The Plot Twist Ending of Black Men’s Suffrage in WI

On April 3rd, 1866, Black men were able to vote in Wisconsin for the first time ever thanks to the work of one Ezekiel Gillespie. In 1865, Gillespie, a Black leader in Milwaukee, attempted to register to vote under the provisions of the 1848 state constitution. Instead, Gillespie was denied the right to register by […]

Vel R. Phillips: Certified Bad A$$

Growing up, we hear a lot about Rosa Parks, but you probably haven’t heard anything about Vel R. Phillips. Phillips was the first woman, first Black person, and/or first Black woman to graduate from UW-Madison Law School (1951, first Black woman), serve in Milwaukee’s Common Council (1956, first woman and first Black person), become a […]

Wisconsin History: The First Public School

Do you pay tax dollars to support public schools?  You can thank Micahel Frank for that.  Father of Wisconsin’s Free-School System After several failed attempts to pass legislation to establish a free public school, lawmaker Michael Frank finally found success passing an 1845 bill to create a free school in Southport (current day Kenosha). After […]