one of the Algonquian-speaking Native American groups living in the region at the time of European contact. French explorer Jacques Marquette was the first European to reach the Wisconsin River, arriving in 1673 and calling the river Meskousing in his journal. Subsequent French writers changed the spelling from Meskousing to Ouisconsin, and over time this became the name for both the Wisconsin River and the surrounding lands. English speakers anglicized the spelling from Ouisconsin to Wisconsin when they began to arrive in large numbers during the early 19th century. The legislature of Wisconsin Territory made the current spelling official in 1845.
The Algonquin word for Wisconsin and its original meaning have both grown obscure. Interpretations vary, but most implicate the river and the red sandstone that lines its banks. One leading theory holds that the name originated from the Miami word Meskonsing, meaning "it lies red", a reference to the setting of the Wisconsin River as it flows through the reddish sandstone of the Wisconsin Dells. Other theories include claims that the name originated from one of a variety of Ojibwa words meaning "red stone place", "where the waters gather", or "great rock".
Wisconsin has been home to a wide variety of cultures over the past 14,000 years. The first people arrived around 10,000 BCE during the Wisconsin Glaciation. These early inhabitants, called Paleo-Indians, hunted now-extinct ice age animals such as the Boaz mastodon, a prehistoric mastodon skeleton unearthed along with spear points in southwest Wisconsin. After the ice age ended around 8000 BCE, people in the subsequent Archaic period lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering food from wild plants. Agricultural societies emerged gradually over the Woodland period between 1000 BCE to 1000 CE. Toward the end of this period, Wisconsin was the heartland of the "Effigy Mound culture", which built thousands of animal-shaped mounds across the landscape. Later, between 1000 and 1500 CE, the Mississippian and Oneota cultures built substantial settlements including the fortified village at Aztalan in southeast Wisconsin. The Oneota may be the ancestors of the modern Ioway and Ho-Chunk tribes who shared the Wisconsin region with the Menominee at the time of European contact. Other Native American groups living in Wisconsin when Europeans first settled included the Ojibwa, Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo, and Pottawatomie, who migrated to Wisconsin from the east between 1500 and 1700.
The first European to visit what became Wisconsin was probably the French explorer Jean Nicolet. He canoed west from Georgian Bay through the Great Lakes in 1634, and it is traditionally assumed that he came ashore near Green Bay at Red Banks. Pierre Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers visited Green Bay again in 1654–1666 and Chequamegon Bay in 1659–1660, where they traded for fur with local Native Americans. In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet became the first to record a journey on the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway all the way to the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien. Frenchmen like Nicholas Perrot continued to ply the fur trade across Wisconsin through the 17th and 18th centuries, but the French made no permanent settlements in Wisconsin before Great Britain won control of the region following the French and Indian War in 1763. Even so, French traders continued to work in the region after the war, and some, beginning with Charles de Langlade in 1764, settled in Wisconsin permanently, rather than returning to British-controlled Canada.
The British gradually took over Wisconsin during the French and Indian War, taking control of Green Bay in 1761 and gaining control of all of Wisconsin in 1763. Like the French, the British were interested in little but the fur trade. One notable event in the fur trading industry in Wisconsin occurred in 1791, when two free African Americans set up a fur trading post among the Menominee at present day Marinette. The first permanent settlers, mostly French Canadians, some Anglo-New Englanders and a few African American freedmen, arrived in Wisconsin while it was under British control. Charles Michel de Langlade is generally recognized as the first settler, establishing a trading post at Green Bay in 1745, and moving there permanently in 1764. Settlement began at Prairie du Chien around 1781. The French residents at the trading post in what is now Green Bay, referred to the town as "La Baye", however British fur traders referred to it as "Green Bay", because the water and the shore assumed green tints in early spring. The old French title was gradually dropped, and the British name of "Green Bay" eventually stuck. The region coming under British rule had virtually no adverse effect on the French residents as the British needed the cooperation of the French fur traders and the French fur traders needed the goodwill of the British. During the French occupation of the region licenses for fur trading had been issued scarcely and only to select groups of traders, whereas the British, in an effort to make as much money as possible from the region, issued licenses for fur trading freely, both to British and French residents. The fur trade in what is now Wisconsin reached its height under British rule, and the first self-sustaining farms in the state were established as well. From 1763 to 1780, Green Bay was a prosperous community which produced its own foodstuff, built graceful cottages and held dances and festivities.
Wisconsin became a territorial possession of the United States in 1783 after the American Revolutionary War. However, the British remained in control until after the War of 1812, the outcome of which finally established an American presence in the area. Under American control, the economy of the territory shifted from fur trading to lead mining. The prospect of easy mineral wealth drew immigrants from throughout the U.S. and Europe to the lead deposits located at Mineral Point, Dodgeville, and nearby areas. Some miners found shelter in the holes they had dug, and earned the nickname "badgers", leading to Wisconsin's identity as the "Badger State". The sudden influx of white miners prompted tension with the local Native American population. The Winnebago War of 1827 and the Black Hawk War of 1832 culminated in the forced removal of Native Americans from most parts of the state.
Following these conflicts, Wisconsin Territory was created by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1836. By fall of that year, the best prairie groves of the counties surrounding what is now Milwaukee were occupied by farmers from the New England states.
The Erie Canal facilitated the travel of both Yankee settlers and European immigrants to Wisconsin Territory. Yankees from New England and upstate New York seized a dominant position in law and politics, enacting policies that marginalized the region's earlier Native American and French-Canadian residents. Yankees also speculated in real estate, platted towns such as Racine, Beloit, Burlington, and Janesville, and established schools, civic institutions, and Congregationalist churches. At the same time, many Germans, Irish, Norwegians, and other immigrants also settled in towns and farms across the territory, establishing Catholic and Lutheran institutions.
The growing population allowed Wisconsin to gain statehood on May 29, 1848, as the 30th state. Between 1840 and 1850, Wisconsin's non-Indian population had swollen from 31,000 to 305,000. Over a third of residents (110,500) were foreign born, including 38,000 Germans, 28,000 British immigrants from England, Scotland, and Wales, and 21,000 Irish. Another third (103,000) were Yankees from New England and western New York state. Only about 63,000 residents in 1850 had been born in Wisconsin.
Nelson Dewey, the first governor of Wisconsin, was a Democrat. Dewey oversaw the transition from the territorial to the new state government. He encouraged the development of the state's infrastructure, particularly the construction of new roads, railroads, canals, and harbors, as well as the improvement of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. During his administration, the State Board of Public Works was organized. Dewey, an abolitionist, was the first of many Wisconsin governors to advocate against the spread of slavery into new states and territories.
Politics in early Wisconsin were defined by the greater national debate over slavery. A free state from its foundation, Wisconsin became a center of northern abolitionism. The debate became especially intense in 1854 after Joshua Glover, a runaway slave from Missouri, was captured in Racine. Glover was taken into custody under the Federal Fugitive Slave Law, but a mob of abolitionists stormed the prison where Glover was held and helped him escape to Canada. In a trial stemming from the incident, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ultimately declared the Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional. The Republican Party, founded on March 20, 1854, by anti-slavery expansion activists in Ripon, Wisconsin, grew to dominate state politics in the aftermath of these events. During the Civil War, around 91,000 troops from Wisconsin fought for the Union.
