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5 Fun Facts About December 18 In Wisconsin History

---Learn Every Day: WI Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history wi To: 618-270-4005---

1. Wisconsin became a state: On December 18th, 1848, Wisconsin officially became the 30th state to join the Union. Prior to statehood, the Wisconsin Territory had been established in 1836 and included all of modern-day Wisconsin, as well as parts of Minnesota and Michigan.

2. The first Wisconsin state capitol building burned down: On December 18th, 1904, the first Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison was destroyed by fire. The building had been completed in 1838 and served as the seat of Wisconsin state government until 1906, when the current capitol building was completed.

3. Wisconsin's first radio station went on the air: On December 18th, 1922, Wisconsin's first radio station, WHA in Madison, began broadcasting. The station was operated by the University of Wisconsin and initially only broadcast for a few hours each day.

4. A prominent Wisconsin politician was born: On December 18th, 1908, Wilbur J. Cohen was born in Milwaukee. Cohen served as a top official in the Social Security Administration under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and was instrumental in expanding Social Security and Medicare.

5. A tragedy occurred at a Wisconsin brewery: On December 18th, 1959, a huge explosion occurred at the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee, killing seven people and injuring dozens more. The explosion was caused by the ignition of natural gas that had leaked into the brewery's cellar.
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