As the United States entered World War II in 1941, the war’s impact on American culture was felt far and wide. Aside from the obvious strains on economic and industrial production, American recreation was temporarily …
Earlene Fuller designed and made bowling outfits for numerous black and white teams in Milwaukee and elsewhere from 1970 through the mid-1990s. She was a member in two African American bowling organizations — the National Bowling Association and the Milwaukee Bowlers Guild, Inc. — and in the 1990s began incorporating kente cloth and other African-inspired fabric patterns into the shirts she made for her own teams.
Pulaski, like some Wisconsin communities, possesses a disproportionate number of polka bands, and some have boasted that the town of 3000 has more bands per capita than even Nashville. The strongly Polish community located just outside of Green Bay is still a thriving locale for the polka tradition.
After World War II, polka made its first mainstream American appearance thanks to Cleveland, Ohio’s celebrated “Polka King,” Slovenian-American Frankie Yankovic. The genre remains popular today, especially with the older crowd in the Midwest.
The television show Happy Days helped contribute to a nostalgia for sentimental 1950s culture that lasted throughout the 1970s.
Philip Wrigley, the gum manufacturer and owner of the Chicago Cubs, conceived of the All-American Girls’ Softball League in 1942 as World War II and its drain on manpower threatened to shut down Major League Baseball. Wrigley’s ideas about gender norms helped shape the league, from its strict rules to its uniform policies.
Women played a central role in the American Art Pottery movement, both as leaders like Pauline Jacobus and as workers like Lulu Deveraux Dixon.
Chicago-born artist and entrepreneur Pauline Jacobus was the central figure of Edgerton, Wisconsin’s art pottery movement. In 1888, Jacobus and her husband Oscar relocated the Pauline Pottery from Chicago to Edgerton to take advantage of the area’s quality clay.
Ice boating for sport began along New York’s upper Hudson River around the Civil War and soon spread to other cold weather locations. An 1878 article in Harper’s Weekly includes an engraving of ice boating in Madison. The city quickly became a center for ice boating in North America, a distinction held for over a century.
With a roster that included Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Ethel Waters, Paramount Record became perhaps the most important blues recording company of the 1920s. Their success was dependent on their ability to recruit …