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America’s Black Holocaust Museum

After closing its physical facility in 2008 due to financial difficulties, America's Black Holocaust Museum debuted a new building location in the Bronzeville neighborhood in 2018.
America’s Black Holocaust Museum is a one-of-its kind institution dedicated to documenting the history of violence against African-Americans. It was founded on Juneteenth Day, 1988, by Dr. James Cameron, who as a teenager in 1930 narrowly escaped being lynched in Marion, Indiana. The museum initially was located at 317 West Wright Street, but later moved… Read More

American Indian Movement

In August 1971, members of the American Indian Movement in Milwaukee occupied an abandoned Coast Guard station along the lakefront, pictured here. It became the first site of the Indian Community School.
On August 14, 1971, Native American activists in Milwaukee staged a takeover of an abandoned Coast Guard station along the lakefront (at 1600 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive). Inspired by the Alcatraz occupation of 1969, these local members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) demanded, according to the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868, that abandoned… Read More

American Motors

An employee works on a nearly-finished automobile at the Nash Motors plant in Kenosha in 1935.
Founded as a furniture manufacturing company, the Seaman Body Corporation gained prominence as a maker of automotive bodies. For nearly seven decades, the Seaman Body factory at Capitol Drive and Richards Street on Milwaukee’s North Side produced bodies for the Nash and American Motors companies. At its height in 1928, the factory employed 6,500 workers.… Read More

American Society for Quality

The May 1950 of the American Society for Quality's publication "Industrial Quality Control" advertises the upcoming ASQ conventions to be held in Milwaukee.
Headquartered in the former Gimbels Department Store building in downtown Milwaukee, the American Society for Quality (known as ASQ) is a professional association for over 75,000 quality assurance and quality control professionals. As of 2016, the Society had 239 sections worldwide and 185 employees. ASQ offers professional certifications, maintains the world’s largest quality-related publisher, and… Read More

Amusement Parks

The Wonderland park in Shorewood featured a "Shoot the Chutes," an attraction where passengers rode a flat-bottomed boat down a flume into a lagoon.
Amusement parks were important commercial leisure institutions in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Milwaukee. The development of such spaces with thrilling rides, midway games, stunt exhibitions, and other spectacles reflected a growing demand for new forms of American mass cultural amusement. The Americanization of Milwaukee’s large working-class immigrant communities found them enjoying local amusement… Read More

Anarchism

This issue of the UWM Post from 1970 features an announcement for an upcoming march and festival  in support of "workers of the world who are trying to overthrow Amerikan imperialism."
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines anarchism as “a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups.” In the early twentieth century, and again in the late 1960s and early 1970s, though little remembered today, advocates of… Read More

Animal-Human Relations

Photograph of two girls sitting on a fence with a horse, dated 1949. The girl on the left holds a small trophy.
Milwaukee’s past includes an inestimable number of nonhuman animals: germs; animals raised in or transported to the city for slaughter; working and service animals; wild, zoo, and laboratory animals; pets; and stray and abandoned domestic animals. The city’s earliest ordinances, passed by 1856, regulated horses, livestock, and dogs as well as soap factories, tanneries, stables,… Read More

Annexation

Published in the Milwaukee Journal in 1956, this political cartoon by Ross Lewis illustrates how Granville's contested status left residents unsure of which municipality they lived in.
Milwaukee’s uniquely jagged borders and large size relative to most Midwestern cities are historical byproducts of its dramatic and often controversial territorial growth. Throughout the city’s history, Milwaukee has grown through two primary means: annexation, which expands a city’s boundaries through the gradual addition of adjacent territory, and consolidation, in which entire municipalities fully merge… Read More

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

Photograph featuring the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee. Completed in 1961, the church was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Greek immigrants began arriving in Milwaukee in significant numbers in the early 1900s. Other ethnicities were larger in number, but the Greeks quickly made their mark on the city forming businesses such as confectioneries, restaurants, and taverns. Some worked in tanneries and breweries; others built railroads and bridges. These Greeks brought with them the faith… Read More

Arab World Fest

2014 marked the final year of Milwaukee's Arab World Fest. Pictured here is the festival's al-souk, or marketplace.
Arabs are an ethnic linguistic group who trace their cultural heritage to one or more of the twenty-two modern Arab nation states. They began to settle in Milwaukee in late nineteenth century and since then have contributed significantly to the cultural, social, economic, and political life of the city and its surrounding regions. The Arab-Syrian… Read More

