Wisconsin

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Posted by r2d2 03/16/2009 @ 06:09

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News headlines
NC, Wisconsin lawmakers pass smoking bans - The Associated Press
RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Beer and cigarettes go together like cows and hay in hard-partying Wisconsin. North Carolina is the country's top tobacco-growing state. Yet bars and restaurants in both states are poised to go smoke-free after their state...
Wisconsin Supreme Court Takes Gay Marriage Case - On Top Magazine
By On Top Magazine Staff The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to review the legality of a 2006 referendum that placed a gay marriage ban in the Wisconsin Constitution, reports WKOW, a Madison ABC affiliate. At issue is whether the referendum...
18 Chrysler dealerships in Wisconsin to close - Chicago Tribune
By DINESH RAMDE | AP Writer MILWAUKEE - Chrysler LLC wants to eliminate 18 Wisconsin dealerships as part of a plan to cut 789 nationwide, a move that dealers say unfairly punishes many viable businesses. In a motion filed Thursday with the US...
Wisconsin moves to expand unemployment program - WXOW.com
(AP) - Thousands more Wisconsin workers will qualify for unemployment benefits under a plan adopted by the state Assembly. The Assembly voted 87-11 Wednesday to qualify those who quit their jobs to relocate with a spouse, to take care of ill relatives...
Wisconsin H1N1 cases top 500 - Wisconsin Radio Network
Dane County has the second highest total with 34 and Waukesha ranks third with 29 cases. The rest of the cases are spread out across 17 other counties. Wisconsin has seen a massive jump in confirmed cases over the past week, ever since the CDC...
Busy Day in Washington for Wisconsin Congressional Reps - Wisconsin Ag Connection
The elected officials serving Wisconsin agriculture at the nation's Capitol were busy on Thursday. Congressmen Dave Obey and Ron Kind voted to include an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act, which now saves crucial funding for FSA loans,...
Wisconsin Energy (WEC) pricewatch Alert Up To 18.04% Return - Market Intelligence Center
Wisconsin Energy (NYSE: WEC) closed yesterday at $37.90. So far the stock has hit a 52-week low of $34.89 and 52-week high of $48.75. Wisconsin Energy stock has been showing support around 36.99 and resistance in the 39.09 range....
News Analysis: Courts grapple with law enforcement's use of GPS ... - Computerworld
Two recent court decisions -- one in New York and the other in Wisconsin -- highlight the continuing struggles that courts around the country are having over law enforcement's use of GPS devices to track an individual's movements....
Wisconsin's new ban will snuff smokers' haven - Pioneer Press
By Andy Rathbun Crossing state lines into Wisconsin has been an option for many Minnesotans dead-set on smoking in bars. But that will change next year under the state's recently passed smoking ban. Gov. Jim Doyle plans to sign the ban, which will make...
Wisconsin Hall of Fame nominees have UW ties - University of Wisconsin Badgers
Several individuals with ties to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletics program will be honored this November when they are inducted into the State of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. The six inductees were announced Thursday at a press...

Wisconsin

Map of the United States with Wisconsin(Waste of a State) highlighted

Wisconsin ( /wɪˈskɒnsɨn/ (help·info)) (French: Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty states in the United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States. It borders two of the five Great Lakes and four U.S. states (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota). Wisconsin's capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee.

The word Wisconsin has its origins in the name given to the Wisconsin River by one of the Algonquian speaking American Indian groups living in the region at the time of European contact. French explorer Jacques Marquette was the first European to reach the Wisconsin River and record its name, arriving in 1673 and calling the river Meskousing in his journal. This spelling was later corrupted to Ouisconsin by other French explorers, and over time this version became the French name for both the Wisconsin River and the surrounding lands. English speakers anglicized the spelling to its modern form when they began to arrive in greater numbers during the early 19th Century. The current spelling was made official by the legislature of Wisconsin Territory in 1845.

In 1634, the Frenchman I'm a douche became the first European to explore what was to become Wisconsin. He founded the colony. During the next 150 years, the area was settled primarily by French fur traders. France then transferred the territory to Britain in 1763. The United States acquired the Wisconsin territory after the Revolution in 1783, but it remained under de facto British control until the War of 1812. The nineteenth century saw settlement by "Yankees" (New Englanders and people from upstate New York), Cornish miners, and German, Scandinavian and Swiss settlers.

Wisconsin, bordered by the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois, as well as Lakes Michigan and Superior, has been part of United States' territory since the end of the American Revolution; the Wisconsin Territory (which included parts of other current states) was formed on July 3, 1836. Wisconsin ratified its constitution on March 13, 1848, and was admitted to the Union on May 29, 1848, as the 30th state.

A border dispute with Michigan was settled by two cases, both Wisconsin v. Michigan, in 1934 and 1935.

Wisconsin's economy was originally based on farming (especially dairy), mining, and lumbering. In the 20th century, tourism became important, and many people living on former farms commuted to jobs elsewhere. Large-scale industrialization began in the late 19th century in the southeast of the state, with the city of Milwaukee as its major center. In recent decades, service industries, especially medicine and education, have become dominant. Wisconsin's landscape, largely shaped by the Wisconsin glaciation of the last Ice Age, makes the state popular for both tourism and many forms of outdoor recreation.

The state is bordered by the Montreal River; Lake Superior and Michigan to the north; by Lake Michigan to the east; by Illinois to the south; and by Iowa and Minnesota to the west. The state's boundaries include the Mississippi River and St. Croix River in the west, and the Menominee River in the northeast. With its location between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, Wisconsin is home to a wide variety of geographical features. The state is divided into five distinct regions. In the north, the Lake Superior Lowland occupies a belt of land along Lake Superior. Just to the south, the Northern Highland has massive mixed hardwood and coniferous forests including the 1.5 million acre (6,000 km²) Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, as well as thousands of glacial lakes, and the state's highest point, Timms Hill. In the middle of the state, the Central Plain has some unique sandstone formations like the Dells of the Wisconsin River in addition to rich farmland. The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands region in the southeast is home to many of Wisconsin's largest cities. In the southwest, the Western Upland is a rugged landscape with a mix of forest and farmland, including many bluffs on the Mississippi River. This region is part of the Driftless Area, which also includes portions of Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. This area was not covered by glaciers during the most recent ice age, the Wisconsin Glaciation.

Overall, 46% of Wisconsin's land area is covered by forest.

The varied landscape of Wisconsin makes the state a popular vacation destination for outdoor recreation. Winter events include skiing, ice fishing and snowmobile derbies. Wisconsin has many lakes of varied size; in fact Wisconsin contains 11,188 square miles (28,977 km²) of water, more than all but three other states (Alaska, Michigan and Florida). The distinctive Door Peninsula, which extends off the eastern coast of the state, contains one of the state's most beautiful tourist destinations, Door County. The area draws thousands of visitors yearly to its quaint villages, seasonal cherry picking, and ever-popular fish boils.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was in the Wisconsin Dells, on July 13, 1936, where it reached 114 °F (46 °C). The lowest temperature ever recorded in Wisconsin was in the village of Couderay, where it reached –55 °F (-48 °C) on both February 2 and February 4, 1996.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2000, Wisconsin had a population of 5,363,675. Wisconsin's population was reported as 6.4% under the age of 5, 25.5% under 18, and 13.1% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.6% of the population.

Since its founding, Wisconsin has been ethnically heterogeneous. Following the period of French fur traders, the next wave of settlers were miners, many of whom were Cornish, who settled the southwest area of the state. The next wave was dominated by "Yankees," migrants from New England and upstate New York; in the early years of statehood, they dominated the state's heavy industry, finance, politics and education. Between 1850 and 1900, large numbers of European immigrants followed them, including Germans, Scandinavians (the largest group being Norwegian), and smaller groups of Belgians, Dutch, Swiss, Finns, Irish, Poles and others. In the 20th century, large numbers of Mexicans and African Americans came, settling mainly in Milwaukee; and after end of the Vietnam War came a new influx of Hmongs.

The five largest ancestry groups in Wisconsin are: German (42.6%), Irish (10.9%), Polish (9.3%), Norwegian (8.5%), English (6.5%). German is the most common ancestry in every county in the state, except Menominee, Trempealeau and Vernon. Wisconsin has the highest percentage of residents of Polish ancestry of any state. The various ethnic groups settled in different areas of the state. Although Germans settled throughout the state, the largest concentration was in Milwaukee. Norwegians settled in lumbering and farming areas in the north and west. Small colonies of Belgians, Swiss, Finns and other groups settled in their particular areas, with Irish and Polish immigrants settling primarily in urban areas. African Americans came to Milwaukee, especially from 1940 on. Menominee County is the only county in the eastern United States with an American Indian majority.

86% of Wisconsin's African American population lives in five cities: Milwaukee, Racine, Madison, Kenosha and Green Bay; Milwaukee itself is home to nearly three-fourths of the state's African Americans. Milwaukee ranks in the top 10 major U.S. cities with the highest number of African Americans per capita. In the Great Lakes region, only Detroit and Cleveland have a higher percentage of African Americans.

33% of Wisconsin's Asian population is Hmong, with significant communities in Milwaukee, Wausau, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Appleton, Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Oshkosh, and Manitowoc.

Numerous ethnic festivals are held throughout Wisconsin to celebrate its heritage. Such festivals include Summerfest, Oktoberfest, German Fest, Festa Italiana, Bastille Days, Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day), Brat(wurst) Days in Sheboygan, Cheese Days in Monroe and Mequon, African World Festival, Indian Summer, Irish Fest and many others.

According to the 2004 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report, Wisconsin’s gross state product was $211.7 billion. The per capita personal income was $32,157 in 2004. Wisconsin's state budget is facing a $652.3 million shortfall.

The economy of Wisconsin is driven by manufacturing, agriculture, and health care. Although manufacturing accounts for a far greater part of the state's income than farming, Wisconsin is often perceived as a farming state.

Wisconsin produces more dairy products than any other state in the United States except California, and leads the nation in cheese production. Wisconsin ranks second behind California in overall production of milk and butter, and it ranks third in per-capita milk production, behind Idaho and Vermont. Based on poll results, a Holstein cow, an ear of corn, and a wheel of cheese were chosen for Wisconsin's 50 State Quarters design. Wisconsin ranks first in the production of corn for silage, cranberries, ginseng, and snap beans for processing. Wisconsin is also a leading producer of oats, potatoes, carrots, tart cherries, maple syrup, and sweet corn for processing.

Given Wisconsin's strong agricultural tradition, it is not surprising that a large part of the state's manufacturing sector deals with food processing. Some well-known food brands produced in Wisconsin include Oscar Mayer, Tombstone frozen pizza, Johnsonville brats, and Usinger's sausage. Kraft Foods alone employs over 5,000 people in the state. Milwaukee is a major producer of beer and the site of the headquarters of Miller Brewing Company, the nation's second-largest brewer. At one time, Schlitz, Blatz, and Pabst were cornerstone breweries in Milwaukee. Today, Milwaukee's economy is more diverse with an emphasis on health care. In 2004, four of the city's ten largest employers (including the top two) were part of the health care industry.

Wisconsin is also home to several transportation equipment and machinery manufacturers. Major Wisconsin companies in these categories include the Kohler Company, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls,Seagrave Fire Apparatus, Pierce Manufacturing(fire apparatus), Briggs & Stratton, Miller Electric, Milwaukee Electric Tool Company, Bucyrus International, Super Steel Products Corp., Oshkosh Truck, and Harley-Davidson. Wisconsin also ranks first nationwide in the production of paper products; the lower Fox River from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay has 24 paper mills along its 39 mile (63 km) stretch.