Wisconsin's economy also diversified during the early years of statehood. While lead mining diminished, agriculture became a principal occupation in the southern half of the state. Railroads were built across the state to help transport grains to market, and industries like J.I. Case & Company in Racine were founded to build agricultural equipment. Wisconsin briefly became one of the nation's leading producers of wheat during the 1860s. Meanwhile, the lumber industry dominated in the heavily forested northern sections of Wisconsin, and sawmills sprang up in cities like La Crosse, Eau Claire, and Wausau. These economic activities had dire environmental consequences. By the close of the 19th century, intensive agriculture had devastated soil fertility, and lumbering had deforested most of the state. These conditions forced both wheat agriculture and the lumber industry into a precipitous decline.
Beginning in the 1890s, farmers in Wisconsin shifted from wheat to dairy production in order to make more sustainable and profitable use of their land. Many immigrants carried cheese-making traditions that, combined with the state's suitable geography and dairy research led by Stephen Babcock at the University of Wisconsin, helped the state build a reputation as "America's Dairyland". Meanwhile, conservationists including Aldo Leopold helped re-establish the state's forests during the early 20th century, paving the way for a more renewable lumber and paper milling industry as well as promoting recreational tourism in the northern woodlands. Manufacturing also boomed in Wisconsin during the early 20th century, driven by an immense immigrant workforce arriving from Europe. Industries in cities like Milwaukee ranged from brewing and food processing to heavy machine production and tool-making, leading Wisconsin to rank 8th among U.S. states in total product value by 1910.
The early 20th century was also notable for the emergence of progressive politics championed by Robert M. La Follette. Between 1901 and 1914, Progressive Republicans in Wisconsin created the nation's first comprehensive statewide primary election system, the first effective workplace injury compensation law, and the first state income tax, making taxation proportional to actual earnings. The progressive Wisconsin Idea also promoted the statewide expansion of the University of Wisconsin through the UW-Extension system at this time. Later, UW economics professors John R. Commons and Harold Groves helped Wisconsin create the first unemployment compensation program in the United States in 1932.
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, citizens of Wisconsin were divided over things such as the creation of the United Nations, support for the European recovery, and the growth of the Soviet Union's power. However, when Europe divided into Communist and capitalist camps and the Communist revolution in China succeeded in 1949, public opinion began to move towards support for the protection of democracy and capitalism against Communist expansion.
Wisconsin took part in several political extremes in the mid to late 20th century, ranging from the anti-communist crusades of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s to the radical antiwar protests at UW-Madison that culminated in the Sterling Hall bombing in August 1970. The state became a leader in welfare reform under Republican Governor Tommy Thompson during the 1990s. The state's economy also underwent further transformations towards the close of the 20th century, as heavy industry and manufacturing declined in favor of a service economy based on medicine, education, agribusiness, and tourism.
In 2011, Wisconsin became the focus of some controversy when newly elected governor Scott Walker proposed, successfully passed, and enacted the 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, which made large changes in the areas of collective bargaining, compensation, retirement, health insurance, and sick leave of public sector employees, among other changes. A series of major protests by union supporters took place that year in response to the changes, and Walker survived a recall election held the next year, becoming the first governor in United States history to do so. Walker enacted other bills promoting conservative governance, such as a right-to-work law, abortion restrictions, and legislation removing certain gun controls.
Wisconsin is bordered by the Montreal River; Lake Superior and Michigan to the north; by Lake Michigan to the east; by Illinois to the south; and by Iowa to the southwest and Minnesota to the northwest. A border dispute with Michigan was settled by two cases, both Wisconsin v. Michigan, in 1934 and 1935. The state's boundaries include the Mississippi River and St. Croix River in the west, and the Menominee River in the northeast.
With its location between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, Wisconsin is home to a wide variety of geographical features. The state is divided into five distinct regions. In the north, the Lake Superior Lowland occupies a belt of land along Lake Superior. Just to the south, the Northern Highland has massive mixed hardwood and coniferous forests including the 1,500,000 acres (6,100 km2) Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, as well as thousands of glacial lakes, and the state's highest point, Timms Hill. In the middle of the state, the Central Plain has some unique sandstone formations like the Dells of the Wisconsin River in addition to rich farmland. The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands region in the southeast is home to many of Wisconsin's largest cities. The ridges include the Niagara Escarpment that stretches from New York, the Black River Escarpment and the Magnesian Escarpment.
The bedrock of the Niagara Escarpment is dolomite, while the two shorter ridges have limestone bedrock. In the southwest, the Western Upland is a rugged landscape with a mix of forest and farmland, including many bluffs on the Mississippi River. This region is part of the Driftless Area, which also includes portions of Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. This area was not covered by glaciers during the most recent ice age, the Wisconsin Glaciation. Overall, 46% of Wisconsin's land area is covered by forest. Langlade County has a soil rarely found outside of the county called Antigo silt loam.
Most of Wisconsin is classified as warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), while southern and southwestern portions are classified as hot-summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa). The highest temperature ever recorded in the state was in the Wisconsin Dells, on July 13, 1936, where it reached 114 °F (46 °C). The lowest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was in the village of Couderay, where it reached −55 °F (−48 °C) on both February 2 and 4, 1996. Wisconsin also receives a large amount of regular snowfall averaging around 40 inches (100 cm) in the southern portions with up to 160 inches (410 cm) annually in the Lake Superior snowbelt each year.
The table below shows the racial composition of Wisconsin's population as of 2016.
|Race||Population (2016 est.)||Percentage|
|Black or African American||361,730||6.3%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||51,459||0.9%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||1,378||0.0%|
|Some other race||105,038||1.8%|
|Two or more races||125,923||2.2%|
|Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
|Two or more races||–||1.3%||1.8%|
According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 6.5% of Wisconsin's population were of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race): Mexican (4.7%), Puerto Rican (0.9%), Cuban (0.1%), and other Hispanic or Latino origin (0.7%). The five largest ancestry groups were: German (40.5%), Irish (10.8%), Polish (8.8%), Norwegian (7.7%), and English (5.7%). German is the most common ancestry in every county in the state, except Menominee, Trempealeau, and Vernon. Wisconsin has the highest percentage of residents of Polish ancestry of any state.
Since its founding, Wisconsin has been ethnically heterogeneous. Following the period of French fur traders, the next wave of settlers were miners, many of whom were Cornish, who settled the southwestern area of the state. The next wave was dominated by "Yankees", migrants of English descent from New England and upstate New York; in the early years of statehood, they dominated the state's heavy industry, finance, politics, and education. Between 1850 and 1900, the immigrants were mostly Germans, Scandinavians (the largest group being Norwegian), Irish, and Poles. In the 20th century, a number of African Americans and Mexicans settled in Milwaukee; and after the end of the Vietnam War came an influx of Hmongs.
The various ethnic groups settled in different areas of the state. Although German immigrants settled throughout the state, the largest concentration was in Milwaukee. Norwegian immigrants settled in lumbering and farming areas in the north and west. Irish, Italian, and Polish immigrants settled primarily in urban areas. Menominee County is the only county in the eastern United States with a Native American majority.
African Americans came to Milwaukee, especially from 1940 on. 86% of Wisconsin's African-American population live in four cities: Milwaukee, Racine, Beloit, Kenosha, with Milwaukee home to nearly three-fourths of the state's black Americans. In the Great Lakes region, only Detroit and Cleveland have a higher percentage of African-American residents.
Of the residents of Wisconsin, 71.7% were born in Wisconsin, 23.0% were born in a different US state, 0.7% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parent(s), and 4.6% were foreign born.
