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5 Fun Facts About January 1 In Wisconsin History

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

1. First Wisconsin Governor Inauguration: On January 1, 1848, Nelson Dewey was inaugurated as the first governor of the newly formed state of Wisconsin. Dewey was a successful businessman and farmer who played a key role in organizing Wisconsin's statehood.

2. First Rose Bowl Game: On January 1, 1953, the University of Wisconsin football team played in the Rose Bowl game for the first time. The Badgers lost to the University of Southern California Trojans, but the game marked a historic moment for Wisconsin athletics.

3. Polar Bear Plunge: Many Wisconsin communities have a tradition of holding a "Polar Bear Plunge" on January 1st, where participants jump into a freezing cold lake to mark the start of the new year. The tradition began in Milwaukee in 1916, and has since become a popular winter activity across the state.

4. New Year's Day Blizzard: On January 1, 1927, Wisconsin experienced one of its deadliest blizzards in history. The storm brought heavy snow, high winds, and bitterly cold temperatures, resulting in over 50 deaths and widespread damage across the state.

5. First Railroad Across Wisconsin: On January 1, 1870, the first transcontinental railroad line was completed across Wisconsin, connecting the cities of Janesville and Prairie du Chien. The railroad played a crucial role in the development of Wisconsin's economy and transportation infrastructure.
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