On February 15, National Wisconsin Day recognizes The Badger State.
Rich in copper, lead, forest and fertile farmland, Wisconsin became the 30th state. In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet was the first European to reach Wisconsin while seeking a Northwest passage to China.
A mining boom, not fur trading, led to the nickname The Badger State. According to oral history, the miners burrowed into the hillsides much like badgers for shelter instead of setting up more permanent homesteads. The first wave of settlers to the area also began the uprooting of the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Chippewa and other indigenous people.
Early in Wisconsin’s settlement, dairy production began to take root. By the turn of the century, the state became known for its dairy farms and synonymous with cheese.
Mining, dairies, and breweries grew one after the other. An influx of German immigrants in the 1850s brought a new brand of dreamers. Brewers cropped up across Wisconsin satisfying the thirst of The Badger State. As with brewers in other regions of the country, the 18th Amendment of 1919 prohibiting alcohol drowned out much of the competition leaving only a handful after the legislation was repealed in 1933.
From Lake Michigan to Superior and numerous river and lakes in between, Wisconsin offers ample opportunity for water recreation and sport. There are also year-round trails perfect for summer hiking or substantial snow for winter activities.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalWisconsinDay
“Discover a taste of Wisconsin. Join National Day Calendar as we explore the 30th state’s history, people, and culture. Uncover and Travel Wisconsin with all her hidden treasures and amazing landscapes!” Use #NationalWisconsinDay to share on social media.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail – Madison
Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway – Saint Croix Falls
Big Foot Beach State Park – Lake Geneva
Copper Falls State Park – Mellen
High Cliff State Park – Sherwood
Natural Bridge State Park – North Freedom
Whitefish Dunes State Park – Sturgeon Bay
Peshtigo State Forest – Crivitz
Friendship State Trail – Hilbert
Circus World Museum – Baraboo
Wisconsin Maritime Museum – Manitowoc
Wisconsin Historical Museum – Madison
Madeline Island Museum – La Pointe
Wisconsin Automotive Museum – Hartford
National Railroad Museum – Green Bay
Door County Maritime Museum – Sturgeon Bay
Milwaukee Art Museum – Milwaukee
Stonefield – Cassville
Ripley’s Believe It or Not – Wisconsin Dells
Yerkes Observatory – Williams Bay