Note: Births in table add to over 100%, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
|White:||55,485 (83.2%)||55,520 (82.7%)||55,350 (82.6%)||...|
|> Non-Hispanic White||49,357 (74.0%)||49,440 (73.6%)||49,024 (73.1%)||47,994 (72.0%)|
|Black||6,956 (10.4%)||7,328 (10.9%)||7,386 (11.0%)||6,569 (9.9%)|
|Asian||3,197 (4.8%)||3,333 (5.0%)||3,276 (4.9%)||3,220 (4.8%)|
|American Indian||1,011 (1.5%)||980 (1.5%)||1,029 (1.5%)||689 (1.0%)|
|Hispanic (of any race)||6,398 (9.6%)||6,375 (9.5%)||6,604 (9.9%)||6,504 (9.8%)|
|Total Wisconsin||66,649 (100%)||67,161 (100%)||67,041 (100%)||66,615 (100%)|
The percentage of Wisconsin residents who belong to various affiliations are  Christian 81% (Protestant 50%, Roman Catholic 29%, Mormon 0.5%), Jewish 0.5%, Muslim 0.5%, Buddhist 0.5%, Hindu 0.5%, and unaffiliated 15%.
Christianity is the predominant religion of Wisconsin. As of 2008, the three largest denominational groups in Wisconsin were Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Mainline Protestant. As of 2010, the Catholic Church had the highest number of adherents in Wisconsin (at 1,425,523), followed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 414,326 members, and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod with 223,279 adherents. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which has the fourth highest numbers of adherents in Wisconsin, and the international conference it belongs to, the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference, both have their headquarters in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Statewide FBI Crime statistics for 2009 include 144 murders/non-negligent manslaughter; 1,108 rapes; 4,850 robberies; 8,431 aggravated assaults; and 147,486 property crimes. Wisconsin also publishes its own statistics through the Office of Justice Assistance. The OJA reported 14,603 violent crimes in 2009, with a clearance rate (% solved) of 50%. The OJA reported 4,633 sexual assaults in 2009, with an overall clearance rate for sexual assaults of 57%.
The Wisconsin Blue Book is the primary published reference about the government and politics of the state, documenting the organization of the state's three branches of government. Published every two years with updated information, copies are available by contacting state legislators.
Wisconsin's Constitution outlines the structure and function of state government. Wisconsin's government is organized into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.
The executive branch is headed by the governor. The current governor, Tony Evers, assumed office on January 7, 2019. In addition to the governor, the executive branch includes five other elected constitutional officers: Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Four members of the Wisconsin executive branch are Democrats The Superintendent of Public Instruction of Wisconsin is a non-partisan position.
Wisconsin's court system has four levels: municipal courts, circuit courts, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. Municipal courts typically handle cases involving local ordinance matters. The circuit courts are Wisconsin's trial courts, they have original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases within the state. Challenges to circuit court rulings are heard by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, consisting of sixteen judges who typically sit in three-judge panels. As the state's highest appellate court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court may hear both appeals from lower courts and original actions. In addition to deciding cases, the Supreme Court is responsible for administering the state's court system and regulating the practice of law in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin collects personal income taxes (based on five income brackets) which range from 4% to 7.65%. The state sales and use tax rate is 5.0%. Fifty-nine counties have an additional sales/use tax of 0.5%. Milwaukee County and four surrounding counties have an additional temporary 0.1% tax that helps fund the Miller Park baseball stadium, which was completed in 2001.
The most common property tax assessed on Wisconsin residents is the real property tax, or their residential property tax. Wisconsin does not impose a property tax on vehicles, but does levy an annual registration fee. Property taxes are the most important tax revenue source for Wisconsin's local governments, as well as major methods of funding school districts, vocational technical colleges, special purpose districts and tax incremental finance districts. Equalized values are based on the full market value of all taxable property in the state, except for agricultural land. In order to provide property tax relief for farmers, the value of agricultural land is determined by its value for agricultural uses, rather than for its possible development value. Equalized values are used to distribute state aid payments to counties, municipalities, and technical colleges. Assessments prepared by local assessors are used to distribute the property tax burden within individual municipalities.
Wisconsin does not assess a tax on intangible property. Wisconsin does not collect inheritance taxes. Until January 1, 2008, Wisconsin's estate tax was decoupled from the federal estate tax laws; therefore the state imposed its own estate tax on certain large estates.
There are no toll roads in Wisconsin; highway construction and maintenance are funded in part by motor fuel tax revenues, and the remaining balance is drawn from the State General Fund. Non-highway road construction and maintenance are funded by local governments (municipalities or counties).
|2016||47.26% 1,407,028||46.45% 1,382,947|
|2012||45.89% 1,407,966||52.83% 1,620,985|
|2008||42.31% 1,262,393||56.22% 1,677,211|
|2004||49.31% 1,478,120||49.71% 1,489,504|
|2000||47.56% 1,237,279||47.83% 1,242,987|
|1996||38.48% 845,029||48.81% 1,071,971|
|1992||36.78% 930,855||41.13% 1,041,066|
|1988||47.80% 1,047,794||51.41% 1,126,794|
|1984||54.19% 1,198,800||45.02% 995,847|
|1980||47.90% 1,088,845||43.18% 981,584|
|1976||47.83% 1,004,987||49.50% 1,040,232|
|1972||53.40% 989,430||43.72% 810,174|
|1968||47.89% 809,997||44.27% 748,804|
|1964||37.74% 638,495||62.09% 1,050,424|
|1960||51.77% 895,175||48.05% 830,805|
Donald Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 25,000 votes (a margin of less than .8%) in the 2016 election. This marked the first time Wisconsin voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984, when every state except Minnesota and Washington D.C. went Republican. Both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were quite close, with Wisconsin receiving heavy doses of national advertising, in accord with its status as a "swing", or pivot, state. Al Gore carried the presidential vote in 2000 by 5,700 votes, and John Kerry won Wisconsin in 2004 by 11,000 votes. Again, Barack Obama carried the state in 2008 by 381,000 votes (56%).
On November 26, 2016, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed for a recount in Wisconsin due to concerns regarding hacking or other tampering with votes. It is the first presidential recount ever conducted in the state.
During the period of the Civil War, Wisconsin was a Republican state; in fact it is the state that gave birth to the Republican Party, although ethno-religious issues in the late 19th century caused a brief split in the Republican coalition. Through the first half of the 20th century, Wisconsin's politics were dominated by Robert La Follette and his sons, originally of the Republican Party, but later of the revived Progressive Party. Since 1945, the state has maintained a close balance between Republicans and Democrats. Republican Senator Joe McCarthy was a controversial national figure in the early 1950s. Recent leading Republicans include former Governor Tommy Thompson and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner; prominent Democrats include Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, and Congressman David Obey.
The most famous controversy in the state's political history dealt with foreign language teaching in schools. This was fought out in the Bennett Law campaign of 1890, when the Germans switched to the Democratic Party because of the Republican Party's support of the Bennett Law, which led to a major victory for the Democrats.
The cities of Wisconsin have been active in increasing the availability of legislative information on the internet, thereby providing for greater government transparency. Currently three of the five most populous cities in Wisconsin provide their constituents with internet-based access of all public records directly from the cities' databases. Wisconsin cities started to make this a priority after Milwaukee began doing so, on their page, in 2001. One such city, Madison, has been named the Number 1 digital city by the Center for Digital Government in consecutive years.
Though it has been close on several occasions, Wisconsin has voted for Democratic candidates in six of the last seven presidential elections. Republican Donald Trump carried the state by 23,000 votes in 2016. Before that, the last Republican to carry the state was Ronald Reagan in 1984. In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, a native of Janesville, as his running mate against incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Obama nevertheless carried Wisconsin by a margin of 53% to 46%.
