Series: Wisconsin Historical Society Press Excerpts

WisContext presents excerpts from books published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press to provide a deeper look at how the history of the state has influenced its contemporary landscape. These selections focus on events and experiences that illustrate historical changes in Wisconsin related to demographics, health, the economy and the environment — issues that have left an imprint on the state and continue to resonate in the 21st century.
 
For nearly two decades after World War II, leaders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison systematically outed gay students to their families, extended harsh punishments for suspected homosexual activity and participated in harmful attempts at psychiatric treatment.
When large numbers of emigrants from Norway started making their way to the United States in the mid-19th century, Wisconsin was one of the first places they settled.
The drought-parched spring of 1977 was a particularly dangerous season of wildfire, with a trio of big burns in west-central Wisconsin and the Five Mile Tower Fire in the state's northwest corner.
When the first 88 Tibetan newcomers arrived in Madison from India and Nepal in 1993, family sponsors and organizers of the Tibetan Resettlement Project helped them find jobs.
Over the course of just a few decades at the end of the 19th century, millions upon millions of birds were killed in a spree of hunting for food and feathers.
Mexican immigrants and their descendants born in the United States comprise a growing and increasingly visible group of communities around Wisconsin.
In 1918, the Spanish flu attacked young, otherwise healthy adults, killed quickly and often, and leapt from Europe to Wisconsin with unimaginable speed. Its cause was unknown; its mode of transmission was unknown; how to stop it was unknown.