The development and manufacture of health care devices and software is a growing sector of the state's economy with key players such as GE Healthcare, Epic Systems, and TomoTherapy.

Tourism is also a major industry in Wisconsin – the state's third largest, according to the Department of Tourism. This is attributed to the many attractions in the Wisconsin Dells family vacation destination area, which attracts nearly 3 million visitors per year, as well as to the many resorts in northern Wisconsin. Tourist destinations such as the House on the Rock near Spring Green and Circus World Museum in Baraboo also draw thousands of visitors annually, and festivals such as Summerfest and the EAA Oshkosh Airshow draw national attention along with hundreds of thousands of visitors. Door County is a popular destination for boaters because of the large number of natural harbors, bays and ports on the Green Bay and Lake Michigan side of the peninsula that forms the county.

Wisconsin collects personal income tax based on four income-level brackets, which range from 4.6% to 6.75%. The state sales and use tax rate is 5.0%. Fifty-nine counties have an additional sales/use tax of 0.5%. Milwaukee County and four surrounding counties have an additional temporary 0.1% tax which helps fund the Miller Park baseball stadium, which was constructed around the turn of the century. Retailers who make sales subject to applicable county taxes must collect this tax on their retail sales.

The most common property tax assessed on Wisconsin residents is the real property tax, or their residential property tax. Wisconsin does not impose a property tax on vehicles, but does levy an annual registration fee. Property taxes are the most important tax revenue source for Wisconsin's local governments, as well as major methods of funding school districts, vocational technical colleges, special purpose districts and tax incremental finance districts. Equalized values are based on the full market value of all taxable property in the state, except for agricultural land. In order to provide property tax relief for farmers, the value of agricultural land is determined by its value for agricultural uses, rather than for its possible development value. Equalized values are used to distribute state aid payments to counties, municipalities, and technical colleges. Assessments prepared by local assessors are used to distribute the property tax burden within individual municipalities.

Wisconsin does not assess a tax on intangible property. Wisconsin does not collect inheritance taxes. Until January 1, 2008 Wisconsin's estate tax was decoupled from the federal estate tax laws; therefore the state imposed its own estate tax on certain large estates.

There are no toll roads in Wisconsin; highway and road construction and maintenance is paid for from general public revenues.

The capital is Madison.

During the period of the Civil War, Wisconsin was a Republican and pro-Union stronghold. Ethno-religious issues in the late 19th century caused a brief split in the Republican coalition. Through the first half of the 20th century, Wisconsin's politics were dominated by Robert La Follette and his sons, originally of the Republican Party, but later of the revived Progressive Party. Since 1945, the state has maintained a close balance between Republicans and Democrats. Republican Senator Joe McCarthy was a controversial national figure in the early 1950s. Recent leading Republicans include former Governor Tommy Thompson and Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.; prominent Democrats include Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, and Congressman David Obey.

Much of the state's political history involved coalitions among different ethnic groups. The most famous controversy dealt with foreign language teaching in schools. This was fought out in the Bennett Law campaign of 1890, when the Germans switched to the Democratic Party because of the Republican Party's support of the Bennett Law, which led to a major victory for the Democrats.

The cities of Wisconsin have been active in increasing the availability of legislative information on the internet, thereby providing for greater government transparency. Currently three of the five most populous cities in Wisconsin provide their constituents with internet based access of all public records directly from the cities’ databases. Wisconsin cities started to make this a priority after Milwaukee began doing so, on their page, in 2001. One such city, Madison, has been named the Number 1 digital city by the Center for Digital Government in consecutive years. Nearly 18 percent of Wisconsin’s population has the ability to access their municipality’s information in this way.

Wisconsin has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in the last six elections. The urban centers of Milwaukee and Madison tend to vote strongly Democratic. The suburbs of those cities are politically diverse, but tend to vote Republican. Counties in the western part of the state tend to be liberal, a tradition passed down from Scandinavian immigrants. The rural areas in the northern and eastern part of the state are the most solidly Republican areas in Wisconsin.

In the 2008 presidential election, Wisconsin voted for the Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Obama captured 56% of the vote statewide, with the urban centers of Milwaukee and Madison voting strongly Democratic. Bucking the historic trend, Brown County (home to Green Bay) and Outagamie County (home to Appleton) voted for Obama over John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee. In all, McCain captured approximately 42% of the vote statewide and won 13 of the state's 72 counties. Of the counties won by McCain, only a handful were by greater than 55% of the vote (Florence, Green Lake, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha, with Washington County providing his largest single-county percentage victory in the state). In all, Obama was successful in 59 counties, transcending the state's usual east/west and urban/suburban/rural divides.

Wisconsin ranked second in voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election, behind Minnesota.

The last election in which Wisconsin supported a Republican Presidential candidate was in 1984. However, both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were close, with Wisconsin receiving heavy doses of national advertising because it was a "swing," or pivot, state. Al Gore carried the presidential vote in 2000 by only 5,700 votes, and John Kerry won Wisconsin in 2004 by 11,000 votes. However, in 2008, Barack Obama carried the state by 381,000 votes and with 56%. Republicans had a stronghold in the Fox Valley but elected a Democrat, Steve Kagen, of Appleton, for the 8th Congressional District in 2006. Republicans have held Waukesha County. The City of Milwaukee heads the list of Wisconsin's Democratic strongholds, which also includes Madison and the state's Native American reservations. Wisconsin's largest Congressional district, the 7th, has been a Democratic stronghold since 1969. Its representative, David Obey, chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

In 2006, Democrats gained in a national sweep of opposition to the Bush administration, and the Iraq War. The retiring GOP 8th District Congressman, Mark Green, of Green Bay, ran against the incumbent Governor Jim Doyle. Green lost by 8% statewide, making Doyle the first Democratic Governor to be re-elected in 32 years. The Republicans lost control of the state Senate. Although Democrats gained eight seats in the state Assembly, Republicans retained a five vote majority in that house. In 2008, Democrats regained control of the State Assembly by a 52-46 margin, marking the first time since 1987 the both the governor and state legislature were both Democratic.

Wisconsin's self-promotion as "America's Dairyland" sometimes leads to a mistaken impression that it is an exclusively rural state. However, Wisconsin contains cities and towns of all sizes. Over 68% of Wisconsin residents live in urban areas, with the Greater Milwaukee area home to roughly one-third of the state's population. Milwaukee is at the northern edge of an urban area bordering Lake Michigan that stretches southward into greater Chicago and northwestern Indiana, with a population of over 11 million. With over 602,000 residents Milwaukee proper is the 22nd-largest city in the country. The string of cities along the western edge of Lake Michigan is generally considered to be an example of a megalopolis. Madison's dual identity as state capital and college town gives it a cultural richness unusual in a city its size. With a population of around 220,000, Madison is also a very fast-growing city. Madison's suburb, Middleton, was also ranked the "Best Place to Live in America" in 2007 by Money Magazine. Medium-size cities dot the state and anchor a network of working farms surrounding them. As of 2007, there were 12 cities in Wisconsin with a population of 50,000 or more. Cities and villages are incorporated urban areas in Wisconsin. Towns are unincorporated minor civil divisions of counties.

Wisconsin, along with Minnesota and Michigan, was among the Midwestern leaders in the emergent American state university movement following the Civil War in the United States. By the turn of the century, education in the state advocated the "Wisconsin Idea," which emphasized for service to the people of the state. The "Wisconsin Idea" exemplified the Progressive movement within colleges and universities at the time. Today, public education in Wisconsin includes both the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System, headquartered in Madison, and the 16-campus Wisconsin Technical College System which coordinates with the University of Wisconsin. Notable private colleges and universities include Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Medical College of Wisconsin, Concordia University Wisconsin, Edgewood College, Beloit College, and Lawrence University, among others. Elementary, middle and high school education are mandatory by law.

Wisconsin has more country music festivals than any other state, including Miller Lite Presents Country Fest, Bud Light Presents Country Jam USA, the Coors Hodag Country Festival, Country Thunder USA in Twin Lakes, and the ever-popular Ford Presents Country USA.

The state's largest city, Milwaukee, also hosts "The World's Largest Music Festival," Summerfest, every year. This festival is held at the lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park just south of downtown.

Wisconsin is represented by major league teams in three sports: football, baseball, and basketball. Lambeau Field, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin is home to the National Football League's Green Bay Packers. The Packers have been part of the NFL since the league's second season in 1921 and currently hold the record for the most NFL titles, earning the city of Green Bay the self-given nickname "Titletown". The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful small-market professional sports franchises in the world and have won 12 NFL championships, including the first two AFL-NFL Championship games (Super Bowls I and II) and Super Bowl XXXI. The city fully supports their team, as evidenced by the 60,000 person waiting list for season tickets to Lambeau Field, which is referred to as the "frozen tundra" and is considered by many football enthusiasts to be "hallowed ground." The Milwaukee Brewers, the state's major league baseball team, are based out of Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Before Miller Park was opened in 2001, the Brewers played their home games at Milwaukee County Stadium. In 1982, the Brewers won the American League Championship, marking their most successful season. The Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association play home games at the Bradley Center. The Bucks won the NBA Championship in 1971. The state also has minor league teams in hockey (Milwaukee Admirals) and baseball (the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, based in Appleton and the Beloit Snappers of the Class A minor leagues). Wisconsin is also home to the Madison Mallards, La Crosse Loggers, Eau Claire Express, Green Bay Bullfrogs, and Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League, a collegiate all-star summer league.

In addition to professional teams, Wisconsin is home to many successful college sports programs. The Wisconsin Badgers, teams based out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, hold many NCAA division championship titles in their respective sports. This includes a historic dual-championship in 2006 when both the women's and men's hockey teams won national titles. The Wisconsin football team has also seen much success after the hiring of Barry Alvarez as head coach. Alvarez led the Badgers to three Rose Bowl victories, including back to back victories in the years 1999 and 2000. The Badgers football program, playing at Camp Randall Stadium, enjoys similar loyalty to the Packers; both teams are known to sell out their entire schedules far in advance. The Wisconsin Badger men's basketball team has also seen success over the past decade, with a trip to college basketball's Final Four in 2000.

The Marquette Golden Eagles of the Big East Conference are the state's other major collegiate program. They are known nationally for their Men's Basketball team which, under the direction of Al McGuire, won the NCAA National Championship in 1977. The team, led by Dwyane Wade, returned to the Final Four in 2003.

The USS Wisconsin was named in honor of this state.

Known as "America's Dairyland," Wisconsin is well known for cheese. Citizens of Wisconsin are referred to as Wisconsinites, although a common nickname (sometimes used pejoratively) among non-residents is "Cheeseheads." This is due to the prevalence and quality of cheesemaking in the state, and for the novelty hats made of yellow foam in the shape of a triangular block of cheese. Cheese curds are an extremely popular treat, exported as gifts throughout the country. The state is also known for its alcohol production and consumption, and it is historically home to a large number of breweries and bars per capita. A lesser known, but still significant nickname for Wisconsin is "The Copper State," referring to the copper mines in the northwestern part of the state.

Wisconsin is very popular for outdoor activities especially hunting and fishing. One of the most popular game animals is the Whitetail deer. In 2008, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported the pre-hunt deer population projection to be about 1.5 - 1.7 million. Each year in Wisconsin, well over 600,000 deer hunting licenses are sold. Visitors to Wisconsin during the Thanksgiving holiday will see many hunters in rural areas wearing blaze orange gear for Wisconsin's gun-deer hunting season.

The Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is known for its interesting architecture. The Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens cover over 200 acres (800,000 m²) of land on the far west side of the city. Madison is home to the Vilas Zoo which is free for all visitors, and the Olbrich Gardens conservatory, as well as the hub of cultural activity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is also known for Monona Terrace, a convention center that was designed by Taliesin Architect Anthony Puttnam, based loosely on a 1930s design by Frank Lloyd Wright, a world-renowned architect and Wisconsin native who was born in Richland Center. Wright's home and studio in the 20th century was at Taliesin, south of Spring Green. Decades after Wright's death, Taliesin remains an architectural office and school for his followers.

Wisconsin has sister-state relationships with the Germany's Hesse, Japan's Chiba Prefecture, Mexico's Jalisco, China's Heilongjiang, and Nicaragua.

The shape of the Wisconsin along with the Door County peninsula, have lead many of its residents to refer the state in the shape of a hand, often pointing on their hand to someone unfamiliar with certain locations.

Langlade has a unique soil that is rarely found outside of the county called Antigo Silt Loam.

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USS Wisconsin (BB-64)

USS Wisconsin (BB-64) coat of arms.jpg

USS Wisconsin (BB-64) ("Wisky" or "WisKy") is an Iowa-class battleship, the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. She was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and launched on 7 December 1943, sponsored by the wife of Governor of Wisconsin, Walter Goodland. launched on the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid.

During her career, Wisconsin served in the Pacific Theater of World War II, where she shelled Japanese fortifications during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and screened United States aircraft carriers as they conducted air raids against enemy positions. During the Korean War, Wisconsin shelled North Korean targets in support of United Nations and South Korean ground operations, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "mothball fleet." She was reactivated 1 August 1986 and modernized as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and participated in the 1991 Gulf War.

Wisconsin was last decommissioned in September 1991, having earned a total of six battle stars for service in World War II and Korea, as well as a Navy Unit Commendation for service during the 1991 Gulf War. She currently functions as a museum ship operated by the Hampton Roads Naval Museum at Nauticus, The National Maritime Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Wisconsin was struck from the Naval Vessel Register (NVR) 17 March 2006, and is currently awaiting donation for permanent use as a museum ship.

Wisconsin was one of the "fast battleship" designs planned in 1938 by the Preliminary Design Branch at the Bureau of Construction and Repair. She was the third of four completed ships of the Iowa class of battleships. Her keel was laid down on 25 January 1941, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She was launched on 7 December 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Goodland, wife of Walter S. Goodland, the Governor of Wisconsin, and commissioned on 16 April 1944, with Captain Earl E. Stone in command.

Wisconsin’s main battery consisted of nine 16 inch (406 mm)/50 caliber Mark 7 naval guns, which could hurl 2,700 lb (1,200 kg) armor piercing shells some 20 miles (32 km). Her secondary battery consisted of twenty 5 inch (127 mm)/38 caliber guns in ten twin turrets, which could fire at targets up to 9 miles (14 km) away. With the advent of air power and the need to gain and maintain air superiority came a need to protect the growing fleet of allied aircraft carriers; to this end, Wisconsin was fitted with an array of Oerlikon 20 mm and Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns to defend allied carriers from enemy airstrikes. When reactivated in 1986 Wisconsin had her 20 mm and 40 mm AA guns removed, and was outfitted with Phalanx CIWS mounts for protection against enemy missiles and aircraft, and Armored Box Launchers and Quad Cell Launchers designed to fire Tomahawk missiles and Harpoon missiles, respectively.

Although Wisconsin (BB-64) is numerically the highest numbered US battleship built, she was completed before USS Missouri (BB-63).

After the ship's trials and initial training in the Chesapeake Bay, Wisconsin departed Norfolk, Virginia, on 7 July 1944, bound for the British West Indies. Following her shakedown cruise (conducted out of Trinidad) she returned to the builder's yard for alterations and repairs.

On 24 September 1944 Wisconsin sailed for the west coast, transiting the Panama Canal, and reporting for duty with the Pacific Fleet on 2 October. The battleship later moved to Hawaiian waters for training exercises and then headed for the Western Caroline Islands. Upon reaching the Caroline Island Ulithi she joined U.S. Navy Admiral William F. Halsey's Third Fleet on 9 December 1944.

Due to the length of time it took to build, Wisconsin missed much of the initial thrust into Japanese-held territory, having arrived at a time when the reconquest of the Philippines was well underway. As a part of that movement, the planners had envisioned landings on the southwest coast of Mindoro, south of Luzon. From that point, American forces could threaten Japanese shipping lanes through the South China Sea. In preparation for the coming invasion of Mindoro, Wisconsin was assigned to protect the Third Fleet's Fast Carrier Task Force (TF) 38, as they conducted air raids at Manila to soften up Japanese positions.

On 18 December 1944 the ships of Task Force 38 unexpectedly found themselves in a fight for their lives when Typhoon Cobra overtook the force— seven fleet and six light carriers, eight battleships, 15 cruisers, and about 50 destroyers— during their attempt to refuel at sea. At the time the ships were operating about 300 miles (500 km) east of Luzon in the Philippine Sea. The carriers had just completed three days of heavy raids against Japanese airfields, suppressing enemy aircraft during the American amphibious operations against Mindoro in the Philippines. The task force rendezvoused with Captain Jasper T. Acuff and his fueling group 17 December with the intention of refueling all ships in the task force and replacing lost aircraft. Although the sea had been growing rougher all day, the nearby cyclonic disturbance gave relatively little warning of its approach. On 18 December, the small but violent typhoon overtook the Task Force while many of the ships were attempting to refuel. Many of the ships were caught near the center of the storm and buffeted by extreme seas and hurricane force winds. Three destroyers, Hull (DD-350), Monaghan (DD-354), and Spence (DD-512), capsized and sank with nearly all hands, while a cruiser, five aircraft carriers, and three destroyers suffered serious damage. Approximately 790 officers and men were lost or killed, with another 80 injured. Fires occurred in three carriers when planes broke loose in their hangars and some 146 planes on various ships were lost or damaged beyond economical repair by fires, impact damage, or by being swept overboard. Wisconsin reported two injured sailors as a result of the typhoon, but otherwise proved her seaworthiness as she escaped the storm unscathed.

Wisconsin’s next operation was to assist with the occupation of Luzon. Bypassing the southern beaches, American amphibious forces went ashore at Lingayen Gulf, the scene of initial Japanese assaults to take Luzon nearly three years before.

Wisconsin, armed with heavy anti-aircraft batteries, performed escort duty for TF 38's fast carriers during air strikes against Formosa, Luzon, and the Nansei Shoto to neutralize Japanese forces there and to cover the unfolding Allied Lingayen Gulf operations. Those strikes, lasting from 3 January to 22 January 1945, included a thrust into the South China Sea, in the hope that major units of the Imperial Japanese Navy could be drawn into battle.

Wisconsin’s carrier group launched air strikes between Saigon and Camranh Bay, French Indochina, on 12 January 1945, resulting in severe losses for the enemy. TF 38's warplanes sank 41 ships and heavily damaged docks, storage areas, and aircraft facilities. Formosa, already struck on 3 January and 4 January, was raided again on 9 January, 15 January, and 21 January. Throughout January Wisconsin shielded the carriers as they conducted air raids at Hong Kong, Canton, Hainan Island, the Canton oil refineries, the Hong Kong Naval Station, and Okinawa.

Wisconsin was assigned to the Fifth Fleet when Admiral Raymond A. Spruance relieved Admiral Halsey as Commander of the Fleet. She moved northward with the redesignated TF 58 as the carriers headed for the Tokyo area. On 16 February 1945, the task force approached the Japanese coast under cover of adverse weather conditions and achieved complete tactical surprise. As a result, Wisconsin and the other ships shot down 322 enemy planes and destroyed 177 more on the ground. Japanese shipping, both naval and merchant, also suffered drastically, as did hangars and aircraft installations.

Wisconsin and the task force moved to Iwo Jima on 17 February 1945 to provide direct support for the landings slated to take place on 19 February. They revisited Tokyo on 25 February and hit the island of Hachino off the coast of Honshū the next day, resulting in heavy damage to ground facilities; additionally, American planes sank five small vessels and destroyed 158 planes.

Wisconsin’s task force stood out of Ulithi on 14 March 1945 bound for Japan. The mission of that group was to eliminate airborne resistance from the Japanese homeland to American forces off Okinawa. Enemy fleet units at Kure and Kobe, on southern Honshū, reeled under the impact of the explosive blows delivered by TF 58's airmen. On 18 March and 19 March, from a point 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Kyūshū, TF 58 hit enemy airfields on that island; unfortunately, allied anti-aircraft fire on 19 March failed to stop an attack on the carrier Franklin (CV-13). That afternoon, Wisconsin and the task force retired from Kyūshū, screening the blazing and battered flattop, and shooting down 48 attackers.

On 24 March 1945, Wisconsin trained her 16 inch (406 mm) guns on targets ashore on Okinawa. Together with the other battle-wagons of the task force, she pounded Japanese positions and installations in preparation for the landings. Japanese resistance, while fierce, was doomed to failure by dwindling numbers of aircraft and trained pilots.

While TF 58's planes were dealing with Yamato and her escorts, enemy aircraft attacked the American surface units. Combat air patrols (CAP) shot down 15 enemy planes, and ships' gunfire shot down another three, but not before one Kamikaze attack penetrated the CAP and screen to crash on the flight deck of the fleet carrier Hancock (CV-19). On 11 April 1945 the Japanese renewed their Kamikaze attacks; and only drastic maneuvers and heavy barrages of gunfire saved the task force. Combat air patrols shot down 17 planes, and ships' gunfire shot down 12. The next day, 151 enemy aircraft attacked TF 58, but Wisconsin, together with other units of the screens for the vital carriers, kept the Kamikaze pilots at bay and destroyed them before they could reach their targets. Over the days that ensued Japanese suicide attacks managed to crash into three carriers — Intrepid (CV-11), Bunker Hill (CV-17) and Enterprise (CV-6) — on successive days.

By 4 June 1945 a typhoon was swirling through the Fleet. Wisconsin rode out the storm unscathed, but three cruisers, two carriers, and a destroyer suffered serious damage. Offensive operations were resumed on 8 June with a final aerial assault on Kyūshū. Japanese aerial response was virtually nonexistent; 29 planes were located and destroyed. On that day, one of Wisconsin’s float-planes landed and rescued a downed pilot from the carrier Shangri-La (CV-38).

Wisconsin ultimately put into Leyte Gulf and dropped anchor there on 13 June 1945 for repairs and replenishment. Three weeks later, on 1 July, the battleship and her escorts sailed once more for Japanese home waters for carrier air strikes on the enemy's heartland. Nine days later, carrier planes from TF 38 destroyed 72 enemy aircraft on the ground and smashed industrial sites in the Tokyo area. Wisconsin and the other ships made no attempt whatsoever to conceal the location of their armada, due in large part to a weak Japanese response to their presence.

On 16 July 1945, Wisconsin fired the 16 inch (406 mm) guns at the steel mills and oil refineries at Muroran, Hokkaido. Two days later, she wrecked industrial facilities in the Hitachi Miro area, on the coast of Honshū-, northeast of Tokyo itself. During that bombardment, British battleships of the British Pacific Fleet contributed their heavy shellfire. By that point in the war, Allied warships such as Wisconsin were able to shell the Japanese homeland almost at will.