At the statewide level, Wisconsin is competitive, with control regularly alternating between the two parties. The 2010 elections saw a huge Republican resurgence in Wisconsin. Republicans took control of the governor's office and both houses of the state legislature. Republican Ron Johnson defeated Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, and Republicans took two previously Democratic-held House seats, creating a 5–3 Republican majority House delegation.
On February 14, 2011, the Wisconsin State Capitol erupted with protests when the Legislature took up a bill that would end most collective bargaining rights for state employees, except for wages, to address the $3.6 bil. deficit. The protests attracted tens of thousands of people each day, and garnered international attention.
The Assembly passed the bill 53–42 on March 10 after the State Senate passed it the night before, and sent it to the Governor for his signature. In response to the bill, enough signatures were gathered to force a recall election against Governor Walker. Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee and Walker's 2010 opponent, won the Democratic primary and faced Walker again. Walker won the election by 53% to 46% and became the first governor in United States history to retain his seat after a recall election.
Republicans had a stronghold in the Fox Valley, but elected a Democrat, Steve Kagen, of Appleton, for the 8th Congressional District in 2006. However, Kagen survived only two terms and was replaced by Republican Reid Ribble in the Republican Party's sweep of Wisconsin in November 2010, the first time the Republican Party has taken back both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship in the same election. Republicans have held Waukesha County. The City of Milwaukee heads the list of Wisconsin's Democratic strongholds, which also includes Madison and the state's Native American reservations. Wisconsin's largest Congressional district, the 7th, had voted Democratic since 1969. Its representative, David Obey, chaired the powerful House Appropriations Committee. However, Obey retired and the once Democratic seat was overtaken by Republican Sean Duffy in November 2010.
Wisconsin's political history encompasses, on the one hand, "Fighting Bob" La Follette and the Progressive movement; and on the other, the Republican and anti-Communist Joe McCarthy. From the early 20th century, the Socialist Party of America had a base in Milwaukee. The phenomenon was referred to as "sewer socialism" because the elected officials were more concerned with public works and reform than with revolution (although revolutionary socialism existed in the city as well). Its influence faded in the late 1950s, largely because of the red scare and racial tensions. The first Socialist mayor of a large city in the United States was Emil Seidel, elected mayor of Milwaukee in 1910; another Socialist, Daniel Hoan, was mayor of Milwaukee from 1916 to 1940; and a third, Frank P. Zeidler, from 1948 to 1960. Succeeding Frank Zeidler, the last of Milwaukee's Socialist mayors, (Henry Maier), a former Wisconsin State Senator and member of the Democratic Party was elected mayor of Milwaukee in 1960. Maier remained in office for 28 years, the longest-serving mayor in Milwaukee history. Socialist newspaper editor Victor Berger was repeatedly elected as a U.S. Representative, although he was prevented from serving for some time because of his opposition to the First World War.
William Proxmire, a Democratic Senator (1957–89), was best known for attacking waste and fraud in federal spending. Democrat Russ Feingold was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001. Republican Paul Ryan was, at age 28, the youngest member of the Congressional freshman class when he took office in January 1999. In 2012, he was selected as the Republican party's candidate for Vice President, running with Mitt Romney. In 2004, Gwen Moore, a Democrat from Milwaukee, became Wisconsin's first African-American U.S. Representative.
In 2006, Democrats gained in a national sweep of opposition to the Bush administration, and the Iraq War. The retiring GOP 8th District Congressman, Mark Green, of Green Bay, ran against the incumbent Governor Jim Doyle. Green lost by 8% statewide, making Doyle the first Democratic governor to be re-elected in 32 years. The Republicans lost control of the state Senate. Although Democrats gained eight seats in the state Assembly, Republicans retained a five-vote majority in that house. In 2008, Democrats regained control of the State Assembly by a 52–46 margin, marking the first time since 1987 that the governor and state legislature were both Democratic.
With the election of Scott Walker, Republicans won both chambers of the legislature and the governorship, the first time all three changed partisan control in the same election. They have maintained that status since 2010. Following the 2014 general election on November 4, 2014, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Attorney General and State Treasurer are all Republicans; the Secretary of State is a Democrat. The state also chose the Republican candidate for President in 2016, Donald Trump, for the first time since 1984. However, Walker was defeated for a third term in 2018 by Democrat Tony Evers, Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin was elected to a second term, making all constitutional state-wide offices held by Democrats.
In 2010 Wisconsin's gross state product was $248.3 billion, making it 21st among U.S. states. The economy of Wisconsin is driven by manufacturing, agriculture, and health care. The state's economic output from manufacturing was $48.9 billion in 2008, making it the tenth largest among states in manufacturing gross domestic product. Manufacturing accounts for about 20% of the state's gross domestic product, a proportion that is third among all states. The per capita personal income was $35,239 in 2008. In March 2017, the state's unemployment rate was 3.4% (seasonally adjusted).
In quarter four of 2011, the largest employers in Wisconsin were:
Wisconsin produces about a quarter of America's cheese, leading the nation in cheese production. It is second in milk production, after California, and third in per-capita milk production, behind California and Vermont. Wisconsin is second in butter production, producing about one-quarter of the nation's butter. The state ranks first nationally in the production of corn for silage, cranberries ginseng, and snap beans for processing. It grows over half the national crop of cranberries. and 97% of the nation's ginseng. Wisconsin is also a leading producer of oats, potatoes, carrots, tart cherries, maple syrup, and sweet corn for processing. The significance of the state's agricultural production is exemplified by the depiction of a Holstein cow, an ear of corn, and a wheel of cheese on Wisconsin's state quarter design. The state annually selects an "Alice in Dairyland" to promote the state's agricultural products around the world.
A large part of the state's manufacturing sector includes commercial food processing, including well-known brands such as Oscar Mayer, Tombstone frozen pizza, Johnsonville brats, and Usinger's sausage. Kraft Foods alone employs over 5,000 people in the state. Milwaukee is a major producer of beer and was formerly headquarters for Miller Brewing Company – the nation's second-largest brewer – until it merged with Coors Brewing Company. Formerly, Schlitz, Blatz, and Pabst were cornerstone breweries in Milwaukee.
|State Wild Animal:||White-tailed deer|
|State Dairy Product:||Cheese|
|State Dog:||American water spaniel|
|State pro football team:||Green Bay Packers|
|State pro baseball team:||Milwaukee Brewers|
|State pro basketball team:||Milwaukee Bucks|
|State pro hockey team:||Milwaukee Admirals|
|State Flower:||Wood violet|
|State Insect:||European honey bee|
|State Song:||"On, Wisconsin!"|
|State Tree:||Sugar maple|
|State Mineral:||Galena (Lead sulfide)|
|State Rock:||Red granite|
|State Soil:||Antigo silt loam|
|State Symbol of
|State microbe||Lactococcus lactis|
Wisconsin is home to a very large and diversified manufacturing economy, with special focus on transportation and capital equipment. Major Wisconsin companies in these categories include the Kohler Company; Mercury Marine; Rockwell Automation; Johnson Controls; John Deere; Briggs & Stratton; Milwaukee Electric Tool Company; Miller Electric; Caterpillar Inc.; Joy Global; Oshkosh Corporation; Harley-Davidson; Case IH; S. C. Johnson & Son; Ashley Furniture; Ariens; and Evinrude Outboard Motors.
Wisconsin is a major producer of paper, packaging, and other consumer goods. Major consumer products companies based in the state include SC Johnson & Co., and Diversey, Inc. Wisconsin also ranks first nationwide in the production of paper products; the lower Fox River from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay has 24 paper mills along its 39 miles (63 km) stretch.