Architects

Architects employed by the firm of Ferry & Clas work in their Milwaukee office.
Milwaukee’s built environment reflects the ideas of the architects and builders who designed and constructed the area’s commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. The roots of the profession began in the city’s first decade and flourished in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. A proliferation of architectural firms in the twentieth century accounts for Milwaukee’s… Read More

Armenians

Located in South Milwaukee, the Holy Resurrection Armenian Apostolic Church was built in 1961 and remains an important part of Milwaukee's Armenian community.
Armenia is a landlocked nation, located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, bordered by Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran. An independent state since 1991, Armenia was part of the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century. From the end of World War I to 1991, it was a Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. Armenian… Read More

Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital

In 2010, Columbia and St. Mary's Hospitals merged in a new facility near Milwaukee's lake front. The facility is pictured here in 2016, shortly before it was acquired by the Ascension healthcare network.
Columbia St. Mary’s is really the history of two institutions: the Catholic St. Mary’s, Wisconsin’s first hospital, and Columbia, a non-sectarian hospital focused on research and teaching. Their developments reflected the maturation of the health care industry, including the search for cost savings in the 1980s and 90s that brought them together under one roof… Read More

Asian Indians

In 2002, artist Gautam Pal's bronze statue of Mahatma Ghandi was unveiled outside the Milwaukee County Courthouse. The memorial was presented by the Wisconsin Coalition of Asian-Indian Organizations.
Scholars have described Asian Indian immigration to America as the “quiet migration.” Asian Indians began arriving in Milwaukee after the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Asian Indian immigrants usually possessed advanced degrees and became professionals and entrepreneurs after settling in Milwaukee. Milwaukee and Waukesha became home to many of these immigrants due… Read More

Asian Moon Festival

In 1994, the Wisconsin Organization for Asian Americans announced the creation of Asian Moon Festival. Named after the festival in Amy Tan’s children’s book, The Moon Lady, the multi-day celebration took place at the north end of the Henry Maier Festival Grounds and offered visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of Asian cultures through… Read More

Austrians

Illustrated portrait of Joseph Salzmann, a prominent Austrian priest who immigrated to Milwaukee in 1847.
From 1980-2010 about 10,000-15,000 people in the Milwaukee metropolitan area reported Austrian ancestry in the census. This number was quite similar to those who reported an Austrian birthplace in 1940, but quite a bit smaller than the 24,000 who reported their mother’s birthplace as Austria in 1910. The variability in these numbers reflects the assimilation… Read More

Auto Racing

Several drivers race around the corner of a dirt track in 1923, leaving a cloud of dust in their wake.
Since the advent of the automobile, auto racing has been a constant presence in Milwaukee, reflecting the competition and innovation that makes the sport one of the most popular in the world. The Milwaukee Mile, on grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, had been the site of horse racing since 1876… Read More

Bahá’ís

The Baha'i House of Worship located in a suburb outside Chicago is the only Baha'i temple in the United States. Wisconsinites donated to the temple's construction, which took over forty years to complete.
In 1894, Ibrahim Kheiralla, one of the first Bahá’ís in the United States, arrived in Chicago. This Lebanese-born entrepreneur, aided by new converts to the Faith, worked to spread this independent, monotheistic religion. Within five years Bahá’í communities had spread to Southeastern Wisconsin. The Kenosha Bahá’í community, founded in 1898, is the second oldest in… Read More

Banking Industry

Interior image of the Second Ward Savings Bank, originally constructed between 1911 and 1913.
The story of banking in the City of Milwaukee begins in 1836, the year that the Wisconsin Territory separated from Michigan and the year before the economic depression of 1837 caused a national crisis in banking. Newly-established banks across Wisconsin, such as the Bank of Milwaukee, failed as a result of President Andrew Jackson’s “Bank… Read More

Baptists

Many of Milwaukee's early Baptist churches were established within specific ethnic communities. The Polish Baptist Church, pictured here in 1930, was located in Milwaukee's Polish neighborhood on the city's south side.
Baptists were among the earliest faith communities in Milwaukee, holding their first meeting in 1836. As fervent believers in congregational self-determination, Milwaukee’s Baptists have become a diverse and multi-confessional group. In 2010, over 45,000 Baptists worshipped in the greater Milwaukee area as part of at least thirteen denominational bodies. The organizations with the largest number… Read More