Task Force 38's planes subsequently blasted the Japanese naval base at Yokosuka, and put the former fleet flagship Nagato out of action, one of the two remaining Japanese battleships. Throughout July and into August Admiral Halsey's airmen visited destruction upon the Japanese, the last instance being against Tokyo on 13 August 1945. Two days later, the Japanese surrendered, ending World War II.

Wisconsin, as part of the occupying force, arrived at Tokyo Bay on 5 September 1945, three days after the formal surrender occurred on board the battleship Missouri (BB-63). During Wisconsin’s brief career in World War II she had steamed 105,831 miles (170,318 km) since commissioning; had shot down three enemy planes; had claimed assists on four occasions; and had fueled her screening destroyers on some 250 occasions.

Shifting subsequently to Okinawa, the battleship embarked homeward-bound GIs on 22 September 1945, as part of Operation Magic Carpet staged to bring soldiers, sailors, and marines home from the far-flung battlefronts of the Pacific. Departing Okinawa on 23 September, Wisconsin reached Pearl Harbor on 4 October 1945, remaining there for five days before she pushed on for the west coast on the last leg of her state-side bound voyage. She reached San Francisco, California, on 15 October.

Heading for the east coast of the United States soon after the start of the new year, 1946, Wisconsin transited the Panama Canal between 11 January and 13 January 1946 and reached Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 18 January. Following a cruise south to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the battleship entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for overhaul. After repairs and alterations that consumed the summer months, Wisconsin sailed for South American waters.

Over the weeks that ensued, the battleship visited Valparaíso, Chile, from 1 November to 6 November 1946; Callao, Peru, from 9 November to 13 November; Balboa, Canal Zone, from 16 November to 20 November; and La Guaira, Venezuela, from 22 November to 26 November, before returning to Norfolk on 2 December 1946.

Wisconsin spent nearly all of 1947 as a training ship, taking naval reservists on two-week cruises throughout the year. Those voyages commenced at Bayonne, New Jersey, and saw visits conducted at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the Panama Canal Zone. While underway at sea, the ship would perform various drills and exercises before the cruise would end where it had started, at Bayonne. During June and July 1947, Wisconsin took United States Naval Academy midshipmen on cruises to northern European waters.

In January 1948, Wisconsin reported to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Norfolk for inactivation. Placed out of commission, in reserve on 1 July 1948, Wisconsin was assigned to the Norfolk group of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Her sojourn in "mothballs," however, was comparatively brief, due to the North Korean invasion of South Korea in late June 1950. Wisconsin was recommissioned on 3 March 1951 with Captain Thomas Burrowes in command. After shakedown training, the revitalized battleship conducted two midshipmen training cruises, taking the officers-to-be to Edinburgh, Scotland; Lisbon, Portugal; Halifax, Nova Scotia; New York City; and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, before she returned to Norfolk. While leaving New York Wisconsin was accidentally grounded on mud flats in New York Harbor, but was freed on 23 August 1951 with no damage to the ship.

Wisconsin departed Norfolk on 25 October 1951, bound for the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal on 29 October and reached Yokosuka, Japan, on 21 November. There, she relieved New Jersey (BB-62) as flagship for Vice Admiral H. M. Martin, Commander, Seventh Fleet.

On 26 November, with Vice Admiral Martin and Rear Admiral F.P. Denebrink, Commander, Service Force, Pacific, embarked, Wisconsin departed Yokosuka for Korean waters to support the fast carrier operations of TF 77. She left the company of the carrier force on 2 December and, screened by the destroyer Wiltsie (DD-716), provided gunfire support for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Corps in the Kasong-Kosong area. After disembarking Admiral Denebrink on 3 December at Kangnung, the battleship resumed station on the Korean "bombline", providing gunfire support for the American 1st Marine Division. Wisconsin’s shelling accounted for a tank, two gun emplacements, and a building. She continued her gunfire support task for the 1st Marine Division and 1st ROK Corps through 6 December, accounting for enemy bunkers, artillery positions, and troop concentrations. On one occasion during that time, the battleship received a request for call-fire support and provided three star-shells for the 1st ROK Corps, illuminating an enemy attack that was consequently repulsed with considerable enemy casualties.

After being relieved on the gunline by the heavy cruiser St. Paul (CA-73) on 6 December, Wisconsin briefly retired from gunfire support duties. She resumed them, however, in the Kasong-Kosong area on 11 December screened by the destroyer Twining (DD-540). The following day, 12 December, saw the embarkation in Wisconsin of Rear Admiral H. R. Thurber, Commander, Battleship Division 2. The admiral came on board via helicopter, incident to his inspection trip in the Far East.

Wisconsin continued her naval gunfire support duties on the "bombline," shelling enemy bunkers, command posts, artillery positions, and trench systems through 14 December. She departed the "bombline" on that day to render special gunfire support duties in the Kojo area blasting coastal targets in support of United Nations (UN) troops ashore. That same day, Wisconsin returned to the Kasong-Kosong area. On 15 December, she disembarked Admiral Thurber by helicopter. The next day, Wisconsin departed Korean waters, heading for the Sasebo U.S. Fleet Activities base to rearm.

Returning to the combat zone on 17 December 1951, Wisconsin embarked United States Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan on 18 December. That day, the battleship supported the 11th ROK invasion with night illumination fire that enabled the ROK troops to repulse a North Korean assault with heavy enemy casualties. Departing the "bombline" on 19 December the battleship transferred her distinguished passenger, Senator Ferguson, by helicopter to the carrier Valley Forge (CV-45).

On 20 December Wisconsin participated in a coordinated air-surface bombardment of Wonsan to neutralize pre-selected targets in the Wonson area. The ship shifted its bombardment station to the western end of Wonsan harbor, hitting boats and small craft in the inner swept channel with her 5-in guns during the afternoon. Such activities helped to forestall any attempts to assault the friendly-held islands in the Wonsan area. Wisconsin then made an anti-boat sweep to the north, firing her five inch (127 mm) batteries on suspected boat concentrations. She then provided gunfire support to UN troops operating at the "bombline" until 22 December 1951, when she rejoined the carrier task force.

On 28 December, Francis Cardinal Spellman, on a Korean tour over the Christmas holidays, visited the ship, coming on board by helicopter to celebrate Mass for the Catholic members of the crew. He left the ship by helicopter off Pohang. Three days later, on the last day of the year, Wisconsin put into Yokosuka.

Wisconsin departed that Japanese port on 8 January 1952 and headed for Korean waters once more. She reached Pusan the following day and entertained the President of South Korea, Syngman Rhee, and his wife, on 10 January. President and Mrs. Rhee received full military honors as they came on board, and he reciprocated by awarding Vice Admiral Martin the ROK Order of the Military Merit.

Wisconsin returned to the "bombline" on 11 January, and over the ensuing days delivered heavy gunfire support for the 1st Marine Division and the 1st ROK Corps. As before, her primary targets were command posts, shelters, bunkers, troop concentrations and mortar positions. As before, she stood ready to deliver call-fire support as needed. One such occasion occurred; on 14 January when she shelled enemy troops in the open at the request of the ROK 1st Corps.

Rearming at Sasebo and once more joining TF 77 off the coast of Korea soon thereafter, Wisconsin resumed support at the "bombline" on 23 January. Three days later, she shifted once more to the Kojo region, to participate in a coordinated air and gun strike. That same day, the battleship returned to the "bombline" and shelled the command post and communications center for the 15th North Korean Division during call-fire missions for the 1st Marine Division.

Returning to Wonsan at the end of January, Wisconsin bombarded enemy guns at Hodo Pando before she was rearmed at Sasebo. The battleship rejoined TF 77 on 2 February and the next day, blasted railway buildings and marshaling yards at Hodo Pando and Kojo before rejoining TF 77. After replenishment at Yokosuka a few days later, she returned to the Kosong area and resumed gunfire support. During that time, she destroyed railway bridges and a small shipyard while conducting call-fire missions on enemy command posts, bunkers, and personnel shelters, making numerous cuts on enemy trench lines in the process.

On 26 February, Wisconsin arrived at Pusan where Vice Admiral Shon, the ROK Chief of Naval Operations; United States Ambassador J.J. Muccio; and Rear Admiral Scott-Montcrief, Royal Navy, Commander, Task Group 95.12, visited the battleship. Departing that South Korean port the following day, Wisconsin reached Yokosuka on 2 March, and a week later she shifted to Sasebo to prepare to return to Korean waters.

Wisconsin arrived off Songjin, Korea, on 15 March 1952 and concentrated her gunfire on enemy railway transport. Early that morning, she destroyed a communist troop train trapped outside of a destroyed tunnel. That afternoon, she received the first direct hit in her history, when one of four shells from a communist 155 mm (approximately 6 in) gun battery struck the shield of a starboard 40 mm mount; Although little material damage resulted, three men were injured. Wisconsin subsequently destroyed that battery with a 16 inch (406 mm) salvo before continuing her mission. After lending a hand to support once more the 1st Marine Division with her heavy rifles, the battleship returned to Japan on 19 March.

Relieved as flagship of the Seventh Fleet on 1 April by sister ship Iowa (BB-61), Wisconsin departed Yokosuka, bound for the United States. En route home, she touched briefly at Guam, where she took part in the successful test of the Navy's largest floating dry-dock on 4 April and 5 April, marking the first time that an Iowa-class battleship had ever utilized that type of facility. She continued her homeward-bound voyage, via Pearl Harbor, and arrived at Long Beach, California on 19 April; she then sailed for Norfolk.

On 9 June 1952 Wisconsin resumed her role as a training ship, taking midshipmen to Greenock, Scotland; Brest, France; and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, before returning to Norfolk. She departed Hampton Roads on 25 August and participated in the NATO exercise Operation Mainbrace, which was held out of Greenock, Scotland. After her return to Norfolk, Wisconsin underwent an overhaul in the naval shipyard there. Wisconsin remained in the Atlantic fleet throughout 1952 and into 1953, training midshipmen and conducting exercises. After a month of routine maintenance Wisconsin departed Norfolk on 9 September 1953, bound for the Far East.

Sailing via the Panama Canal to Japan, Wisconsin relieved New Jersey (BB-62) as Seventh Fleet flagship on 12 October. During the months that followed, Wisconsin visited the Japanese ports of Kobe, Sasebo Navy Yard, Yokosuka, Otaru, and Nagasaki. She spent Christmas at Hong Kong and was ultimately relieved of flagship duties on 1 April 1954 and returned to the United States soon thereafter, reaching Norfolk, via Long Beach and the Panama Canal, on 4 May 1954.

Entering the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 11 June, Wisconsin underwent a brief overhaul and commenced a midshipman training cruise on 12 July. After revisiting Greenock, Brest, and Guantánamo Bay, the ship returned to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs. Shortly thereafter, Wisconsin participated in Atlantic Fleet exercises as flagship for Commander, Second Fleet. Departing Norfolk in January 1955, Wisconsin took part in Operation Springboard, during which time she visited Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Then, upon returning to Norfolk, the battleship conducted another midshipman's cruise that summer, visiting Edinburgh; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Guantánamo Bay before returning to the United States.

Upon completion of a major overhaul at the New York Naval Shipyard, Wisconsin headed south for refresher training in the Caribbean Sea, later taking part in another Springboard exercise. During that cruise, she again visited Port-au-Prince and added Tampico, Mexico, and Cartagena, Colombia, to her list of ports of call. She returned to Norfolk on the last day of March 1956 for local operations. On 19 October 1955, while operating in the East River in New York Harbor, Wisconsin was accidentally grounded. However, the ship was freed in about an hour without any serious damage.