Tourism is a major industry in Wisconsin – the state's third largest, according to the Department of Tourism. Tourist destinations such as the House on the Rock near Spring Green, Circus World Museum in Baraboo, and The Dells of the Wisconsin River draw thousands of visitors annually, and festivals such as Summerfest and the EAA Oshkosh Airshow draw international attention, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Given the large number of lakes and rivers in the state, water recreation is very popular. In the North Country, what had been an industrial area focused on timber has largely been transformed into a vacation destination. Popular interest in the environment and environmentalism, added to traditional interests in hunting and fishing, has attracted a large urban audience within driving range.
The distinctive Door Peninsula, which extends off the eastern coast of the state, contains one of the state's tourist destinations, Door County. Door County is a popular destination for boaters because of the large number of natural harbors, bays, and ports on the Green Bay and Lake Michigan side of the peninsula that forms the county. The area draws hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly to its quaint villages, seasonal cherry picking, and fish boils.
On January 1, 2008, a new tax incentive for the film industry came into effect. The first major production to take advantage of the tax incentive was Michael Mann's Public Enemies. While the producers spent $18 million on the film, it was reported that most of that went to out-of-state workers and for out-of-state services; Wisconsin taxpayers had provided $4.6 million in subsidies, and derived only $5 million in revenues from the film's making.
The state has a mandate that ten percent of its electrical energy come from renewable sources by the end of 2015. This goal has been met, but not with in state sources. One third of that ten percent comes from out of state sources, mostly wind generated electricity from Minnesota and Iowa. The state has agnostic policies for developing wind power in state.
Wisconsin is served by eight commercial service airports, in addition to a number of general aviation airports.
Amtrak provides daily passenger rail service between Chicago and Milwaukee. It also provides cross-country service via the Empire Builder with station stops in several cities in Wisconsin.
Over 68% of Wisconsin residents live in urban areas, with the Greater Milwaukee area home to roughly one-third of the state's population. With over 594,000 residents, Milwaukee is the 30th-largest city in the country. The string of cities along the western edge of Lake Michigan is generally considered to be an example of a megalopolis.
With a population of around 233,000 and metropolitan area of over 600,000, Madison has a dual identity as state capital and college town. Madison's suburb, Middleton, was ranked the "Best Place to Live in America" in 2007 by Money Magazine. Medium-size cities dot the state and anchor a network of working farms surrounding them. As of 2011, there were 12 cities in Wisconsin with a population of 50,000 or more, accounting for 73% of the state's employment.
Wisconsin has three types of municipality: cities, villages, and towns. Cities and villages are incorporated urban areas. Towns are unincorporated minor civil divisions of counties with limited self-government.
|8||Eau Claire||Eau Claire||68,339|
Wisconsin, along with Minnesota and Michigan, was among the Midwestern leaders in the emergent American state university movement following the Civil War in the United States. By the start of the 20th century, education in the state advocated the "Wisconsin Idea", which emphasized service to the people of the state. The "Wisconsin Idea" exemplified the Progressive movement within colleges and universities at the time.
Today, public post-secondary education in Wisconsin includes both the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System, with the flagship university University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the 16-campus Wisconsin Technical College System. Private colleges and universities include Alverno College, Beloit College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, Carthage College, Concordia University Wisconsin, Edgewood College, Lakeland College, Lawrence University, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Ripon College, St. Norbert College, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Viterbo University, and others.
Residents of Wisconsin are referred to as Wisconsinites. The traditional prominence of references to dairy farming and cheesemaking in Wisconsin's rural economy (the state's license plates have read "America's Dairyland" since 1940) have led to the nickname (sometimes used pejoratively among non-residents) of "cheeseheads", and to the creation of "cheesehead hats" made of yellow foam in the shape of a wedge of cheese.
Numerous ethnic festivals are held throughout Wisconsin to celebrate the heritage of its citizens. Such festivals include Summerfest, Oktoberfest, Polish Fest, Festa Italiana, Irish Fest, Bastille Days, Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day), Brat(wurst) Days in Sheboygan, Polka Days, Cheese Days in Monroe and Mequon, African World Festival, Indian Summer, Arab Fest, Wisconsin Highland Games, and many others.
Wisconsin's music festivals include Eaux Claires, Country Fest, Country Jam USA, the Hodag Country Festival, Porterfield Country Music Festival, Country Thunder USA in Twin Lakes, and Country USA. Milwaukee hosts Summerfest, dubbed "The World's Largest Music Festival", every year. This festival is held at the lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park just south of downtown, as are a summer-long array of ethnic musical festivals. The Wisconsin Area Music Industry provides an annual WAMI event where it presents an awards show for top Wisconsin artists.
The Milwaukee Art Museum, with its brise soleil designed by Santiago Calatrava, is known for its interesting architecture. Monona Terrace in Madison, a convention center designed by Taliesin architect Anthony Puttnam, is based on a 1930s design by Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright's home and studio in the 20th century was at Taliesin, south of Spring Green. Decades after Wright's death, Taliesin remains an architectural office and school for his followers.
Drinking has long been considered a significant part of Wisconsin culture, and the state ranks at or near the top of national measures of per-capita alcohol consumption, consumption of alcohol per state, and proportion of drinkers. Consumption per-capita per-event, however, ranks low among the nation; number of events (number of times alcohol is involved) is significantly higher or highest, but consumption at each event smaller, marking Wisconsin's consumption as frequent and moderate. Factors such as cultural identification with the state's heritage of German immigration, the long-standing presence of major breweries in Milwaukee, and a cold climate are often associated with the prevalence of drinking in Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, the legal drinking age is 21, except when accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse who is at least 21 years old. Age requirements are waived for possessing alcohol when employed by a brewer, brewpub, beer and/or liquor wholesaler, or producer of alcohol fuel. The minimum legal age to purchase alcohol is 21, with no exceptions. The Absolute Sobriety law states that any person not of legal drinking age (currently 21 years of age) may not drive after consuming alcohol.
On September 30, 2003, the state legislature, reluctant to lower a DUI offense from BAC 0.10 to 0.08, did so only as a result of federal government pressure. The Wisconsin Tavern League opposes raising the alcoholic beverage tax. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel series "Wasted in Wisconsin" examined this situation.
The varied landscape of Wisconsin makes the state a popular vacation destination for outdoor recreation. Winter events include skiing, ice fishing and snowmobile derbies. Wisconsin is situated on two Great Lakes and has many inland lakes of varied size; the state contains 11,188 square miles (28,980 km2) of water, more than all but three other states – Alaska, Michigan, and Florida.
Outdoor activities are popular in Wisconsin, especially hunting and fishing. One of the most prevalent game animals is the whitetail deer. Each year, in Wisconsin, well over 600,000 deer-hunting licenses are sold. In 2008, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources projected the pre-hunt deer population to be between 1.5 and 1.7 million.
Wisconsin is represented by major league teams in three sports: football, baseball, and basketball. Lambeau Field, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is home to the National Football League's Green Bay Packers. The Packers have been part of the NFL since the league's second season in 1921 and hold the record for the most NFL titles, earning the city of Green Bay the nickname "Titletown USA". The Packers are the smallest city franchise in the NFL and the only one owned by shareholders statewide. The franchise was founded by "Curly" Lambeau who played and coached for them. The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful small-market professional sports franchises in the world and have won 13 NFL championships, including the first two AFL-NFL Championship games (Super Bowls I and II), Super Bowl XXXI and Super Bowl XLV. The state's support of the team is evidenced by the 81,000-person waiting list for season tickets to Lambeau Field.
