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Great Depression

Long shot of a group of men working on power lines in the middle of a road. Three men stand on top of their vehicles focused on crisscrossing electrical cables. One man aims a large pair of shears at the wire. An electrical pole stands between them with its sturdy body tilted from centre to the right front of this image. Some men in suits and hats are watching them from below.
The 1930s were a volatile decade in Milwaukee. The Great Depression that gripped United States had a dramatic impact on the city, throwing thousands of Milwaukeeans into poverty, creating tensions that sometimes turned violent, and producing an intense crime wave that shocked the city. The first signs of the Great Depression began with the crash… Read More

Indigenous Milwaukee in the Age of Empire

A drawing illustrates several Indigenous people harvesting wild rice by canoe in a body of water. Three people sit on a canoe. One on the left holds a paddle's shaft with its tip in the water. Two on the right knock the grain into the canoe with smaller paddles. Lush and tall wild rice plants with feathery flowers on its top grows next to them. Other people harvesting in canoes are visible in the far distance.
Milwaukee is Indigenous land. The word Milwaukee comes from the Anishinaabemowin word minowakiing, meaning “good earth.” Anishinaabemowin is the language of the Anishinaabeg or Three Fires Confederacy made up of the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi whose villages dotted Lake Michigan’s coast and whose presence is still felt throughout Wisconsin today. The word referred to a… Read More

Wartime Milwaukee

Grayscale wide shot of a crowd of children accompanied by women marching down Lincoln Avenue. Many children carry American stick flags. Some marchers carry signs urging the purchase of war bonds. Buildings and utility poles line the street side in the background.
The United States has fought three major wars since Milwaukee became a city. Milwaukee’s wartime history reflects its evolution from a frontier town to an industrial center, highlights the city’s changing political priorities and gender roles, and provides a case study of the stresses and strains war has put on American cities since the mid-nineteenth… Read More