Throughout April and into May, Wisconsin operated locally off the Virginia capes. On 6 May the battleship collided with the destroyer Eaton (DDE-510) in a heavy fog; Wisconsin put into Norfolk with extensive damage to her bow, and one week later entered dry dock at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. A novel expedient sped her repairs and enabled the ship to carry out her scheduled midshipman training cruise that summer. A 120 ton, 68 foot (21 m) section of the bow of the uncompleted Iowa-class battleship Kentucky (BB-66) was transported by barge, in one section, from Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation of Newport News, Virginia, across Hampton Roads to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Working round-the clock, Wisconsin’s ship’s force and shipyard personnel completed the operation which grafted the new bow on the old battleship in a mere 16 days. On 28 June 1956, the ship was ready for sea.

Wisconsin resumed her midshipman training on 9 July 1956. That autumn, Wisconsin participated in Atlantic Fleet exercises off the coast of the Carolinas, returning to port on 8 November 1956. Entering the Norfolk Naval Shipyard a week later, the battleship underwent major repairs that were not finished until 2 January 1957.

After local operations off the Virginia capes from 3 January 1957 to 4 January 1957 and from 9 January to 11 January, Wisconsin departed Norfolk on 16 January, reporting to Commander, Fleet Training Group, at Guantánamo Bay. Wisconsin served as Admiral Henry Crommelin's flagship during the ensuing shore bombardment practices and other exercises held off the isle of Culebra, Puerto Rico, from 2 February to 4 February 1957. Sailing for Norfolk upon completion of the training period, the battleship arrived on 7 February and resumed local operations off Norfolk. On 27 March Wisconsin sailed for the Mediterranean Sea, reaching Gibraltar on 6 April 1957, she pushed on that day to rendezvous with TF 60 in the Aegean Sea before reporting to Turkey for the NATO Exercise Red Pivot.

Departing Xeros Bay on 14 April, she arrived at Naples four days later, Wisconsin conducted exercises in the eastern Mediterranean. In the course of those operational training evolutions, she rescued a pilot and crewman who survived the crash of a plane from the carrier Forrestal (CVA-59). Wisconsin reached Valencia, Spain, on 10 May and, three days later, entertained prominent civilian and military officials of the city.

Departing Valencia on 17 April, Wisconsin reached Norfolk on 27 May. On that day, Rear Admiral L.S. Parks relieved Rear Admiral Crommelin as Commander, Battleship Division 2. Departing Norfolk on 19 June, the battleship, over the ensuing weeks, conducted a midshipman training cruise through the Panama Canal to South American waters, and reached Valparaiso on 3 July. Eight days later, the battleship headed back to the Panama Canal and the Atlantic.

After exercises at Guantánamo Bay and off Culebra, Wisconsin reached Norfolk on 5 August and conducted local operations that lasted into September. She then participated in NATO exercises which took her across the North Atlantic to the British Isles.

Wisconsin’s days as an active fleet unit were numbered, and she prepared to make her last cruise. On 4 November 1957, she departed Norfolk with a large group of prominent guests on board. Reaching New York City on 6 November, the battleship disembarked her guests and, on 8 November, headed for Bayonne, New Jersey, to commence a pre-inactivation overhaul. She was placed out of commission at Bayonne on 8 March 1958, and joined the United States Navy reserve fleet (better known as the "Mothball Fleet") there, leaving the United States Navy without an active battleship for the first time since 1895. Subsequently taken to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Wisconsin remained there with her sister ship Iowa into the 1980s. While berthed in the Philadelphia Naval Yard, Wisconsin fell victim to an electrical fire, which damaged the ship and left her as the Iowa-class battleship in the worst material condition prior to her 1980s reactivation.

As part of President Ronald Reagan's Navy Secretary John F. Lehman's effort to create a "600-ship Navy" Wisconsin was reactivated 1 August 1986 and moved under tow to the Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana, to commence pre-re-commissioning workups. The battleship was then towed from the Avondale Shipyard and arrived at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, 2 January 1987 to receive weapons system upgrades for her modernization. During the modernization Wisconsin had all of her remaining Oerlikon 20 mm and Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns removed, due to their ineffectiveness against modern day jet fighters and enemy anti-ship missiles; additionally, the two 5" gun mounts located at mid-ship and in the aft on the port and starboard side of the battleship were removed.

Over the next several months the ship was upgraded with the most advanced weaponry available; among the new weapons systems installed were four MK 141 quad cell launchers for 16 AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, eight Armored Box Launcher (ABL) mounts for 32 BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles, and a quartet of the United States Navy's Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS) gatling guns for defense against enemy anti-ship missiles and enemy aircraft. Wisconsin also received eight RQ-2 Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which are remotely controlled drones that replaced the helicopters previously used to spot for her nine 16"/50 Mark 7 guns. Also included in her modernization were upgrades to radar and fire control systems for her guns and missiles, and improved electronic warfare capabilities. Armed as such, Wisconsin was formally recommissioned on 22 October 1988 in Pascagoula, Mississippi under the command of Captain Jerry M. Blesch, USN. Assigned to the United States Atlantic fleet, she was subsequently homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, where she became the centerpiece of her own surface action group (SAG), also referred to as a battleship battle group (BBBG).

Wisconsin spent the first part of 1989 conducting training exercises in the Atlantic Ocean and off the coast of Puerto Rico before returning to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for a post recommissioning shakedown that lasted the rest of the year. In mid-1990 the battleship participated in a fleet exercise.

On 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. In the middle of the month, President George H. W. Bush, in keeping with the Carter Doctrine, sent the first of several hundred thousand troops, along with a strong force of naval support to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf area to support a multi-national force in a standoff with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. On 7 August 1990, Wisconsin and her battle group were ordered to deploy in defense of Kuwait for Operation Desert Shield, and they arrived in the Persian Gulf 23 August. On 15 January 1991, Operation Desert Storm commenced operations, and Wisconsin found herself serving alongside her younger sister Missouri (BB-63), just as she had done in Korea forty years previously. Both Wisconsin and Missouri launched Tomahawk Missile attacks against Iraq; they were among the first ships to fire cruise missiles during the 1991 Gulf War. Wisconsin served as the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) strike commander for the Persian Gulf, directing the sequence of launches that marked the opening of Operation Desert Storm and firing a total of 24 of her own TLAMs during the first two days of the campaign. Wisconsin also assumed the responsibility of the local anti-surface warfare coordinator for the Northern Persian Gulf Surface Action Group.

Wisconsin, escorted by Nicholas (FFG-47), relieved Missouri on 6 February, then answered her first combat call for gunfire support since March 1952. The most recently recommissioned battleship sent 11 shells across 19 miles (31 km) of space to destroy an Iraqi artillery battery in southern Kuwait. Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as a spotter in combat for the first time, Wisconsin pounded Iraqi targets and Iraqi boats that had been used during raids along the Saudi Arabian coast. On 7 February Wisconsin fired her guns against Iraqi artillery sites, missile facilities, and electronic warfare sites along the coast. She also targeted naval sites with her 16-inch (406 mm) guns, firing several rounds which severely damaged or sunk 15 Iraqi boats, and destroyed several piers at the Khawr al-Mufattah Marina. In response to calls for fire support from U.S. and coalition forces Wisconsin’s turrets boomed again on 9 February, blasting bunkers and artillery sites, and shelling Iraqi troop positions near Khafji after the Iraqis were ousted from the city by Saudi and Qatari armor. On 21 February one of Wisconsin’s UAVs observed several trucks resupplying an Iraqi command post; in response, Wisconsin trained her 16-inch (406 mm) guns on the complex, leveling or heavily damaging ten of the buildings. Wisconsin and Missouri alternated positions on the gun line, using their 16-inch (406 mm) guns to destroy enemy targets and soften defenses along the Kuwait coastline for a possible amphibious assault.

On the night of 23 February Missouri and Wisconsin turned their big guns on Faylaka Island to support the ground offensive in Iraq. The two ships were to conduct a diversionary assault aimed at convincing the Iraqi forces arrayed along the shores of Faylaka Island that Coalition forces were preparing to launch an amphibious invasion. As part of this attack Missouri and Wisconsin were directed to shell known Iraqi defensive positions on the island. Shortly after Missouri completed her shelling of Faylaka Island Wisconsin, while still over the horizon (and thus out of visual range of the Iraqi forces) launched her RQ-2 Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to spot for her 16-inch (406 mm) guns. As Wisconsin’s drone approached Faylaka Island the pilot of the drone was instructed to fly the vehicle low over Iraqi positions so that the soldiers would know that they were once again being targeted by a battleship. Iraqi troops on the ground heard the Pioneer’s distinctive buzzing sound, and having witnessed the effects of Missouri’s artillery strike on their trenchline the Iraqi troops decided to signal their willingness to surrender by waving makeshift white flags, an action dutifully noted aboard Wisconsin. Amused at this sudden development the men assigned to the drone’s aircrew called Wisconsin’s commanding officer, Captain David S. Bill III, and asked, "Sir, they want to surrender, what should I do with them?" This surrender to Wisconsin’s Pioneer has since become one of the most remembered moments of the Gulf War; the incident was also the first-ever surrender of enemy troops to an unmanned aircraft controlled by a ship.

Both Wisconsin and Missouri passed the million-pound mark of ordnance delivered on Iraqi targets by the time President George H. W. Bush ended hostilities on 28 February. With one last salvo from her big guns, Wisconsin fired the last naval gunfire support mission of the war. Wisconsin remained in the Persian Gulf after the cease-fire took effect, and returned home on 28 March 1991. During the 6 months Wisconsin spent in the Persian Gulf she had flown 348 UAV hours, recorded 661 safe helicopter landings, steamed 46,000 nautical miles (85,000 km), fired 528 16-inch (410 mm) rounds, 881 5-inch (130 mm) rounds, and 5,200 20 mm Phalanx CIWS rounds. Since all four remaining battleships were decommissioned and stricken following the Gulf War, this was the last time that United States battleships actively participated in a foreign war.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and the absence of a perceived threat to the United States came drastic cuts in the defense budget. The high cost of maintaining and operating battleships as part of the United States Navy's active fleet became uneconomical; as a result, Wisconsin was decommissioned on 30 September 1991 and was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register (NVR) on 12 January 1995. On 15 October 1996 she was moved to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and on 12 February 1998 she was restored to the Naval Vessel Register. On 7 December 2000 the battleship was towed from Portsmouth, Virginia and berthed adjacent to Nauticus, The National Maritime Center in Norfolk. On 16 April 2001 the battleship's weather decks were opened to the public by the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, a U.S. Navy museum charged with Wisconsin’s interpretation and public visitation. The ship is still owned by the Navy and is considered part of the mothball fleet.

Wisconsin was named as one of two US Navy battleships that were to be maintained in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act of 1996 (the other was Iowa). Both battleships were maintained in the United States Navy reserve fleets for use as shore bombardment vessels since their 16-inch (405 mm) guns are capable of firing 2,700 lb (1,200 kg) projectiles approximately 24 nautical miles (44 km) inland; However, Wisconsin is now over 60 years old and would require extensive modernization to return to the fleet since most of her technology dates back to World War II, and the missile and electronic warfare equipment added to the battleship during her 1980s modernization are now considered obsolete. Furthermore, during the 1991 Gulf War she was said to be hindered by Iraqi naval mines, and reports on the Internet suggest that the majority of the shore bombardments were successfully carried out by US Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates and their 3 in (76 mm) guns. In addition, the cost of modernizing Iowa and Wisconsin is estimated to be somewhere around $500 million for reactivation and $1.5 billion for a full modernization program.

