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"In Milwaukee, church goods dealer Frank Gross (1888-1980), active in both St. Vincent de Paul and the Knights, was a stern critic of the anti-clerical regime in Mexico and had an equally passionate love for the Mexican national icon, Our Lady of Guadalupe."

Mexican migration to Milwaukee in the early twentieth century was spurred in part by revolutionary turmoil and anti-Catholic persecution. Many Mexican Catholic immigrants to Milwaukee found work in the city’s tanneries and housing on the near South Side. Outreach toward Mexicans by the local Catho...
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"A large statue of Mary, christened “Our Lady of the Motorists,” was installed in the 1970s."

This popular Roman Catholic Church sits on the corner of Kilbourn and Broadway. It was the proto-German church of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Founded by the St. Ann’s Frauenverein, a group of German-speaking women, property for the church was purchased for $425 and a cornerstone laid on April 19...
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Vel Phillips's EMKE entry, now with a photograph of her as a young city council member.

Vel Phillips (1924-2018), Milwaukee’s first alderwoman and the first African American on its Common Council, was born Velvalea Rodgers on the South Side of Milwaukee. While she was a child, her family moved to Bronzeville, where she later established her political career.[1] She graduated from How...
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"From 1961 forward, Phillips participated in state Capitol sit-ins and local marches for her law, later joined by Father James Groppi. In 1967, their arrests caused national media to call Milwaukee 'the Selma of the North,' one of few major cities without an open housing ordinance, owing to obduracy by Mayor Henry W. Maier. He called her into his office to give her a “hard time” and called for her husband to give her 'a whipping.' In 1968, after passage of a federal open housing law, he finally acceded to her local law."

Vel Phillips (1924-2018), Milwaukee’s first alderwoman and the first African American on its Common Council, was born Velvalea Rodgers on the South Side of Milwaukee. While she was a child, her family moved to Bronzeville, where she later established her political career.[1] She graduated from How...
emke.uwm.edu

" In 1673 he embarked on an exploration of the Illinois country with Joliet, recording details about the flora, fauna, and indigenous groups they encountered along the way. "

Jacques Marquette (1637-1675) was a Jesuit missionary best known for exploring the upper Mississippi River with Louis Jolliet. Born in Laon, France, Marquette became a member of the Society of Jesus at the age of seventeen. He was assigned to the missionary outpost of Quebec in 1666. Having envision...
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"The first Jehovah’s Witnesses, at the time known as International Bible Students, arrived in Milwaukee in 1896. Little is known about these early Witnesses or the growth of their movement in Wisconsin. Charles Russell, the leader of the Bible Students and founder of the Watchtower Society, visited Wisconsin as he travelled the country around the turn of the century."

In 2015, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society—the publishing arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses—counted a monthly average of 1,195,081 actively preaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States.[1] While the Society does not keep numbers for individual communities, a 2014 Pew Research Center ...
emke.uwm.edu

Unexpectedly snowbound today? The EMKE entry on Weather will warm you up. The punchline? “We call it ‘spring.’”

Milwaukeeans love to boast about their weather almost as much as they love to complain about it. I’m reminded of an old song by John Martyn, “Bless the Weather.” It’s a love song of lament—the refrain noting that what the weather giveth, the weather taketh away: “Bless the weather that b...
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Is there a better way to celebrate 414 Day than some Frozen Custard?

Frozen custard caused a sensation at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. Although similar to ice cream, custard contains more cream and less milk, along with egg yolk and butterfat, which gives it a smoother texture and richer taste than ice cream.[1] Following the fair, Wisconsinites brought it nor...
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"Local legend offers accounts of Francois Soubrio, the so-called “Hermit of Holy Hill.” Soubrio is said to have been inspired to find the place after reading the journal of Father Jacques Marquette. After identifying the location and experiencing a religious healing at its peak, Soubrio built a small chapel."

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The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill, more commonly referred to as Holy Hill,[1] is a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church and is located in southwestern Washington County. Holy Hill is perched in the Kettle Moraine at one of the highest points in south...
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"The Milwaukee Friends Meeting, like its counterpart in Madison, arose from the pacifist movements of the 1920s and 1930s. Bolstered by traditional Quaker pacifism, Milwaukee Friends began meeting in homes and borrowed spaces in the early 1940s."

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Members of the Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, were among the early Yankee-Yorker settlers in Southeastern Wisconsin in the 1830s.[1] Over a century later, the current Milwaukee Monthly Meeting—the Society of Friends congregation in Milwaukee—was founded.
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Encyclopedia of Milwaukee presentation today at North Shore Lighthouse, so today we bring you...lighthouses. Please share!

As industrial and agricultural development spurred trade in the nineteenth century, cities along Lake Michigan became major shipping ports. Lighthouses aided navigation and improved maritime safety as lake traffic increased. Although modern navigation tools made most lighthouses obsolete, many are s...
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"Prior to hiring a salaried pastor in 1959 or erecting its first building in 1963, the church began to support overseas missionaries. This commitment remains one of Elmbrook’s core priorities; the church currently provides monetary and prayer support for over eighty missionaries and mission organizations."

With over 3,200 members and more than 5,500 people attending any one of four weekend services, non-denominational Elmbrook Church in suburban Brookfield is the largest unaffiliated religious congregation in the state of Wisconsin.[1] What began in 1956 with five families gathering for prayer in hope...
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"It named after the burial site of the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola. Gesu replaced two previous Jesuit parishes, St. Gall and Holy Name, and served as a touchstone for English-speaking Milwaukee Catholics."

In 1894, along Milwaukee’s most elegant of boulevards (Grand Avenue, now Wisconsin Avenue), arose an imposing, twin-towered Gothic church whose façade was reminiscent of the cathedral at Chartres. The Church of the Gesu was designed by H.C. Koch who also served as architect for Milwaukee’s city...
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It's the 25th anniversary of the Cryptosporidium outbreak. Here's its history.

In the spring of 1993, approximately 400,000 people fell victim to what Milwaukeeans have since referred to as “Crypto.”[1] At least sixty-nine people—mostly people suffering from AIDS—died in this Cryptosporidium outbreak, which would become country’s largest waterborne disease epidemic o...
emke.uwm.edu

"As Christian Science practitioners, the Sawyers founded the Wisconsin Metaphysical Institute, began treating patients, and held religious meetings in their Grand Avenue home and downtown offices. In 1889, the First Church of Christ, Scientist was incorporated in Milwaukee."

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder and discoverer of Christian Science, published her landmark book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, in 1875.[1] Four years later, Eddy founded the Mother Church in Boston, and within five years, Christian Scientists began practicing their Christian healing f...
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In 1923 Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue, then known as Congregation Beth El, became the first Conservative Jewish congregation to hold services in Milwaukee.""

In 1923 Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue, then known as Congregation Beth El, became the first Conservative Jewish congregation to hold services in Milwaukee.[1] As the only congregation on Milwaukee’s West Side, the first synagogue was built at North 49th Street and Garfield Avenue. (The building stil...
emke.uwm.edu

"The abolition of slavery had a profound effect on the growth of African-American Baptist communities, including those in Milwaukee. The city’s first black Baptist congregation, originally called Mt. Olive (and now Calvary Baptist) was founded in 1895."

Baptists were among the earliest faith communities in Milwaukee, holding their first meeting in 1836. As fervent believers in congregational self-determination, Milwaukee’s Baptists have become a diverse and multi-confessional group. In 2010, over 45,000 Baptists worshipped in the greater Milwauke...
emke.uwm.edu