2005: Last Ford Thunderbirdproduced
Ford began its development of the Thunderbird in the years following World War II, during which American servicemen had the opportunity to observe sleek European sports cars. General Motors built the first American sports car: the Chevrolet Corvette, released in 1953. The undeniably sleek Corvette’s initial engine performance was relatively underwhelming, but it was gaining lots of attention from the press and public, and Ford was motivated to respond, rushing the Thunderbird to the market in 1955. The 1955 Thunderbird was an immediate hit, selling more than 14,000 that year (compared to just 700 Corvettes). The success of the Thunderbird led Chevrolet to continue production of (and improve upon) the Corvette, which soon became a tough competitor in the sports car market. Read more at History.com
CIVIL WAR The Battle of Gettysburg begins, 1863
COLD WAR “Mr. X” article appears in Foreign Affairs, 1947
CRIME Kobe Bryant accuser goes to police, 2003
DISASTER Two planes collide over Germany, 2002
GENERAL INTEREST Canadian Independence Day, 1867
HOLLYWOOD PG-13 rating debuts, 1984
LITERARY George Sand is born,1804
MUSIC The first Sony Walkman goes on sale, 1979
OLD WEST Gunfighter Clay Allison killed, 1887
PRESIDENTIAL Dwight D. Eisenhower marries “his Mamie”,1916
On This Day In Wisconsin History
1836 – Increase Allen Lapham Comes to Milwaukee
On this date scientist Increase Allen Lapham arrived in Milwaukee. By 1844 he had published Wisconsin’s first book, A Geographical and Topographical, Description of Wisconsin. He was a founder of the Milwaukee Female College, which later became Milwaukee Downer College; a charter member of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and a founder of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Toward the end of his life, he was Wisconsin State Geologist. He also was the most influential advocate of the weather bureau in the 1870′s.
1838 – First Known Norwegian Settler in Wisconsin
On this date Ole Knutson Nattestad came to Clinton Township in Rock Co. A native of Numedal, he first came to America in 1837 with his brother. [Source:History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride, p. 116]
1852 – First Advertisement for Best and Company
On this date the first print advertisement for Milwaukee’s Best and Company brewery appeared in the Wisconsin Banner, a German newspaper published in the same city. Philip Best later became a founder of the Pabst Brewery and was an influential individual in Milwaukee brewing history. [Source: American Breweriana Association]
1863 – (Civil War) Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, begins
Gettysburg is considered the most famous Civil War battle and a crucial turning point for Union forces. On the morning of July 1, the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry was the first to engage with Confederate troops. It immediately lost nearly one-third of its men. Among them was Colonel Lucius Fairchild, whose left arm had to be amputated. The Iron Brigade (including the 2nd, 6th, 7th Wisconsin Infantry regiments), the 3rd, 5th, and 26th Wisconsin Infantry regiments, and the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters, Company G (Berdan’s Sharpshooters) fought at Gettysburg.
1899 – The Gideons Organize
On this date in Janesville, The Gideons were formally organized. The name of the organization comes from the biblical Book of Judges. Samuel E. Hill was selected its first president. The Gideons distribute Bibles, Psalms and New Testaments to hotels, the armed forces, and young people. View more information elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride, p. 139]
1927 – General Mitchell Field Begins Passenger Service
On this date the first scheduled air passenger service from Mitchell Field in Milwaukee began. Mitchell Field is the main airport in Wisconsin. [Source:History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride, pg. 28]
1934 – Unemployment Insurance Law Implemented
On this date Wisconsin’s new unemployment insurance law was put into practice. The law required employers of more than 10 people to pay 2% of their total payroll to an unemployment compensation fund. General Motors executives immediately debated continuing operations in Wisconsin. [Source:Janesville Gazette]
1959 – Circus World Museum Opens to the Public
On this date Circus World Museum was deeded debt-free to the state and opened to the public as an historical and educational facility. Since its opening in 1959, Circus World Museum has been owned by The Wisconsin Historical Society. Since 1960, the Museum has been operated by a not-for-profit, educational foundation, now known as Circus World Museum Foundation.
1967 – Sale of Oleo Becomes Legal
On this date it became legal to purchase Oleomargarine in Wisconsin. For decades, margarine was considered a contraband spread. Sale of the butter imposter resulted in fines or possible jail terms. Oleomargarine was sold legally in Illinois and frequently smuggled into Wisconsin.
1982 – Wisconsin’s First Female Rabbi
On this date Janesville native Dena Feingold became an assistant rabbi at Congregation Shalom, a Reform congregation in Fox Point. Feingold was the first female rabbi in Wisconsin. [Source: Janesville Gazette]