The Milwaukee Brewers, the state's only major league baseball team, play in Miller Park in Milwaukee, the successor to Milwaukee County Stadium since 2001. In 1982, the Brewers won the American League Championship, marking their most successful season. The team switched from the American League to the National League starting with the 1998 season. Before the Brewers, Milwaukee had two prior Major League teams. The first team, also called the Brewers, played only one season in the newly founded American League in 1901 before moving to St. Louis and becoming the Browns, who are now the Baltimore Orioles. Milwaukee was also the home of the Braves franchise when they moved from Boston from 1953 to 1965, winning the World Series in 1957 and the National League pennant in 1958, before they moved to Atlanta.
The state also has minor league teams in hockey (Milwaukee Admirals) and baseball (the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, based in Appleton and the Beloit Snappers of the Class A minor leagues). Wisconsin is also home to the Madison Mallards, the La Crosse Loggers, the Lakeshore Chinooks, the Eau Claire Express, the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, the Green Bay Booyah, the Kenosha Kingfish, the Wisconsin Woodchucks, and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the Northwoods League, a collegiate all-star summer league. In addition to the Packers, Green Bay is also the home to an indoor football team, the Green Bay Blizzard of the IFL. The state is home to the six-time MSL Champion Milwaukee Wave.
Wisconsin also has many college sports programs, including the Wisconsin Badgers, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Panthers of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Badgers football former head coach Barry Alvarez led the Badgers to three Rose Bowl championships, including back-to-back victories in 1999 and 2000. The Badger men's basketball team won the national title in 1941 and made trips to college basketball's Final Four in 2000, 2014, and 2015. The Badgers claimed a historic dual championship in 2006 when both the women's and men's hockey teams won national titles.
The Marquette Golden Eagles of the Big East Conference, the state's other major collegiate program, is known for its men's basketball team, which, under the direction of Al McGuire, won the NCAA National Championship in 1977. The team returned to the Final Four in 2003.
Many other schools in the University of Wisconsin system compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference at the Division III level. The conference is one of the most successful in the nation, claiming 107 NCAA national championships in 15 different sports as of March 30, 2015.
The Semi-Professional Northern Elite Football League consists of many teams from Wisconsin. The league is made up of former professional, collegiate, and high school players. Teams from Wisconsin include: The Green Bay Gladiators from Green Bay, The Fox Valley Force in Appleton, The Kimberly Storm in Kimberly, The Central Wisconsin Spartans in Wausau, The Eau Claire Crush and the Chippewa Valley Predators from Eau Claire, and the Lake Superior Rage from Superior. The league also has teams in Michigan and Minnesota. Teams play from May until August.
Wisconsin is home to the world's oldest operational racetrack. The Milwaukee Mile, located in Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin, held races there that considerably predate the Indy 500.
Sheboygan is home to Whistling Straits golf club which has hosted PGA Championships in 2004, 2010 and 2015 and will be home to the Ryder Cup golf competition between USA and Europe in 2020. The Greater Milwaukee Open, later named the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, was a PGA Tour tournament from 1968 to 2009 held annually in Brown Deer. In 2017, Erin Hills, a golf course in Erin, Wisconsin, approximately 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee, hosted the U.S. Open.
"America's Dairyland" A nickname of Wisconsin
Wisconsin – America's Dairyland, The Badger State ... The Copper State ...
Nicknames Wisconsin is generally known as The Badger State, or America's Dairyland, although in the past it has been nicknamed The Copper State.
| List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on May 29, 1848 (30th)
The Big Ten Conference (stylized B1G, formerly the Western Conference and the Big Nine Conference) is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States, based in suburban Chicago, Illinois. Despite its name, the conference consists of 14 members (as of 2019). They compete in the NCAA Division I; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, the highest level of NCAA competition in that sport. The conference includes the flagship public university in each of 11 states stretching from New Jersey to Nebraska, as well as two additional public land grant schools and a private university.
The Big Ten Conference was established in 1895 when Purdue University president James H. Smart and representatives from the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, and University of Wisconsin gathered at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel to set policies aimed at regulating intercollegiate athletics. In 1905, the conference was officially incorporated as the "Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives". The conference is one of the nation's oldest, predating the founding of the NCAA by a decade, and was one of the first collegiate conferences to sponsor men's basketball.
Big Ten member institutions are predominantly major flagship research universities with large financial endowments and strong academic reputations. Large student enrollment is also a hallmark of Big Ten Universities, as 13 of the 14 members feature enrollments of 20,000 or more students. Northwestern University, the only full member with a total enrollment of fewer than 30,000 students, is the lone private university among Big Ten membership (the University of Chicago, a private university, left the conference in 1946). Collectively, Big Ten universities educate more than 520,000 total students and have 5.7 million living alumni. Big Ten universities engage in $9.3 billion in funded research each year. Though the Big Ten existed for nearly a century as an assemblage of universities located primarily in the Midwest, the conference's geographic footprint now stretches east to the Atlantic Ocean.
Big Ten universities are also members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, an academic consortium. In 2014–2015, members generated more than $10 billion in research expenditures. Despite the conference's name, the Big Ten has grown to fourteen members, with the following universities accepting invitations to join: Pennsylvania State University in 1990, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2011, and both the University of Maryland and Rutgers University in 2014. Johns Hopkins University was invited in 2012 to join the Big Ten as an associate member participating in men's lacrosse, and in 2015, it was also accepted as an associate member in women's lacrosse. Notre Dame joined the Big Ten on July 1, 2017 as an associate member in men's ice hockey.Bradley Whitford
Bradley Whitford (born October 10, 1959) is an American actor and political activist. He portrayed White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman in the NBC television drama The West Wing, for which he was nominated for three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards from 2001 to 2003, winning in 2001. This role also earned him three consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations.
Whitford also played Danny Tripp in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Dan Stark in the Fox police buddy-comedy The Good Guys, Timothy Carter, a character who was believed to be Red John, in the CBS series The Mentalist, antagonist Eric Gordon in the film Billy Madison, Arthur Parsons in The Post, and Dean Armitage in the horror film Get Out.
In 2015, he won a second Primetime Emmy Award for his role as Marcy in Transparent and later garnered a fifth Primetime Emmy Award nomination for portraying Magnus Hirschfeld in the same series. He was an occasional columnist for The Huffington Post until November 2009.Chris Farley
Christopher Crosby Farley (February 15, 1964 – December 18, 1997) was an American actor and comedian. Farley was known for his loud, energetic comedic style, and was a member of Chicago's Second City Theatre and later a cast member of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live between 1990 and 1995. He then went on to pursue a film career, starring in films such as Tommy Boy, Black Sheep and Beverly Hills Ninja. Farley died of a drug overdose at the age of 33.Ed Gein
Edward Theodore Gein (; August 27, 1906 – July 26, 1984), also known as The Butcher of Plainfield, was an American murderer and body snatcher. His crimes, committed around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, gathered widespread notoriety after authorities discovered that Gein had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. Gein confessed to killing two women – tavern owner Mary Hogan in 1954, and a Plainfield hardware store owner, Bernice Worden, in 1957. Gein was initially found unfit to stand trial and confined to a mental health facility. In 1968, Gein was found guilty but legally insane of the murder of Worden, and was remanded to a psychiatric institution. He died at Mendota Mental Health Institute of cancer-induced liver and respiratory failure at age 77 on July 26, 1984. He is buried next to his family in the Plainfield Cemetery, in a now-unmarked grave.Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright (born June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture". His creative period spanned more than 70 years.
