Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History

Spring 2024, Volume 107, Number 3

Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History | Wisconsin Historical Society


EnlargeThe words Wisconsin magazine of history is written at the top in lavender, outlining 5 Potawatomi women and children.

Cover Photo

A Potawatomi family outside their home at Skunk Hill, near Arpin, Wisconsin, ca. 1920. In this issue, Skunk Hill descendant Zibiquah Denny (Potowatomi and Ho-Chunk) explores the heritage of this ceremonial community in a memoir about the day she received her name.

Featured Story

The Naming

By Zibiquah Denny

In this first-person memoir, Zibiquah Denny (Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk) remembers the year she was given a name by her grandfather, a descendent of the ceremonial community of Skunk Hill in central Wisconsin, during a springtime Drum Dance in Wisconsin Rapids. The secrecy surrounding both the ceremony and her new name, which she is encouraged to keep from outsiders, leads to eventual understanding and renewed pride when she learns about the history of Skunk Hill and the repression of Native religion many years later.

EnlargeA student sitting in front of a microphone in the fledgling radio station

MSOE on-air talent student workers

WSOE provided students the opportunity to serve as DJs and engineers for the fledgling radio station.

Engineering Music History: MSOE and the Evolution of Alternative Music in Milwaukee

By Michael H. Carriere

In the last decades of the twentieth century, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) came to play a vital role in the evolution of the city’s alternative music scene. At MSOE, the Todd Wehr Auditorium provided a venue for acts from across the country, while WMSE, the student-led campus radio station, promoted shows and introduced listeners to acts that would play the Todd Wehr. These developments came at a timely moment in the history of alternative music in Milwaukee, as a series of venues that catered to this genre had shut their doors by the early 1990s. At the same time, a new assortment of media outlets—including WMSE (“Messy Radio”) and a handful of fanzines—emerged to promote shows at Todd Wehr Auditorium and in some cases put on the shows themselves. Even after the Todd Wehr closed in 2022, its legacy endures as WMSE continues to shape the evolution of alternative music in Milwaukee well into the twenty-first century.

EnlargeAn outline is drawn on a map below the Wisconsin river. Below the map reads The Lead Region After Owens' Geological Chart, 1839; drawn by Mary Stuart Poster

1839 Map of Lead Region

The Lead Region encompassed parts of what we now know as Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Stronger Than Law: Efforts Toward Equality and Black Rights in the Lead Era

By James B. Hibbard

In 1840, despite the prohibition of slavery and forced indenture in the Northwest Territory, at least eighteen people remained illegally enslaved in southwest Wisconsin’s lead mining counties of Crawford, Grant, and Iowa. As one resident put it, “The pro-slavery feeling was … protected by public sentiment which was often stronger than law.” But public sentiment was about to be challenged. In this article, UW-Platteville archivist James Hibbard analyzes historic documents from the era to uncover the efforts of census takers who documented enslaved people, an abolitionist who exposed and publicly shamed local enslavers, and Black plaintiffs who brought civil lawsuits to recover their property in lead mining ventures. Though not all of the efforts to enforce the law were successful, they challenged the acceptance of slavery, promoted the rights of Black individuals, and ultimately shifted public sentiment.

EnlargeThe words Wisconsin for Kennedy are written on a red and blue background in front of a black and white image of Kennedy smiling as snow falls. The bottom right corner reads The Primary that Launched a President and Changed the Course of History

Wisconsin for Kennedy cover

Available now!

Book Excerpt - Wisconsin for Kennedy: The Primary that Launched a President and Changed the Course of History

By B.J. Hollars

In early 1960, John F. Kennedy faced an uncertain path to the Oval Office. So he did something no winning candidate had done before: he leveraged the power of state primaries, appealing directly to the people to help clinch his party’s nomination. Wisconsin for Kennedy shares the history-making events of the 1960 Wisconsin primary and how Kennedy’s nail-biting win propelled him all the way to the presidency.  

A subscription to the Wisconsin Magazine of History is a benefit of membership to the Wisconsin Historical Society. The current issue, described above, will become available in the online archives as soon the next issue is published.

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