America’s Dairyland has a history full of interesting events and people; it’s certainly more than just cheese! That said, we present these 20 interesting facts about the state of Wisconsin:
1 Wisconsin is typically known as "America's Dairyland," but another nickname the state goes by is the "Badger State."
2 Wisconsin has been home to both the first U.S. hydroelectric plant (1882) and the first practical typewriter (1867).
3 The first kindergarten in the United States was formed in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1856 for local German students.
4 Wisconsin is also considered the birthplace of the Republican Party, which was founded in 1854.
5 We owe much of modern music to Wisconsin and its residents. The modern electric guitar was brought into popularity by Wisconsin native Les Paul.
6 Wisconsin gets its name from the Cheppewa Indian word "Ouisconsin." This word means "river that meanders through something red."
7 Wisconsin's state bird is the robin, while its state flower is the wood violet.
8 Although the cheesehead has now become synonymous with the Green Bay Packers, it was actually first introduced at a Milwaukee Brewers game.
9 The famous American doll Barbie is said to hail from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin.
10 Wisconsin is perhaps most famous for its cheese. The state produces more cheese than any other state in the country. In fact, roughly 90% of Wisconsin's milk production is used to make cheese.
11 Wisconsin doesn't only lead in cheese, however. It also leads the country in production of whey, ginseng, sweet corn and cranberries.
12 Wisconsin created some of the first workmen's compensation and unemployment insurance programs in the country.
13 Famous Wisconsin natives include Frank Lloyd Wright, Harry Houdini, Gene Wilder, Orson Welles, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Georgia O'Keefe.
14 Besides agriculture, Wisconsin's leading industries include machinery, beer and paper manufacturing.
15 Wisconsin has lots of natural lakes across the state, many of which were formed by retreating glaciers.
16 The first hydroelectric plant in the country was built on the Fox River in Wisconsin. The plant was built by Thomas Edison in 1882.
17 Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the amendment for women's suffrage. The state also repealed prohibition four years before the rest of the United States followed suit.
18 After the American Revolution, Wisconsin became a U.S. territory until it was admitted into the union in 1848 as the 30th state.
19 Wisconsin was also a pivotal stop on the Underground Railroad leading up to the Civil War, with many slaves heading through the state on their way to Canada.
20 Milwaukee, Wisconsin is known as "Brew City." This is because it was once home to some of the world's leading breweries- Miller, Pabst, Blatz and Schlitz.