Wright was the pioneer of what came to be called the Prairie School movement of architecture, and he also developed the concept of the Usonian home in Broadacre City, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States. In addition to his houses, Wright designed original and innovative offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, museums, and other structures. He often designed interior elements for these buildings, as well, including furniture and stained glass. Wright wrote 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and Europe. Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as "the greatest American architect of all time".His colorful personal life often made headlines, notably for leaving his first wife, Catherine Lee "Kitty" Tobin for Mamah Borthwick Cheney, the murders at his Taliesin estate in 1914, his tempestuous marriage with second wife Miriam Noel, and his relationship with Olga (Olgivanna) Lazovich Hinzenburg, who became his third wife in 1928.Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It is 581 feet (177 m) above sea level and 112 miles (180 km) north of Milwaukee. The population was 104,057 at the 2010 census. Green Bay is the third-largest city in the state of Wisconsin, after Milwaukee and Madison, and the third-largest city on Lake Michigan's west shore, after Chicago and Milwaukee. Green Bay is home to the National Football League's Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay is the principal city of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area, which covers Brown, Kewaunee, and Oconto counties; the MSA had a combined population of 306,241 at the 2010 census.Green Bay is an industrial city with several meatpacking plants, paper mills, and a port on Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan known locally as "the Bay of Green Bay". Green Bay hosts the Neville Public Museum, with exhibitions of art, history, and science; the Children's Museum; and the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. It is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, and is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. Home games have been played at Lambeau Field since 1957.
The Packers are the last of the "small town teams" which were common in the NFL during the league's early days of the 1920s and '30s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the franchise traces its lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. Between 1919 and 1920, the Packers competed against other semi-pro clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest, before joining the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the forerunner of today's NFL, in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest major league professional sports market in North America, Forbes ranked the Packers as the world's 26th most valuable sports franchise in 2016, with a value of $2.35 billion.The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and four Super Bowl victories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League (AFL) prior to the AFL–NFL merger. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the Packers' coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two subsequent Super Bowl wins came in 1996 and 2010.The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions, who today comprise the NFL's NFC North division, and were formerly members of the NFC Central Division. They have played over 100 games against each of those teams through history, and have a winning overall record against all of them, a distinction only shared with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys. The Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921.Jeffrey Dahmer
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (; May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994), also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster, was an American serial killer and sex offender, who committed the rape, murder, and dismemberment of 17 men and boys from 1978 to 1991. Many of his later murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts — typically all or part of the skeleton.Although diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and a psychotic disorder, Dahmer was found to be legally sane at his trial. Convicted of 15 of the 16 murders he had committed in Wisconsin, Dahmer was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment on February 15, 1992. He was later sentenced to a 16th term of life imprisonment for an additional homicide committed in Ohio in 1978.
On November 28, 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. The other four Great Lakes are shared by the U.S. and Canada. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume (1,180 cu mi (4,900 km3)) and the third-largest by surface area (22,404 sq mi (58,030 km2)), after Lake Superior and Lake Huron (and is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of West Virginia). To the east, its basin is conjoined with that of Lake Huron through the wide Straits of Mackinac, giving it the same surface elevation as its easterly counterpart; the two are technically a single lake.Lake Michigan is shared, from west to east, by the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Ports along its shores include Chicago; Milwaukee; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Gary, Indiana; and Muskegon, Michigan. The word "Michigan" originally referred to the lake itself, and is believed to come from the Ojibwe word michi-gami meaning "great water".List of counties in Wisconsin
The U.S. state of Wisconsin is divided into 72 counties. The land that eventually became Wisconsin was transferred from British to American control with the 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris. It was an unorganized part of the Northwest Territory until 1802 when all of the land from St. Louis north to the Canadian border was organized as St. Clair County. When Illinois was admitted to the union in 1818, Wisconsin became part of the Territory of Michigan and divided into two counties: Brown County in the northeast along Lake Michigan and Crawford County in the southwest along the Mississippi River. Iowa County was formed in 1829 from the Crawford County land south of the Wisconsin River. Brown County's southern portion was used to form Milwaukee County in 1834. The state of Wisconsin was created from Wisconsin Territory on May 29, 1848, with 28 counties.
Counties in Wisconsin are governed by county boards, headed by a chairperson. Counties with a population of 500,000 or more must also have a county executive. Smaller counties may have either a county executive or a county administrator. As of 2011, 13 counties had elected county executives: Brown, Chippewa, Dane, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Portage, Racine, Sawyer, Waukesha, and Winnebago. 23 had an appointed county administrator, 34 had an appointed administrative coordinator, and 2 had neither an executive nor an administrator. Waukesha County had both an executive and an administrator.,
Each county has a county seat, often a populous or centrally located community, where the county's governmental offices are located. Some of the services provided by the county include: law enforcement, circuit courts, social services, vital records and deed registration, road maintenance, and snow removal. County officials include sheriffs, district attorneys, clerks, treasurers, coroners, surveyors, registers of deeds, and clerks of circuit court; these officers are elected for four-year terms. In most counties, elected coroners have been replaced by appointed medical examiners. State law permits counties to appoint a registered land surveyor in place of electing a surveyor.
The most populous county in the state is Milwaukee County at 947,735 people at the 2010 census. Its population is bolstered by the city of Milwaukee's 594,833 people. The county with the least population is Menominee County with 4,232 residents; the Menominee Indian Reservation is co-extensive with the county. Pepin County is the smallest in area, with 231.98 square miles (600.8 km2); Marathon is the largest, having 1,544.91 square miles (4,001.3 km2).The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, which is used by the United States government to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry. Wisconsin's code is 55, which when combined with any county code would be written as 55XXX. The FIPS code for each county links to census data for that county.Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the seat of Dane County. As of July 1, 2017, Madison's estimated population of 255,214 made it the second-largest city in Wisconsin by population, after Milwaukee, and the 82nd-largest in the United States. The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Dane County and neighboring Iowa, Green, and Columbia counties. The Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area's 2010 population was 568,593.
Incorporated as a village in 1846 and chartered as a city in 1856 on an isthmus between Lake Monona and Lake Mendota, Madison was named the capital of the Wisconsin Territory in 1836 and became the capital of the state of Wisconsin when it was admitted to the Union in 1848. That same year, the University of Wisconsin was founded in Madison and the state government and university have become the city's two largest employers. The city is also known for its political protests and demonstrations, lakes, restaurants, and extensive network of parks and bike trails, with much of the park system designed by landscape architect John Nolen.Mark Ruffalo
Mark Alan Ruffalo (; born November 22, 1967) is an American actor, producer, and political activist who made his screen debut in an episode of CBS Summer Playhouse (1989), followed by minor film roles. He was part of the original cast of This Is Our Youth (1996). Following were his roles in 13 Going on 30 (2004), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Zodiac (2007) and What Doesn't Kill You (2008). In 2010, he starred in the psychological thriller Shutter Island and the comedy-drama The Kids Are All Right. For the latter, he received nominations for the SAG Award, BAFTA Award, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also co-starred in the mystery films Now You See Me and Now You See Me 2 as FBI Special Agent Dylan Rhodes.Ruffalo gained international prominence by portraying the Marvel Comics character Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beginning with The Avengers (2012), and also appearing in Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He will reprise his role in Avengers: Endgame scheduled to be released in 2019.