These four conditions closely mirror the original three conditions that the Nation Defense Authorization Act of 1996 laid out for the maintenance of Wisconsin while she was in the Mothball Fleet. It is unlikely that these conditions will impede the current plan to turn Wisconsin into a permanent museum ship at her berth in Norfolk however, should the need arise, the Wisconsin shall be ready for service in the Navy once again.

Wisconsin earned five battle stars for her World War II service, and one for the Korean War. The ship also received the Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Unit Commendation for actions in the Korean War and Operation Desert Storm in 1991. She also received over a dozen more awards for World War II, the Korean War and Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

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Madison, Wisconsin

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Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The 2006 population estimate of Madison was 223,389, making it the second largest city in Wisconsin, after Milwaukee, and the 82nd largest in the United States. The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Dane County and neighboring Iowa and Columbia counties. The Madison MSA had a 2006 estimated population of 543,022, and is one of the fastest-growing in Wisconsin.

Madison was created in 1836 when former federal judge James Duane Doty purchased over a thousand acres (4 km²) of swamp and forest land on the isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona within the Four Lakes region, with the intention of building a city on the site. The Wisconsin Territory had been created earlier that year and the territorial legislature had convened in Belmont, Wisconsin. One of the legislature's tasks was to choose a permanent location for the territory's capital. Doty lobbied aggressively for the legislature to select Madison as the new capital, offering buffalo robes to the freezing legislators and promising choice Madison lots at discount prices to undecided voters . He had James Slaughter plat two cities in the area, Madison and "The City of Four Lakes," near present-day Middleton. Doty named the city Madison for James Madison, the 4th President of the U.S. who had died on June 28, 1836 and he named the streets for the other signers of the U.S. Constitution. Despite the fact that Madison was still only a city on paper, the territorial legislature voted on November 28 in favor of Madison as its capital, largely because of its location halfway between the new and growing cities around Milwaukee in the east and the long established strategic post of Prairie du Chien in the west, and because of its location between the highly populated lead mining regions in the southwest and Wisconsin's oldest city, Green Bay in the northeast. Being named for the much-admired founding father James Madison, who had just died, and having streets named for each of the 39 signers of the Constitution, may have also helped attract votes.

The cornerstone for the Wisconsin capitol was laid in 1837, and the legislature first met there in 1838. Madison was incorporated as a village in 1846, with a population of 626. When Wisconsin became a state in 1848, Madison remained the capital, and the following year it became host to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad (a predecessor of what would become known as the Milwaukee Road) connected to Madison in 1854. Madison became a city in 1856, with a population of 6,863, leaving the unincorporated remainder as a separate Town of Madison. The original capitol was replaced in 1863. The second capitol burned in 1904, and the current capitol was built between 1906 and 1917.

During the American Civil War, Madison served as a center of the Union Army in Wisconsin. The intersection of Milwaukee, East Washington, Winnebago, and North Streets is known as Union Corners, as a tavern located there was the last stop for Union soldiers before heading to fight the Confederates. Camp Randall, on the west side of Madison, was built and used as a training camp, a military hospital, and a prison camp for captured Confederate soldiers. After the war ended, the Camp Randall site was absorbed into the University of Wisconsin- Camp Randall Stadium was built over the site in 1917. In 2004 the last vestige of active military training on the site was removed when the stadium renovation replaced a firing range used for ROTC training.

The City of Madison continued annexations from the Town almost from the date of the City's incorporation, leaving the latter (by the end of the 20th century) a collection of discontinuous areas subject to annexation. In the wake of continued controversy and an effort in the state legislature to simply abolish the Town, an agreement was reached in 2003 to provide for the incorporation of the remaining portions of the Town into the City of Madison and the City of Fitchburg by October 30, 2022.

Madison is located in the center of Dane County in south-central Wisconsin, 77 miles (124 km) west of Milwaukee and 122 miles (196 km) northwest of Chicago. The city completely surrounds the smaller Town of Madison and the City of Monona, as well as the villages of Maple Bluff and Shorewood Hills. Madison shares borders with its largest suburb, Sun Prairie, and three other communities, Middleton, McFarland, and Fitchburg. The city's boundaries also approach the villages of Verona, Cottage Grove and Waunakee.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Madison has a total area of 84.7 square miles (219.3 km²), of which, 68.7 square miles (177.9 km²) of it is land and 16.0 square miles (41.5 km²) of it (18.91%) is water.

The city is sometimes described as The City of Four Lakes, comprising the four successive lakes of the Yahara River: Lake Mendota ("Fourth Lake"), Lake Monona ("Third Lake"), Lake Waubesa ("Second Lake") and Lake Kegonsa ("First Lake"), although Waubesa and Kegonsa are not actually in Madison, but rather just south of it. A fifth smaller lake, Lake Wingra, is within the city as well, but not on the Yahara River chain. The Yahara flows into the Rock River, which in turn, flows into the Mississippi River. Downtown Madison is located on an isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona. The city's trademark of "Lake, City, Lake" reflects this geography.

Madison, and all of southern Wisconsin, has a temperate climate, or more specifically, a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb), characterized by variable weather patterns and a large seasonal temperature variance—winters see temperatures well below freezing, with moderate to occasionally very heavy snowfall; high temperatures in summer often reach the upper 80s to 90s °F (26 to 32 °C) and very high humidity levels are not uncommon.

As of the census of 2000, there were 208,054 people, 89,019 households, and 42,462 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,029.7 people per square mile (1,169.8/km²). There were 92,394 housing units at an average density of 1,345.4/sq mi (519.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.96% White, 5.84% African American, 0.36% Native American, 5.80% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.67% from other races, and 2.32% from two or more races. 4.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 89,019 households out of which 22.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 52.3% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.9% under the age of 18, 21.4% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,941, and the median income for a family was $59,840. Males had a median income of $36,718 versus $30,551 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,498. About 5.8% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.

Madison is the larger principal city of the Madison-Baraboo CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Madison metropolitan area (Columbia, Dane, and Iowa counties) and the Baraboo micropolitan area (Sauk County), which had a combined population of 556,999 at the 2000 census.

Madison is associated with "Fighting Bob" La Follette and the Progressive movement. La Follette's Magazine, The Progressive, founded in 1909, is still published in Madison. City voting patterns have supported the Democratic Party in national elections in the last half-century, and a liberal and progressive majority is generally elected to the city council. Detractors refer to Madison as The People's Republic of Madison, the "Left Coast of Wisconsin," or as "30 square miles surrounded by reality." This latter phrase was coined by former Wisconsin Republican governor Lee S. Dreyfus while campaigning in 1978, as recounted by campaign aide, Bill Kraus.

In the 1960s and 70s, the Madison counterculture was centered in the neighborhood of Mifflin and Bassett streets, referred to as Miffland. The area contained many three-story apartments where students and counterculture youth lived, painted murals, and operated the co-operative grocery store, the Mifflin Street Co-op. The neighborhood often came into conflict with authorities, particularly then Republican Mayor Bill Dyke, a one-time personality on WISC-TV who was later to run for vice-president with segregationist Lester Maddox. Dyke was viewed by students as a direct antagonist in efforts to protest the Vietnam War, because of his efforts to suppress local protests that had resulted in property damage. The annual Mifflin Street Block Party became a focal point for protest, although by the late seventies it had become a mainstream community party.

Madison is also home to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which attempts to influence government in matters relating to the separation of church and state. The foundation is known for its lawsuits against religious displays on public property, among other things. In recent years, they have made removal of In God We Trust from American currency a main focus.

These protests were the subject of the documentary The War at Home Tom Bates also wrote the book Rads on the subject (ISBN 0-06-092428-4). Bates wrote that Dyke's attempt to suppress the annual Mifflin Street block party "would take three days, require hundreds of officers on overtime pay, and engulf the student community from the nearby Southeast Dorms to Langdon Street's fraternity row. Tear gas hung like heavy fog across the Isthmus." In the fracas, student activist Paul Soglin, then a city alderman, was arrested and taken to jail. Soglin was later elected mayor of Madison, serving from 1973 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1997, in his latter term aligning himself as a moderate in the regional Democratic Party. David Maraniss also wrote a book, They Marched into Sunlight, which incorporated the 1967 Dow protests into a larger Vietnam War narrative.

Madison city politics remain dominated by activists of liberal and progressive ideologies. In 1992, a local third party Progressive Dane was founded. Recently enacted city policies supported in the Progressive Dane platform have included an inclusionary zoning ordinance and a city minimum wage. The party holds multiple seats on the Madison City Council and Dane County Board of Supervisors, and is aligned variously with the Democratic and Green parties.

The city's voters are also, as a whole, much more politically liberal than voters in the rest of Wisconsin. For example, 76% of Madison voters voted against a 2006 state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, even though the ban passed statewide with 59% of the vote.

Madison is the episcopal see for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison. Saint Raphael's Cathedral is the mother church of the diocese.

The world's largest congregation of Unitarian Universalists, First Unitarian Society of Madison, makes its home in the historic Unitarian Meeting House, designed by one of its members, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Madison also has a Buddhist temple, a Hindu mandir, and three Muslim mosques.

Wisconsin state government and the University of Wisconsin–Madison remain the top two Madison employers. However, Madison's economy today is evolving from a government-based economy to a consumer services and high-tech base, particularly in the health, biotech and advertising sectors. Beginning in the early 1990s, the city experienced a steady economic boom and has been comparatively unaffected by recession. Much of the expansion has occurred on the city's south and west sides, but it has also affected the east side near the Interstate 39-90-94 interchange and along the northern shore of Lake Mendota. Underpinning the boom is the development of high-tech companies, many actively fostered by the UW–Madison working with local businesses and entrepreneurs to transfer the results of academic research into real-world applications, most notably bio-tech applications.

Many businesses are attracted to Madison's exceptional skill base, taking advantage of the area's high level of education. According to city-data.com, Madison has 48.2% of its population over age 25 holding a bachelor's degree or higher. Forbes magazine reported in 2004 that Madison has the highest percentage of Ph.D.s in the nation. In 2005, Forbes listed the city as having the lowest unemployment in the nation: 2.5%, less than half the U.S. 2004 average. In 2006, the same magazine listed Madison as number 31 in the top 200 metro areas for "Best Places for Business and Careers." However, Forbes has named Madison in the top ten several times within the past decade.

The largest employer in Madison is the Wisconsin state government, not including the University of Wisconsin-Madison (although UW, University System and UW Hospital & Clinics employees are considered state employees).

The University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics is an important regional teaching hospital and regional trauma center, with notable strengths in nephrology, oncology, digestive disorders, and endocrinology. Other Madison hospitals include St. Mary's Hospital, Meriter Hospital and the VA Medical Center.

Madison is also home to companies such as the North American division of Spectrum Brands (formerly Rayovac), Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, the Credit Union National Association, CUNA Mutual Group, University of Wisconsin Credit Union. Technology companies in the area include Netconcepts, Telephone and Data Systems, TomoTherapy, Broadjam, Sonic Foundry, Raven Software, Human Head Studios, Renaissance Learning, Epic Systems Corporation, and Berbee Information Networks. Many biotech firms exist here as well, including PanVera, now part of Invitrogen, Promega, and the Iceland-based Nimblegen.

Oscar Mayer has been a Madison fixture for decades, and was a family business for many years before being sold to Kraft Foods. The pizza chains Rocky Rococo, Pizza Pit, and the Glass Nickel Pizza Company originated in Madison.

