Observatory Hill to Lake Mendota in nine seconds? That’s one way to beat the long, cold winter days on campus. Thrilling!

UW Tobogan Run, c. 1911.Launch site located (approximately) between the current site of Washburn Observatory ® and the La Follette School for Public Affairs building (L).

Image #S07723 and #S07722.

For more information about UW-Madison campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

The Right Stuff!

March 1, 1966. Upon their arrival at Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr. (Capt. USN) and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton entertained question from local and state press at news conference in the Base Operations Hangar. Some three to four-hundred spectators were present. Lovell attended UW-Madison for two years before transferring to and graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952. 

Left to Right: Fred Harrington, president of the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Governor Warren P. Knowles, Lovell, Slayton, Major General Frederick R. Terrell, commander of the 30th Air Division (ADC), Truax, and Otto Festge, Mayor of Madison. 

Image #S12817 (Acc 1985/054). 


For more information about Lovell and Slayton’s 1966 visit to Wisconsin and UW-Madison, or campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!


Advertisements from Wisconsin city directories, 1857-1921.

  1. Brigham and Co’s Fond du Lac Directory for 1857-58, Fond du Lac Public Library
  2. Madison City Directory and Business Advertiser for 1871-2, Madison Public Library
  3. Wright’s Directory of Appleton for 1887-88, Appleton Public Library
  4. Eau Claire City Directory 1899-1900L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire
  5. Wisconsin Rapids Directory, 1921, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids

see more: http://recollectionwisconsin.org/stories-from-city-directories

Celebrating the first Earth Day, Milwaukee, 1970.

Earth Day, formally called the “National Environmental Teach-In,” was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, events for the first Earth Day included a speech from Senator Nelson and a performance by local rock group The Ox.  Photo for the Milwaukee Journal, April 22, 1970.

via: Remember When… Collection, Milwaukee Public Library

read more: Earth Day 1970–Mass Movement Begins,” Gaylord Nelson Newsletter, May 1970. Turning Points in Wisconsin History, Wisconsin Historical Society.

Spencer Tracy with commander and crew of the submarine Icefish, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 1944.

On this day in 1900, the actor Spencer Tracy was born in Milwaukee. He went on to star in dozens of films, including Adam’s RibFather of the Bride, and Inherit the Wind. In this photo, naval officers and crew present Tracy with a model of the Icefish, one of 28 submarines built by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company during World War II.

via: Manitowoc County Historical Society by way of University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

Vandalized Gay Liberation sculpture, Orton Park, Madison, Wisconsin, 1987.

A section of George Segal’s public art work, Gay Liberation Monument, after being vandalized with paint. Segal’s iconic cast-bronze sculpture depicting two same-sex couples was installed in Madison in 1986. Some residents vandalized the work, while others embraced it, dressing the figures in scarves and hats during winter and keeping watch to thwart vandals on Halloween night.

In 1991, after a lengthy approval process by New York City officials, the sculpture was transferred to its originally intended location: Sheridan Park in New York’s Greenwich Village, near the site of the 1969 Stonewall riots that marked the start of the gay liberation movement. 

via: The UW-Madison Collection, UW-Madison Archives by way of University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

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