He starred in and was the co-executive producer of the 2014 television dramafilm The Normal Heart, for which he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie (as a producer) and he won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor in a TV Movie. The same year, he portrayed Dave Schultz in Foxcatcher, for which he was nominated for awards, including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2015, he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Infinitely Polar Bear and also received BAFTA and Academy Award nominations for his role in the drama Spotlight.Milwaukee
Milwaukee (, locally ) is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States. The seat of the eponymous county, it is on Lake Michigan's western shore. Ranked by estimated 2014 population, Milwaukee was the 31st largest city in the United States. The city's estimated population in 2017 was 595,351. Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It is also part of the larger Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha combined statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,026,243 in the 2010 census. Milwaukee is the second-most densely populated metropolitan area in the Midwest, surpassed only by Chicago.The first Europeans to pass through the area were French Catholic Jesuit missionaries, who were ministering to Native Americans, and fur traders. In 1818, the French Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846, Juneau's town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the city of Milwaukee. Large numbers of German immigrants arrived during the late 1840s, after the German revolutions, with Poles and other eastern European immigrants arriving in the following decades. Milwaukee is known for its brewing traditions, begun with the German immigrants.
Beginning in the early 21st century, the city has been undergoing its largest construction boom since the 1960s. Major new additions to the city in the past two decades include the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Wisconsin Center, Miller Park, the Milwaukee Streetcar, an expansion to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Pier Wisconsin, as well as major renovations to the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena. The Fiserv Forum opened in late 2018.Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the longest river of the United States and the chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.Native Americans have lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers. The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States, and then as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States.
Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States; steamboats were widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to ship agricultural and industrial goods. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort. Because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees, locks and dams, often built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has also experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.Paul Ryan
Paul Davis Ryan Jr. (born January 29, 1970) is an American politician who served as the 54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from October 2015 to January 2019. He was also the 2012 vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, running alongside Mitt Romney.
Ryan, a native of Janesville, Wisconsin, graduated from Miami University in 1992. He spent five years working for Republicans in Washington, D.C. and returned to Wisconsin in 1997 to work at his family's construction company. He successfully ran for Congress to represent Wisconsin's 1st congressional district the following year, replacing an incumbent Republican who ran for Senate. Ryan would represent the district for 20 years. He chaired the House Budget Committee from 2011 to 2015 and briefly chaired the House Ways and Means Committee in 2015 prior to being elected Speaker of the House following John Boehner's retirement.
A self-proclaimed deficit hawk, Ryan was a major proponent of privatizing Social Security in the mid-2000s. In the 2010s, his proposals "The Path to Prosperity" and "A Better Way" advocated for the privatization of Medicare, block granting of Medicaid, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and significant tax cuts. As Speaker, he was instrumental in the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. His other major piece of legislation, the American Health Care Act of 2017, passed the House but failed in the Senate by a single vote. Ryan's tenure as Speaker of the House saw a massive increase in government spending and deficits despite unified Republican control of government for most of his tenure and the absence of a recession or of a new foreign conflict.
Ryan did not seek re-election in the 2018 midterm elections, where the Democrats under Nancy Pelosi won control of the House with a net gain of 41 seats.Scott Walker (politician)
Scott Kevin Walker (born November 2, 1967) is an American politician who served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019. A Republican, he was first elected governor in 2010, defeating an attempted recall in 2012 and being elected for a second term in 2014 before being defeated in 2018. He formerly served as Milwaukee County Executive and in the Wisconsin State Assembly.
Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Walker was raised in Iowa and in Delavan, Wisconsin, before attending Marquette University. He left Marquette before graduating, taking a full-time job with the American Red Cross. Walker was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1992, representing a district in western Milwaukee County. In 2002, Walker was elected County Executive in a special election following the resignation of F. Thomas Ament; he was elected for a full term in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008.
Walker campaigned for Governor of Wisconsin in 2006 and ran again in 2010. Shortly after his inauguration in 2011, Walker introduced a budget plan which limited the collective bargaining of most Wisconsin public employees. The response to Walker's policies included protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol and an effort to recall Walker. In the 2012 recall election, Walker again defeated Barrett, becoming the first governor in the United States to survive a recall effort.
In 2014, Walker defeated his Democratic challenger, businesswoman and Madison School Board member Mary Burke. Walker was briefly a candidate for his party's presidential nomination in the 2016 election. Walker sought a third term as governor in 2018, but was defeated by Democratic challenger Tony Evers.Tony Shalhoub
Anthony Marcus Shalhoub ( shə-LOOB; born October 9, 1953) is an American actor.
His television work includes Antonio Scarpacci in NBC sitcom Wings and detective Adrian Monk in the USA TV series Monk, for which he has won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy, two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series and three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
He has also had a successful film career as a character actor, with roles in films such as Barton Fink (1991), Big Night (1996), Men in Black (1997), The Siege (1998), Galaxy Quest (1999), Spy Kids (2001), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Cars (2006), 1408 (2007), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014).
For his work on the Broadway stage, Shalhoub has received four Tony nominations, his first for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Conversations with My Father in 1992. His subsequent nominations included Golden Boy (2013) and Act One (2014), before winning the 2018 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Tewfiq Zakaria in The Band's Visit. Shalhoub currently plays Abe Weissman, the father of the title character, on Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison (also known as University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, UW, regionally as UW–Madison, or simply Madison) is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) main campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. The University also owns and operates a historic 1,200-acre (486 ha) arboretum established in 1932, located 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the main campus.UW–Madison is organized into 20 schools and colleges, which enrolled 30,361 undergraduate and 14,052 graduate students in 2018. Its comprehensive academic program offers 136 undergraduate majors, along with 148 master's degree programs and 120 doctoral programs. A major contributor to Wisconsin's economy, the University is the largest employer in the state, with over 21,600 faculty and staff.The UW is one of America's Public Ivy universities, which refers to top public universities in the United States capable of providing a collegiate experience comparable with the Ivy League. UW–Madison is also categorized as a Doctoral University with the Highest Research Activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In 2012, it had research expenditures of more than $1.1 billion, the third highest among universities in the country. Wisconsin is a founding member of the Association of American Universities. As of October 2018, 25 Nobel laureates and 2 Fields medalists have been associated with UW–Madison as alumni, faculty, or researchers. Additionally, as of November 2018, the current CEOs of 14 Fortune 500 companies have attended UW–Madison, the most of any university in the United States.Among the scientific advances made at UW–Madison are the single-grain experiment (which marked the birth of modern nutrition science), the discovery of vitamins A and B by Elmer McCollum and Marguerite Davis, the development of the anticoagulant medication warfarin by Karl Paul Link, the first chemical synthesis of a gene by Har Gobind Khorana, the discovery of the retroviral enzyme reverse transcriptase by Howard Temin, and the first synthesis of human embryonic stem cells by James Thomson. UW–Madison professor Aldo Leopold played an important role in the development of modern environmental science and conservationism, articulating his philosophy of a "land ethic" in his influential book A Sand County Almanac.The Wisconsin Badgers compete in 25 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference and have won 28 national championships. Wisconsin students and alumni have won 50 Olympic medals (13 gold, 24 silver, and 13 bronze).Wisconsin State Assembly
The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature. Together with the smaller Wisconsin Senate, the two constitute the legislative branch of the U.S. state of Wisconsin.
Representatives are elected for two-year terms, elected during the fall elections. If a vacancy occurs in an Assembly seat between elections, it may be filled only by a special election.
The Wisconsin Constitution limits the size of the State Assembly to between 54 and 100 members inclusive. Since 1973, the state has been divided into 99 Assembly districts apportioned amongst the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 99 representatives. From 1848 to 1853 there were 66 assembly districts; from 1854 to 1856, 82 districts; from 1857 to 1861, 97 districts; and from 1862 to 1972, 100 districts. The size of the Wisconsin State Senate is tied to the size of the Assembly; it must be between one-fourth and one-third the size of the Assembly. Presently, the Senate has 33 members, with each Senate district formed by combining three neighboring Assembly districts.
The Assembly chamber is located in the west wing of the Wisconsin State Capitol building, in Madison, Wisconsin.