According to Forbes magazine, Madison ranks second in the nation of top places in overall education. It is home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as well as Edgewood College, Madison Area Technical College, and Madison Media Institute, giving the city a student population of nearly 50,000. The University of Wisconsin contributes the vast majority of these, with roughly 41,000 students enrolled. This makes it one of the largest public universities in the United States. It is consistently rated among the top public post-secondary schools in the country. In a Forbes magazine city ranking from 2003, Madison had the highest number of Ph.D.s per capita, and third highest college graduates per capita, among ranked cities in the United States. Sports make up a large part of the campus experience at the university, both intramural and intercollegiate. The University's athletic teams, nicknamed "The Badgers", are consistently among the best in United States, drawing throngs of students, alumni, and state residents to their contests.

Additional degree programs are available through satellite campuses of Lakeland College, Upper Iowa University the University of Phoenix, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and Cardinal Stritch University for students who maintain full-time employment.

The Madison Metropolitan School District serves the city and surrounding area. With an enrollment of approximately 25,000 students in 46 schools, it is the second largest school district in Wisconsin behind the Milwaukee School District. Madison has more than six times the National Merit Scholar Semifinalists than comparable school districts. The five public high schools are: James Madison Memorial, Madison West, Madison East, Madison LaFollette, and Malcolm Shabazz City High School, an alternative school. The most notable of the private schools is Edgewood High School, located on the Edgewood College campus and Wingra School which encompasses students in grades Kindergarten through 8th. St. Ambrose Academy is a Catholic school offering grades 6-12 on the west side.

With the State-imposed property tax caps, the Madison School District has found itself struggling as of late. In trying to find new methods of funding and support, the School District has tried to estimate the opinions of the public by holding public sessions on their budget. While the Madison also has an especially strong non-credit learning community with multiple programs and many private businesses also offering classes. Examples include Wisconsin Union Mini Courses, Madison School Community Recreation, St. Mary's HealthWorks, and the University of Wisconsin's Continuing Education program.

Madison is served by the Dane County Regional Airport, which serves more than 100 commercial flights on an average day, and nearly 1.6 million passengers annually. Madison Metro operates bus routes throughout the city and to some surrounding towns. Madison has three taxicab companies, as well as several companies that provide specialized transit for individuals with disabilities.

A commuter light rail system has been proposed, particularly for a corridor passing through the isthmus and alongside the university campus, but has remained on paper for decades. A high-speed rail route from Chicago through Milwaukee and Madison to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, has also been proposed as part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative. Though for a time, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson was the chairman of Amtrak, the nearest train station is in Columbus, Wisconsin. Regional buses connect Madison to Milwaukee, Janesville, Beloit, LaCrosse, and in Illinois, Rockford, O'Hare Airport, and Chicago. Service is also available to St. Paul, Minnesota.

Railroad freight services are provided in Madison by Wisconsin and Southern Railroad (WSOR) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP). Wisconsin & Southern has been operating since 1980, having taken over trackage owned since the 19th century by the Chicago and North Western and the Milwaukee Road. Some of the proposed light rail and commuter routes would use existing WSOR rights-of-way, such as the line between the Kohl Center and Middleton. Limited commuter trains were tested along this line in the early 2000s as "football specials". The trains took passengers from the Middleton depot to Camp Randall Stadium to help alleviate parking issues on game days.

A number of bus lines connect Madison to nearby cities. Badger Bus, connects Madison to Milwaukee running multiple buses a day. Greyhound Lines, the national bus company, has a local stop and offers routes through most of the country. Van Galder Bus Company, a subsidiary of Coach USA, provides transportation through Rockford to Chicago - Downtown at the Amtrak station, O'Hare Airport and Midway Airport. Mad-Bus provides transportation for University of Wisconsin students to the Twin Cities. First Student offers charter bus rental services to groups in the Madison and Milwaukee area.

I-39, I-90, and I-94 expressways intersect at Madison, connecting the city to Milwaukee; Chicago; Rockford, Illinois; Minneapolis-St. Paul and Wausau. U.S. Routes US-12, US-14, US-18, US-51 and US-151 connect the city with Dubuque, IA LaCrosse, WI Janesville, WI and Lake Michigan. The Beltline is a large 6 to 8 lane freeway on the south and west sides of Madison and is the main link from downtown to the southeast and west suburbs.

Madison is home to an extensive and varied number of print publications for a city that reflect the city's role as the state capital and diverse political, cultural and academic population. The Wisconsin State Journal (weekday circulation: ~95,000; Sundays: ~155,000) is published in the mornings, while its sister publication, The Capital Times (Thursday supplement to the Journal) is published online daily. Though conjoined in a joint-operating agreement operated under the name Capital Newspapers, the Journal is owned by the national chain Lee Enterprises, while the Times is independently owned. Wisconsin State Journal is the descendant of the Wisconsin Express, a paper founded in the Wisconsin Territory in 1839. The Capital Times was founded in 1917 by William T. Evjue, a business manager for the State Journal who disagreed with that paper's editorial criticisms of Wisconsin Republican Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr. for his opposition to U.S. entry into World War I. Through Capital Newspapers, Lee also owns many other papers in southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa.

The city is also home to the free weekly alternative newspaper Isthmus (weekly circulation: ~65,000), which was founded in 1976. The Onion, a satirical weekly, was also founded in Madison in 1988. Two student newspapers are published during the academic year, The Daily Cardinal (Mon-Fri circulation: ~10,000) and The Badger Herald (Mon-Fri circulation: ~16,000). The Herald began during the tumultuous Vietnam War era as a conservative alternative to the liberal Cardinal. Madison is also home to numerous other specialty print publications focusing on local music, politics, and sports, including The Madison Times, Wisconsin Sports Weekly The Mendota Beacon, The Madison Observer, Madison Magazine and The Simpson Street Free Press.

Madison is also home to The Progressive, a left-wing periodical that may be best known for the attempt of the US government in 1979 to suppress one of the Progressive's articles before publication. However, the magazine eventually prevailed in the landmark First Amendment case, United States v. The Progressive, Inc. During the 1970s, there were two "radical" weeklies published in Madison, known as TakeOver and Free for All.

Madison hosts a vibrant local radio community, with two volunteer-operated and community-oriented radio stations, WORT and WSUM.

WORT Community Radio was founded by progressive Madisonians in 1975 and is one of the oldest volunteer-powered radio stations in the United States. WORT 89.9 FM is a listener-sponsored community radio station, broadcasting from 118 S. Bedford Street in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. WORT offers a host of diverse music and talk programming made possible by donors and volunteers.

WORT broadcasts a mix of music and talk programming. All of WORT's music programs are locally produced by local DJs. WORT airs 34 hours of news and public affairs programming, 23 of which are locally produced. All of the programmers at the station are volunteers from the community, including DJs, hosts, producers, reporters, and engineers.

WSUM 91.7 FM is a student radio station whose programming and operation are carried out almost entirely by students.

Madison's Wisconsin Public Radio station, WHA, was one of the very first radio stations in the nation to begin broadcasting, and remains the longest continuously broadcasting station in the country.

Widely heard public radio programs that originate in Madison include Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?, To the Best of Our Knowledge, and Calling All Pets.

Air America's Madison affiliate The Mic 92.1 FM, WXXM announced on November 10, 2006 it would switch to all sports programming by the end of the year; a spokesperson for Clear Channel in Madison later announced that the station would remain an Air America affiliate after a massive public outcry against the proposed change in format. The public protest included thousands sending petitions, emails, and letters, and a public protest of 500 people along with elected officials Madison's Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison. Promising improved support and advertising sales, a local investment group plans to make Air America and The Mic more successful. Valerie Walasek, an organizer of the protests stated, "It's evidence that as people stand up and demand what they want and demand they are going to take back the airwaves, somebody will listen." The station features the Air America lineup and local programs with Matthew Rothchild's Progressive Radio and Free Thought Radio from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

In 1996 Money magazine identified Madison as the best place to live in the United States. It has consistently ranked near the top of the best-places list in subsequent years, with the city's low unemployment rate a major contributor.

The main downtown thoroughfare is State Street, which links the University of Wisconsin campus with the State Capitol square, and is lined with restaurants, espresso cafes, and shops. Only pedestrians, buses, emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles and bikes are allowed on State Street.

Continuing on the other side of Capitol Square is King Street, which is now developing along the lines that State Street has, but with less of a student character, and more appeal to the growing young white-collar high-tech population in Madison. Thus, King Street has more upper-end restaurants and cafes than are found on the more student-budget State Street.

In the summer, on Saturday mornings, the Dane County Farmers' Market is held around the Capitol Square, while on Wednesday evenings, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performs free concerts on the Capitol's lawn. The Great Taste of the Midwest craft beer festival, established in 1987 and the second longest running such event in North America, is the second Saturday in August and the highly coveted tickets sell out within an hour of going on sale in May.

Madison is host to Rhythm and Booms, a massive fireworks celebration (coordinated to music) that begins with a fly-over by several F16s from the local Wisconsin Air National Guard. This celebration is the largest fireworks display in the Midwest in terms of the length of the show, number of shells fired and the size of its annual budget.

During the winter months, sports enthusiasts enjoy ice-boating, ice-skating, ice fishing, cross country skiing, playing ice hockey and snowkiting. During the rest of the year, recreation includes sailing on the local lakes, bicycling, and hiking.

In 2004 Madison was named the healthiest city in America by Men's Journal magazine. Many major streets in Madison have designated bike lanes and the city has one of the most extensive bike trail systems in the nation. Due to this, Madison has a very active cyclist culture and it is common place to see groups of friends bicycling together throughout the city on nice days. Bicycle tourism is an $800 million industry in Wisconsin, which has 20 percent of the nation's bicycling industry manufacturing capacity.

There are quite a few cooperative organizations in the Madison area, ranging from grocery stores (such as the Willy Street Cooperative) to housing co-ops (such as Madison Community Cooperative and Nottingham Housing Cooperative). The total number of co-ops in the area is relatively high when considering the small population of the city. Many larger cities have substantially fewer co-ops.

In 2005, Madison was included in Gregory A. Kompes' book, 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live. The Madison Metro area is also credited as the most liberal in the state, and has a higher percentage of gay couples than any other city in the area outside of Chicago and Minneapolis. The city was also named the number one college sports town by Sports Illustrated in 2003.

Madison's vibrant music scene covers a wide spectrum of living musical culture.

Several venues offer live music every night of the week, spreading from the historic Barrymore Theatre on the eastside to the Annex on the west side. Several small coffee houses and wine bars offer live music every night in all formats. Closer to downtown, the High Noon Saloon is developing a national reputation for developing and breaking indie rock and local acts. The biggest headliners generally perform at the 1,800 capacity Orpheum Theatre or at the UW Theatre on campus.

The city's live music scene received a considerable bump with the purchase and renovation of the historic Majestic Theatre, located off capitol square on King Street. The theatre, built in 1906, thus making it the oldest in Madison had previous incarnations as a movie theatre and burlesque house. Until its reopening, it was being run as a hip hop dance club until violence forced the city to revoke its liquor license. The Majestic reopened on September 29, 2007 and in its first six months has hosted various acts such as Against Me!, Cowboy Junkies, Galactic, Editors, Leon Russell, and the Bill Frisell Trio. The venue also shows movies in its Brew n' View series.

The Madison Opera presents a full season of offerings providing at least two full productions and the incredibly popular Opera in the Park (which reached over 10,000 music lovers in the summer of 2005). In addition, the nationally recognized company produces recitals and its late series Opera Up Close.

The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps has provided youth aged 16-22 opportunities to perform across North America every summer since 1938. The corps is hailed worldwide for its energetic and entertaining shows. Further, the UW-Madison Marching Band is one of the most popular marching bands in the nation, with an extensive and eclectic repertoire.

Garbage is the city's most recognized contemporary contribution to popular music. The multi-million album selling pop-rock band has been based out of Madison since formation in 1994 by producer-musician Butch Vig of Viroqua. Vig is well-known for producing albums for such highly regarded bands as The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Fall Out Boy.

Madison is also home to Clyde Stubblefield of Funky Drummer fame, and musicians Roscoe Mitchell, Ben Sidran, Reptile Palace Orchestra, Johnny Rocker & the High Rollers, John Statz Kiwi HeShe and Harmonious Wail.

In 2008, The Go-Go's rhythm guitarist Jane Wiedlin moved to the Madison suburb of Maple Bluff to live with Travis Kasperbauer. She has been performing in several local bands since moving to the area.

Other notable Musicians hailing from the Madison Area include Killdozer, The Gomers, Sunspot and Hip-Hop artist Reign.

The summer months reveal the city's many excellent music festivals, most notably the Waterfront Festival, the Willy St. Fair, Atwood Summerfest, Madison Area Music Awards Show, Isthmus Jazz Festival, The Orton Park Festival, 94.1 WJJO's Band Camp, Greekfest, Madison Pop Festival, the WORT Block Party and the Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival, with more being added all the time. One of the latest additions is the Fête de Marquette, taking place near or on Bastille Day (7/14), at Central Park. This new festival celebrates French music, with a focus on Cajun influences. Madison also hosts an annual electronic music festival, Reverence and Folkball, a world music and Folk dance festival held annually in January.

Museums include the UW-Madison's Chazen Museum of Art (formerly the Elvehjem Museum), the Wisconsin Historical Museum (run by the Wisconsin Historical Society), the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, the Madison Children's Museum, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Madison is also the home of many independent art studios and galleries. It hosts the annual Art Fair on the Square, a juried exhibition, and the complementary Art Fair Off the Square.

The Madison Opera, the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Madison Repertory Theatre, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Ballet, and the Children's Theater of Madison are just some the professional resident companies of the Overture Center for the Arts, presenting annual seasons of professional theater. The city is home to a number of smaller performing arts organizations, including a group of theater companies that present in the Bartell Theatre, a former movie palace that has been renovated into live theater spaces, and Opera for the Young, an opera company that performs for elementary school students across the Midwest. The Wisconsin Union Theater (a 1300 seat theater) is home to many seasonal attractions as well as the mainstage for Four Seasons Theatre, a professional theatre company specializing in musical theatre. Madison is also home to the Young Shakespeare Players, a theater group for young people that performs uncut Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw plays.

Community-based Theater groups abound in many neighborhood of Madison including the Broom Street Theater which is not found on Broom Street as one would expect. Past productions have included comic-style riffs on regional and local news stories such as Audrey Seiler, a University of Wisconsin - Madison student who faked her own kidnapping, causing a county-wide search which gained national attention for several weeks.

Madison offers one comedy club, the Comedy Club on State, and has other options for more alternative humor. Featuring several improv groups, such as The Prom Committee, Spin Cycle Improv, Atlas Improv, The Monkey Business Institute,the now defunct ARC Improv and Comedy Sportz, a sketch comedy group called The Public Drunkards, the city's comedy scene is in revival. A spear-heading organization called the WiSUC Project has led the way in recent years for this revival and annually hosts the "Funniest Comic in Madison" contest at the High Noon Saloon.

Several films have been at least partially made in Madison. One of the most notable was the documentary The War at Home, which chronicled the anti-Vietnam War movement in Madison. Another movie that made extensive use of the city as a backdrop was the 1986 comedy Back to School, starring Rodney Dangerfield. The University's Bascom Hill is used extensively, as is the local university bookstore, called (appropriately enough) The University Bookstore. The film also features many dorm buildings on campus, and various outdoor locales including the Terrace and Library Mall. More recently, the 2006 film The Last Kiss featured Madison and the University as a back-drop. One early scene in the film was also shot on the Terrace.

Madison is also home to one of the largest film archives in the nation at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The Wisconsin State Capitol dome, closely based on the dome of the U.S. Capitol, is the jewel of the Madison skyline, and is visible throughout the Madison area due to its position on the ridgeline of the isthmus (and a state law that limits building heights within one mile (1.6 km) of the structure). Because of its location in the urban core, Capitol square is well integrated with everyday pedestrian traffic and commerce, and the spoke streets -- especially State Street and E. Washington -- offer dramatic views of the Capitol.

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright spent much of his childhood in Madison and studied briefly at the University, and is responsible for several Madison buildings. Monona Terrace, a meeting and convention center overlooking Lake Monona, designed by Taliesin Architect Anthony Puttnam, was based loosely on a 1938 Wright design. Wright did design the seminal Usonian House, which is located here. (Another key Wright building, the Unitarian Meeting House, is in the adjacent suburb of Shorewood Hills.)The Harold C. Bradley House, designed collaboratively by Louis H. Sullivan and George Grant Elmslie in 1908-1910 now serves as the Sigma Phi Fraternity in the University Heights neighborhood, along with many well-maintained early 20th-century residences.

The Overture Center for the Arts, designed by Argentina-born architect César Pelli, also stands on State Street near the Capitol. Since opening in 2004, the center has already presented shows and concerts in its Overture Hall, Capitol Theater and The Playhouse (home of the Madison Repertory Theatre). The center, also including smaller performance spaces, also houses the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The style, unlike Pelli's Petronas Towers, leans toward sleek modernism, with simple expanses of glass framed by stone that are intended to complement the historic building facades preserved as part of the building's State Street exposure.

Many of the over 175 Madison buildings designed by the architectural firm of Claude and Starck are still standing, including Breese Stevens Field, Doty School (now converted to condominiums), and many private residences.

The UW-Madison campus includes many buildings designed or supervised by architects J.T.W. Jennings (the Dairy Barn, Agricultural Hall) and Arthur Peabody (the Memorial Union and the Carillon Tower). The UW administration building Bascom Hall sits atop a high hill overlooking Lake Mendota, and has been the site of many demonstrations and events. The density of the campus has grown to include 8 to 10 story high-rises including dormitories, research facilities, and classrooms. Several campus buildings erected in the 1960s exhibit brutalist architecture, which is now unpopular. In 2005 the University of Wisconsin embarked on a major redevelopment initiative that will transform the east end of its campus. The plan calls for the razing of a nearly a dozen 1950s to 1970s vintage buildings and the construction of new dormitories, administration, and classroom buildings, as well as the development of a new pedestrian mall extending to Lake Mendota.

The downtown and near east side is currently experiencing a building boom, with dozens of new condominium and apartment buildings being constructed.

Madison is known as a safe city. Between 2004 and 2007, 17 murders were reported. In 1996, Madison was rated #3 in "Safest of Nation's 100 Largest Cities" by Morgan Quinto Press and #9 in "America's Safest Cities" by Money. In 2008, Men's Health magazine ranked Madison as the "Least Armed and Dangerous" city in an article about "Where Men Are Targets" throughout the US.

Madison is known as a sports city primarily because of the University of Wisconsin. In 2004 Sports Illustrated on Campus named Madison the #1 college sports town in the nation. This sentiment was echoed by Scott Van Pelt in July 2007 on Dan Patrick's ESPN radio show when he proclaimed Madison the best college sports town in America.

The UW-Madison teams play their home-field sporting events in venues in and around Madison. The football team plays at Camp Randall Stadium. In 2005 a renovation was completed that added 72 luxury suites and increased the stadium's total capacity to 80,321, although crowds of as many as 83,000 have attended games. The basketball and hockey teams play at the Kohl Center. Construction on the $76 million arena was completed in 1997. In 2006, both the men's and women's Badger hockey teams won NCAA Division I championships, and the women repeated with a second consecutive national championship in 2007. Some events are played at the county-owned Alliant Energy Center (formerly Dane County Memorial Coliseum) and the University-owned Wisconsin Field House.

Despite Madison's strong support for college sports, it has proven to be an inhospitable home for professional baseball. The Madison Muskies, a Class A, Midwest League affiliate of the Oakland A's, left town in 1993 after 11 seasons. The Madison Hatters, another Class A, Midwest League team, played in Madison for only the 1994 season. The Madison Black Wolf, an independent Northern League franchise lasted five seasons, (1996-2000,) before decamping for Lincoln, Nebraska. Madison is currently home to the Madison Mallards, a college wood-bat summer baseball league team in the Northwoods League (not to be confused with the Minor League Baseball). They play in Warner Park on the city's North side from June to August.

The now defunct Indoor Football League's Madison Mad Dogs were once located in the city. In 2009 indoor football will return to Madison in the form of the Continental Indoor Football League's Wisconsin Wolfpack, who will call the Alliant Energy Center home.

Madison is now home to a new football team called the Madison Mustangs, a semi-pro football team that is part of the Ironman Football League that originated in Milwaukee in the late 1990s. Games are typically played on Saturday during the summer months, with the home field being Middleton High School.

The Wisconsin Wolves is a women's semi-pro football team based in Madison that plays in the IWFL Independent Women's Football League. The Wolves home field is located at Middleton High School.

The Princeton 56ers is a Madison amateur soccer team in the National Premier Soccer League. They play in Breese Stevens Field on East Washington Avenue.

Madison is home to the Wisconsin Rugby Club, the 1998 USA Rugby Division II National Champions, and the Wisconsin Women's Rugby Football Club, the state's only Division I women's rugby team. The city also has men's and women's rugby clubs at UW-Madison, in addition to four high school boy's teams and one high school girl's team. The most recent addition to the Madison rugby community, Madison Minotaurs United RFC, is composed largely of gay players, but is open to any player with any experience level. All ten teams play within the Wisconsin Rugby Football Union, the Midwest Rugby Union and USA Rugby.

Nearly 100 women participate in the adult women's ice hockey teams that are based in Madison (Thunder, Lightning, Freeze, UW-B and C teams), all of which play in the Women's Central Hockey League. The active and popular Madison Gay Hockey Association is also in Madison.

Madison is also one of the growing number of cities in the country with a hurling team organized as The Hurling Club of Madison.

The All-Girl Roller Derby League, Mad Rollin' Dolls, was formed in Madison in 2004. Mad Rollin' Dolls LLC, is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.

Madison is home to a number of endurance sports racing events, such as the Crazylegs Classic, Paddle and Portage, the Mad City Marathon, and Ironman Wisconsin.

Madison is being considered to help the city of Chicago in hosting the Olympics if Chicago succeeds in winning the bid for 2016. Camp Randall stadium would serve as Chicago's 80,000-seat stadium.

Radio humorist Michael Feldman and his weekly program are based in Madison. The alternative rock band Garbage was founded in the city by resident Butch Vig. The emo band Rainer Maria hails from Madison as well. Rock musicians Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs both attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other notable musicians with Madison ties include, blues singer Tracy Nelson, singer/guitarist Jim Schwall, bassist Richard Davis, saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, drummer Clyde Stubblefield, and composer/performers Leo and Ben Sidran.

Madison is also known unfortunately as the location of the untimely deaths of Teresa McGovern (a Madison resident and daughter of presidential candidate George McGovern) and Otis Redding. Teresa McGovern was found dead of exposure when she passed out during a Madison winter night. Otis Redding died in an airplane crash into Lake Monona.

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Source : Wikipedia